Psalm 119:105-112

Photo taken by Mandy Sweigart-Quinn

Nun

105  Your word is a lamp to my feet 

and a light to my path. 

106  I have sworn an oath and confirmed it, 

to keep your righteous rules. 

107  I am severely afflicted; 

give me life, O Lord, according to your word! 

108  Accept my freewill offerings of praise, O Lord, 

and teach me your rules. 

109  I hold my life in my hand continually, 

but I do not forget your law. 

110  The wicked have laid a snare for me, 

but I do not stray from your precepts. 

111  Your testimonies are my heritage forever, 

for they are the joy of my heart. 

112  I incline my heart to perform your statutes 

forever, to the end.

Psalm 119:105 is a beloved verse for many and in Hebrew it is a verbless clause. “In Old Testament times, lamps were made of clay in the shape of a shallow cup or saucer pinched on one edge to support a wick [see image above]. They were not carried outside for travel lest oil spill out of the open top; rather, they were used indoors or in a cave where neither sunlight nor moonlight illuminated the darkness” (J. Hilber, “Psalms” ZIBBC, 2009, p. 423).

Ross’s commentary on verse 105 states, “The comparison of the word of God to a “light” and a “lamp” (metaphors) indicates that divine revelation brings spiritual guidance for the faithful who live according to it. The figures of “foot” and “step” (implied comparisons) refer to what Scripture elsewhere calls the believer’s walk, the course of actions in life. The image of light in the Bible also has the connotation of joy and happiness in life. On the other side, the world is enveloped in darkness because of the presence of evil and what it produces” (A Commentary on the Psalms 90-150 KEL, 2016, p. 551).

There is danger in darkness. “Without God’s word [the psalmist] would be walking in the dark, unable to see the path before him” (Estes, Psalms 73-150 NAC, 2019, p. 425). Believers today have the entire canon of Scripture to light their path and we would be wise to read and heed it! The only time that believers are said to be “of the world” is when they shining the Light of the World, Jesus Christ (John 8:12). As this world grows darker and darker by the minute, may believers, like this psalmist not deviate from the Lord’s Word and Path.

The psalmist is so commitment to staying on the Lord’s path that in verse 106 he uses legal language to solemnly swear an oath to keep the Lord’s righteous rules. “Rather than insisting on his freedom to choose as he pleases, he firmly holds to what the Lord decrees” (Estes, p. 425). The Lord’s decrees for the obedient brought life and blessings, but for the disobedient the Lord’s decrees brought consequences.

In verse 107a the psalmist again states he is severely afflicted (see also vv 22-23, 25, 39, 51, 61, 69, 71, 78, 81-83, 85-87, 92 and 95). In his affliction the psalmist knows to cry out to the Lord to give him life (piel, imperative, 2ms with 1 cs suffix) rather than running away from God or becoming angry with Him. The psalmist makes his petitions according to the Lord’s Word (v 107b), offering praises (v 108a) and with a teachable spirit (v 108b).

The psalmist “depicts his praise in the language of sacrifice that is not compulsory but freely given. He knows that to be accepted by the Lord his praise must be genuine and not a cover for his insincerity. As he praises the Lord, he also wants to continue to learn from him, so he approaches the Lord as a humble suppliant and not with a spirit of entitlement” (Estes, p. 425). Oh that the people of God would approach the Lord in the same manner today!

The ESV does a poor job translating verse 109a and in Hebrew it literally says, My life is continually in my palm. Goldingay states, “To take your life into your hand is an image for risking your life (1 Sam. 19:5; 28:21). “Palm,” kap, rather than the general word yād, helps to explain the idea: having your life on your open hand makes it easy for your enemies to take it” (Baker Commentary on the Old Testament: Psalms 90- 150, 2006, 422). Even thought the psalmist’s life is in his palm he does not forget/ignore the Lord’s torah/law (v 109b).

The Lord’s Word is a lamp to his feet and light to his path (v 105) and even though his life is continually in his own palm (v 109), the psalmist does not stray from the Lord’s precepts even though the wicked have laid a snare for him (v 110). “[E]ven when facing threats, he keeps listening to the Lord. He does not allow dangers to deter him from God’s way, but he fixes his compass on the true north of God’s word and does not deviate from it” (Estes, pp. 425-426).

The Lord’s testimonies are the psalmist’s heritage and joy of his heart (v 111). Heart in Hebrew thought encompasses the entire being: mind, will and emotions. The psalmist’s entire being delights in the Lord’s testimonies to the point where he inclines his heart to perform His statutes forever, to the end (v 112). Good theology always moves from the head, to the heart, to the hand; and that is how the psalmist ends this stanza, with active obedience. The psalmist is “intentional about obeying what the Lord has commanded, choosing to live according to the Lord’s way rather than his own way. This commitment to obedience is complete and permanent, extending “to the very end.” As in v. 33, he will obey the Lord all the time throughout all his life” (Estes, p. 426).

Father God, may Your Word be the lamp to our feet and light to our path. Lord God, may we walk in step with You rather than this world. Lord God, at some point for the believer in Christ, they have made a faith declaration, impress on Your people, what that declaration of faith means. May we be reminded that our declaration of faith means that we will no longer live for ourselves but for YOU! Lord God, may we be reminded that faith in Christ is not easy. It is the narrow road. Lord God, for the person who is suffering from affliction I ask that You will give them life according to Your Word. Lord, may we run to You in our affliction and not from You. Lord God, may we offer You authentic and sincere praises with teachable spirits.

Lord God, thank You that for believers in Christ, we know that You hold us in the palm of Your Hand. Lord God, help us even when it seems like we are on our own, in enemy territory, that You are with us. May we never forget Your promises so that when the wicked come and lay traps for us we will not be moved. Lord, may we know Your Word so well Lord that when persecution comes, Your Word will be hidden in our hearts.

Lord God, Your Word is our heritage, our inheritance. You preserve Your Word from generation to generation. It never is far from my mind that Your Word is always one generation away from extinction. Impress on us Lord that You have no grandchildren. Lord God, for the reader who does not know Christ, may today be the day of salvation. Lord God, may Your Word be the joy of our hearts! May we incline our hearts to do Your Will! Lord God, may we obey You forever, not to earn our salvation but out of love and reverence for You. Lord God, for the reader who is on the edge and thinking of giving up, I ask boldly that You revive them according to Your Word. Give them light in their darkness. Thank You Lord for this stanza of Psalm 119. In Jesus’s Name I pray. Amen.

 

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Blue Collar Theologian

My name is Mandy Sweigart-Quinn, I live in Lancaster, PA and I am a “Blue Collar Theologian.” I love Jesus! I am passionate about His Word (The Holy Bible)! I come alive when I can encourage others in their walk with Jesus (whether by writing or speaking). As a “Blue Collar Theologian” it is my aim to live/practice/work out my Christian hope with sincerity, authenticity and genuineness. As a “Blue Collar Theologian,” I strive to meet people right where they are (“Incarnational Theology”). I graduated in May 2019 from Capital Seminary and Graduate School with a Master's in Biblical Studies. I am a passionate, excited and enthusiastic person! I love flowers, sports and sunsets. Since January 2, 2018 I have had the privilege of being married to Nathan.

32 thoughts on “Psalm 119:105-112”

  1. To freely, humbly come to Him in praise and prayer is to acknowledge that only He can be our guide, His Word given as a lamp to our path. Those lamps didn’t change much over the thousand years till Jesus’ time did they? The lamp you have pictured looks very like a Herodian lamp.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you for reading and commenting, Dora! I appreciate it more than you will ever know! I am going to send you a text that I sent to Nathan about tonight’s sunset! I am sure you will agree! I love you sister, smiling and praising God for you!!!!!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. It is a Herodian lamp! When we toured the Nazareth Village in Israel, we were each given one of these lamps. I think I am the only one who still has their lamp!!!!! Nathan tried to put oil in it once and he got the look!!!!! “To freely, humble come to Him in praise and prayer is to acknowledge that only He can be our guide, His Word given as a lamp to our path.” Amen and Amen, Dora!!!!!!!!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Aha! Here it is, the 1st verse I ever learned, which was recited with a hand signal.
    “Thy word” raise hand up to God “is a lamp to my feet” hand points to feet, “and a light to my path” hand stretches out to path before me.
    That’s how my Pioneer Girls meetings opened up every week. How I loved those meetings! I was 10 and by the time I was 11 I was sharing about Jesus to everyone. I remember asking my teacher, “but why DON’T you believe in Jesus?” I didn’t understand what Jewish meant but she called my mother and complained.
    My mother stopped me from going to Pioneer Girls again.
    Thank you for highlighting this favorite verse – when you started Ps 119 I couldn’t wait to get to it!
    “Father God, may Your Word be the lamp to our feet and light to our path. Lord God, may we walk in step with You rather than this world”.
    Amen sister, thank you for taking us into this timeless, living Psalm of God.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sister, I had you in mind the entire time I was meditating on how to write this! I am so sorry to hear about your experience, but so encouraged that no one ever stifled your light for Christ!!!!! That’s a really neat way to learn Psalm 119:105 and I will share that with my youngsters in Awana tomorrow night!!!! Thank you for sharing this!!! Thank you for your love, support and encouragement with this series!!! I love you!!! 🤗🤗🤗🤗😘😘😘😘🧡🧡🧡🧡

      Liked by 1 person

      1. What a fabulous response 😃 I love you too! ❤ Awana sounds great, I’m so glad you’re there. You’ll never know how much you impact a kid’s life. 🤗

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  3. I live that verse Mandy. His word is a lamp and a light. When I think of that verse, a lamp 🪔 is something we have to hold with us as we take those steps and similarly, His word is something we need to carry with us, using it so that we stay in step in His path. And it is a lamp to my feet- it helps us see where we are at in the now and also give us light to where we should be heading toward.
    Thank you for this wonderful detailed insight into this section of the Psalm.
    Blessings 🤗🌺💙

    Liked by 2 people

    1. So true about carrying His Word with us! I tell young folks there are NO days off in the Christian life! There is no check/leave your faith at the door option. The more we know His Word, the more we will stay in step with Him. Thank You Manu for sharing your thoughts as they cause me to reflect as well! I appreciate and love you very, very much!! 🤗🤗🤗🙏🙏🙏🐶🐶🐶

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  4. Grateful that the Word guides us for life. So grateful.
    Concerning v.109a, it goes to show even as good of a translation as the ESV is, there is still nothing like knowing the verse in Hebrew especially with your point about the word is palm and not just hand, etc.
    Always love your prayer including the truth that Scripture is a treasure and also awareness to pray for those not saved reading this…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Going through this stanza by stanza gives me a greater appreciation for what you are doing with your “(not so)quick Greek devotionals on Matthew.” I don’t think I have any militant KJO readers that will be ruffled by my saying that no English translation does 100% justice to the original languages. I am thankful for the NASB and for the ESV’s commitment to stay true to the text. Also, do you have the latest edition of the NASB if I may ask?! Scripture is a treasure. I am thankful that we still live in a country where we can access Scripture online and in bookstores. I am thankful for your heart for prayer and for seeing the lost know Christ!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I do not have the latest NASB; do you know where they made the latest changes? You are not talking about the LSB right? I too am grateful for being in a country we can still read the Bible. In one country I visit before their version of AMAZON pull put all Bibles a few years ago; I was there when that happened and believers were very concern

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      2. Ha! I don’t know what we need more, readers who ask question or teachers who know how to explain?! I am NOT trying to be controversial or anything like that! I am SO thankful for your heart to properly prepare and equip your children, youth, ministry, flock etc! I am so thankful for you!!!!!

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  5. Verse 107 reminds me of the line, “give me liberty or give me…” And yet the afflicted Psalmist asked for life (maybe a life in Heaven), and as you’ve said, Mandy, “knows how to cry to the Lord.” On a different note, in a few minutes from now, you will have your Monthly Prayer for December. Favor, please pray that this new C19 variant (omicron) will not as devastating as the delta. Blessings to you and Nathan! Good night!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I submitted my prayer before seeing this; however, I will add that for a midmonth prayer! I was thinking the same thing about “liberty” and started writing about how freedom/liberty is NOT free and then felt like I was ranting and would lead us down a rabbit hole/bunny trail! I am so thankful that the Lord hears our cries, Kent! I am so thankful that Jesus is our Great Physician and that when our earthly bodies meet their demise, we will see our King in His Beauty. Kent, Nathan and I are praying for you!! Love and blessings!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanksgiving is family time for us. 32 of us gathered around 3 tables with turkey, ham, smoked fresh salmon and lots of fixings with stories to match. We have a peaceful family assembly (we get along) with the Lord in our midst and we are thankful for the one who created us and gave us life. Being we had a very successful deer harvest this year, a few of the hot-dishes had some of the best tasting venison there is.

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  6. I have 6 siblings and a bunch of nieces and nephews plus a couple uncles and aunts in the area. If the ones out of country or several states away were here it would be 46. My last promise to dad before he died was to make the walls of this (our folks) house ring with laughter again. We have done that quite often since. You should see the random fish frys!!

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