Finding Guidance when Making Difficult Choices.
Read Psalm 119:105-112
"Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path."
What guides the decisions we make? Today we are inundated with a variety of options. However, in our struggle to discern the right decision, we are further confounded by the vast array of information and opinions presented to us. Whether it is the choices we make regarding our political affiliation, the moral standard that we strive to uphold, or the response we have to the current covid-19, we are besieged with conflicting viewpoints and opinions that only leads to more confusion rather than clarity. In the end, many base their decision on what "feels right." We have been told to "let your conscience be your guide." However, our conscience is deceptively dishonest. Proverbs warns us, "There is a way which seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death" (Proverbs 14:12). If we trust in ourselves and our intellectual, moral, and spiritual compass, we will inevitably be led down a primrose path to our own destruction. If we cannot even trust ourselves, then where do we turn to guidance and insight to make the right choices when confronted with various options in life?
For the Psalmist, the answer lies in the pages of Scripture. Psalm 119 is the longest Psalm and the longest chapter of the Bible. Written as an acrostic, each section is governed by a different letter of the Hebrew alphabet where each sentence within the paragraph begins with the same Hebrew letter. Each sentence in verses 105-112 starts with the Hebrew letter "Nun" (equivalent in sound to our letter "n"). In verse 105, the first word, and the word that serves to highlight the Psalmist's focus, is the Hebrew word for a lamp, "ner." Literally, the verse reads, "A lamp to my feet is your word and a light to my pathway." The picture presented by a Psalmist is an individual traveling down a dark pathway, and without adequate lighting, he will stumble and fall. When the road is unclear, a person needs guidance and direction to bring clarity and illumination. For the Psalmist, that light is the Word of God. Without the clarity of Scripture, we can be easily deceived by the appeal of sin, leading to spiritual disaster. For the Psalmist, the light of Scripture brings hope and joy in times of sorrow and affliction (vs. 107). It protects us from the deception of those who promote sin (vs. 110).
Where do we find guidance when faced with all the options we encounter in life? The answer lies in the Bible. The reason we stumble in life is not merely that we made the wrong choice, but that we failed to look to the right source to inform us regarding the choices we make. Charles Spurgeon summarized verse 105, "Each man should use the word of God personally, practically, and habitually, that he may see his way and see what lies in it. When darkness settles down upon all around me, the word of the Lord, like a flaming torch, reveals my way." This revelation causes the Psalmist to find his joy in the Law of God and always to make it his focus (vs. 111-112).
Instead of looking to the world or even ourselves for guidance to decipher all the options we encounter, look to Scripture's pages. The Bible is given by the inspiration of God so that we might be able to make the right choice to achieve the right result (2 Timothy 3:16).