“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”

Psalms 119 is the longest of all the psalms and probably one of my favorites. All 176 verses speak of His statutes, His commandments, His judgments; it’s all about the word of G-D. Yet this short verse in this long psalm sums it all up pretty much, especially for Hanukah.

I remember as a kid one summer my parents sent us to summer camp for two weeks. I think I was seven and my sister was nine. For me it was the first time away from home. What was the occasion for this first time experience? My father had moved his factory and I guess my parents thought it would be better if we were not around for the move.

One of the activities at the camp was to watch the sunrise. We got up early to make our way to the vantage point. I took my flashlight and off we went. A long the way I fell and I remembering hurting my shin. I had a lamp for my feet but I did not have a light for my path.

The word of G-D lights the place your foot is going to step and it also lights the path you will be traveling. The word of G-D is big and broad; it speaks to and about mankind in general. And yet it is also small and pinpoint for you personally and will guide you through the situations you have to maneuver as you travel down this road of life.

After the flood, God promised never to destroy the earth again by a flood, and He chose a rainbow, a phenomenon caused by light passing through water, to signify this. During the Exodus, God showed Himself to Israel at night as a light-giving pillar of fire, light enough to travel by.

In Exodus 25, and elsewhere, the children of Israel were commanded to prepare light in the Tabernacle, as part of their worship of God. In 2 Samuel 22:29, David said: “For you are my lamp, O Lord, and my God lightens my darkness.” Perhaps this is the first time that God’s presence and communication with humans is compared to light.

In Psalm 27:1, David wrote that, “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?” In Isaiah 9, Isaiah, apparently speaking of the coming of the Messiah, compares this event to the appearance of a great light.

I don’t know where you are on the road of your life’s journey but you can be assured that there will be obstacles along the way. If you are trying to navigate your way with your double “D” cell battery flashlight you are going to stumble and fall. If however the lamp for your feet and the light for your path is the word of G-D your immediate path and the broad path will be illuminated for you.

If for some reason we should stumble, not because of any fault of the light, but because we have taken our eyes of the light and fall, be assured of this: “The steps of a good man are ordered by the L-RD, and He delights in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down; For the L-RD upholds him with His hand. I have been young, and now am old; Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, Nor his descendants begging bread.”