And All That Jazz
“Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light on my path.” Psalm 119:105 (CSB)
A few days ago, my Instagram scrolling was interrupted when I saw a surprising ad emerge on my screen.
The ad was promoting a sale on some Bible study accessories such as colorful highlighters, trendy bookmarks and a set of creative tabs for all 66 books of the Bible. These products looked whimsical and even helpful.
But what stood out to me most was the tease at the top of the post, which told readers it was about time they finally “jazzed up” their Bibles.
Now, of course the entrepreneur of these items was talking about adding functionality and a little pop of color to the pages of a physical Bible, which so many of us love to do when studying the Word. But the ad caused me to ponder this idea of “jazzing up” the Bible in a different and spiritual sense.
So often in our culture, we try to jazz up God’s Word — God’s very words. We display Scripture verses on a lovely social media graphic or on a rustically stenciled sign for our home. While there is certainly nothing wrong with using Scripture in our decorating — whether at home or online — let’s remember what the real purpose of Scripture is in the first place.
The writer of Psalm 119 declared: “Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light on my path” (Psalm 119:105). In ancient times, a lamp was used to help people find their way in the dark. The lamp was suspended over their feet as they walked along a dim pathway. This illumination helped keep them from stumbling and falling.
The original Hebrew meanings of the three items depicted in this verse — a lamp, feet and a light — are straightforward. Their English meanings identically match. However, the phrase “your word” has a multifaceted meaning we would do well to pay attention to.
The Hebrew connotation for “word” can be all the following: a message, command, edict, advice, thought, verdict, conversation, counsel or promise. This myriad of meanings is remarkable!
Do you need advice? Go to God’s Word.
Would you like to know God’s thoughts? His Word lights the way.
Could you use a good conversation with Jesus today? You will find it in the pages of Scripture.
Want to be sure you are following the Lord’s commands? Crack open your Bible.
And if you’d like to explore the promises of God, you will find them lovingly penned on Scripture's pages.
While it’s fun and even beneficial to “jazz up” the physical pages of our Bibles with bright highlighters, colorful pens, and helpful bookmarks and tabs, Scripture itself doesn’t need to be jazzed up at all. Instead, it should be diligently read, carefully studied and prayerfully applied. Let God’s holy Word light your path and show you the best way forward. May it illuminate our minds, causing us to eliminate ungodly behavior.
We develop a closer relationship with our Creator through times spent soaking in Scripture. Let’s carve out time to encounter Jesus personally through God’s Word very soon. (Cute Instagram picture of said encounter is optional.)
Almighty God, I want the light of Your Word to be what guides my life. Help me to make studying my Bible a priority in my life this week. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
OUR FAVORITE THINGS
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FOR DEEPER STUDY
Psalm 119:130, “The revelation of your words brings light and gives understanding to the inexperienced.” (CSB)
Using the words of Psalm 119:130, craft a prayer to God, asking Him to illuminate your path and grant you understanding about something you are currently facing.
Which of the various meanings for “word” in Hebrew — a message, command, edict, advice, thought, verdict, conversation, counsel or promise — most speaks to you today, and why?
We’d love to hear from you! Share your thoughts in the comments.
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