A lamp and a light – what’s the difference? Isn’t this just Old Testament ‘parallelism’, saying the same thing twice in different words to give emphasis? Not in this case!
A lamp is something that you hold in your hand as you travel through the dark. It shows you where to put your foot as you take the next step. A light is like the streetlights that illuminate the whole road. But if the streetlights are there, why do we also need the hand lamp?
Often, there are patches of darkness between the streetlights. There may even be only one light visible in the distance, marking the end of our journey. As we keep our eyes on that light and head towards it, we still really need the hand lamp to keep us from stumbling.
The Bible can be relied on as our lamp for the next step in life. It also shows us the light at our final destination, our great reward. But it would be a mistake to look to the Bible for a forecast of every step along the way. As we make our way from one patch of light to the next, we still need the lamp to guide us through the darkness – but how wonderful it is to know that neither the lamp nor the light will fail.
Prayer: Thank You, Father, for putting in my hand a lamp that guides my steps. Help me to trust that lamp as I walk through the darkness towards the promised light. Amen.
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