Let God’s Word Light Your Roadway
“Your word is . . . a light to my roadway.”—PSALM 119:105.
1, 2. Under what circumstances will Jehovah’s word light our roadway?
JEHOVAH’S word will light our roadway if we allow that to happen. To enjoy such spiritual light, we must be diligent students of God’s written Word and apply its counsel. Only then can we share the psalmist’s sentiments: “Your word is a lamp to my foot, and a light to my roadway.”—Psalm 119:105.
Why Be Fond of God’s Word?
3. How does Psalm 119:89, 90 show that we can depend on God’s word?
3 Fondness for Jehovah’s word results in spiritual stability. (Psalm 119:89-96) The psalmist sang: “To time indefinite, O Jehovah, your word is stationed in the heavens. . . . You have solidly fixed the earth, that it may keep standing.” (Psalm 119:89, 90) By God’s word—his “statutes of the heavens”—the celestial bodies move flawlessly in their orbits and the earth is solidly fixed forever. (Job 38:31-33; Psalm 104:5) We can depend on every word going forth from Jehovah’s mouth; what God says will have “certain success” in the fulfillment of his purpose.—Isaiah 55:8-11.
4. What does fondness for God’s word do for his servants who suffer affliction?
4 The psalmist would have ‘perished in his affliction if he had not been fond of God’s law.’ (Psalm 119:92) He was not being afflicted by foreigners; it was Israelite lawbreakers who hated him. (Leviticus 19:17) But this did not overwhelm him, for he loved God’s sustaining law. At Corinth, the apostle Paul was “in dangers among false brothers,” perhaps including “superfine apostles” seeking an accusation against him. (2 Corinthians 11:5, 12-14, 26) Yet, Paul survived spiritually because he was fond of God’s word. Since we are fond of Jehovah’s written Word and apply what it says, we love our brothers. (1 John 3:15) Even the world’s hatred does not make us forget any of God’s instructions. We keep doing his will in loving unity with our brothers as we look forward to an eternity of joyous service to Jehovah.—Psalm 119:93.
5. How did King Asa search for Jehovah?
5 Expressing our devotion to Jehovah, we might pray: “I am yours. O save me, because I have searched for your own orders.” (Psalm 119:94) King Asa searched for God and rooted out apostasy in Judah. At a great assembly in the 15th year of Asa’s reign (963 B.C.E.), Judah’s inhabitants “entered into a covenant to search for Jehovah.” God “let himself be found by them” and “continued to give them rest all around.” (2 Chronicles 15:10-15) This example should encourage a renewed search for God by any who have drifted away from the Christian congregation. He will bless and protect those who resume active association with his people.
6. What course will protect us from spiritual harm?
6 Jehovah’s word imparts wisdom that can protect us from spiritual harm. (Psalm 119:97-104) God’s commandments make us wiser than our enemies. Heeding his reminders gives us insight, and ‘observing his orders enables us to behave with more understanding than older men.’ (Psalm 119:98-100) If Jehovah’s sayings are ‘smoother to our palate than honey to our mouth,’ we will hate and avoid “every false path.” (Psalm 119:103, 104) This will serve as a protection from spiritual harm as we encounter haughty, fierce, ungodly people in these last days.—2 Timothy 3:1-5.
A Lamp to Our Foot
7, 8. In keeping with Psalm 119:105, what do we need to do?
7 God’s word is a source of unfailing spiritual light. (Psalm 119:105-112) Whether we are anointed Christians or we are their companions of the “other sheep,” we declare: “Your word is a lamp to my foot, and a light to my roadway.” (John 10:16; Psalm 119:105) God’s word is like a lamp lighting our way, so that we do not stumble and fall spiritually. (Proverbs 6:23) Yet, we must personally let Jehovah’s word be a lamp to our foot.
8 We need to be as resolute as the composer of Psalm 119. He was determined not to wander from God’s orders. “I have made a sworn statement,” he said, “and I will carry it out, to keep your [Jehovah’s] righteous judicial decisions.” (Psalm 119:106) Let us never underestimate the value of regular Bible study and participation in Christian meetings.
9, 10. How do we know that individuals dedicated to Jehovah can ‘wander from his orders,’ but how can this be avoided?
9 The psalmist did not ‘wander from God’s orders,’ but that can happen to a person dedicated to Jehovah. (Psalm 119:110) King Solomon wandered, although he was a member of a nation dedicated to Jehovah and had originally acted in harmony with God-given wisdom. “Even him the foreign wives caused to sin” by inducing him to worship false gods.—Nehemiah 13:26; 1 Kings 11:1-6.
10 “The birdcatcher,” Satan, sets many traps. (Psalm 91:3) For instance, a former associate may try to induce us to wander off the pathway of spiritual light into the darkness of apostasy. Among Christians at Thyatira, there was “that woman Jezebel,” possibly a group of women teaching others to practice idolatry and commit fornication. Jesus did not tolerate such evils, and neither should we. (Revelation 2:18-22; Jude 3, 4) Let us therefore pray for Jehovah’s help so that we do not wander from his orders but remain in divine light.—Psalm 119:111, 112.
Sustained by God’s Word
11. According to Psalm 119:119, how does God view the wicked?
11 If we never stray from his regulations, God will sustain us. (Psalm 119:113-120) We do not approve of “halfhearted ones,” even as Jesus disapproves of lukewarm professing Christians today. (Psalm 119:113; Revelation 3:16) Because we wholeheartedly serve Jehovah, he is ‘our place of concealment’ and will sustain us. He will ‘toss away all those straying from his regulations’ by resorting to trickiness and falsehood. (Psalm 119:114, 117, 118; Proverbs 3:32) He views such wicked ones as “scummy dross”—impurities removed from such valuable metals as silver and gold. (Psalm 119:119; Proverbs 17:3) May we always display love for God’s reminders, for we surely do not want to join the wicked on the slag heap of destruction!
12. Why is fear of Jehovah important?
12 “From the dread of you [Jehovah] my flesh has had a creepy feeling,” said the psalmist. (Psalm 119:120) Our having a wholesome dread of God, manifested by avoiding what he disapproves, is vital if he is to sustain us as his servants. Reverential fear of Jehovah caused Job to live a righteous life. (Job 1:1; 23:15) Godly fear can enable us to persevere in a divinely favored course regardless of what we must endure. Endurance, though, calls for earnest prayers said in faith.—James 5:15.
Pray in Faith
13-15. (a) Why can we have faith that our prayers will be answered? (b) What can happen if we do not know what to say in prayer? (c) Illustrate how Psalm 119:121-128 might tie in with our ‘unuttered groanings’ in prayer.
13 We can pray in faith that God will act in our behalf. (Psalm 119:121-128) Like the psalmist, we are sure that our prayers will be answered. Why? Because we love divine commandments “more than gold, even refined gold.” Moreover, ‘we consider all of God’s orders regarding all things to be right.’—Psalm 119:127, 128.
14 Jehovah hears our petitions because we pray in faith and also carefully comply with his orders. (Psalm 65:2) But what if we sometimes have such bewildering problems that we do not know what to say in prayer? Then “the spirit itself pleads for us with groanings unuttered.” (Romans 8:26, 27) At such times, God accepts expressions found in his Word as prayers covering our needs.
15 The Scriptures are full of prayers and thoughts that would tie in with our ‘unuttered groanings.’ For example, consider Psalm 119:121-128. The way things are expressed here may fit our circumstances. If we fear being defrauded, for instance, we might ask for God’s help in the way the psalmist did. (Ps 119 Verses 121-123) Suppose we need to make a very difficult decision. Then we might pray that Jehovah’s spirit help us to recall and apply his reminders. (Ps 119 Verses 124, 125) Although we ‘hate every false path,’ we may need to ask God to act in our behalf so that we do not succumb to some temptation to break his law. (Ps 119 Verses 126-128) If we read the Bible daily, such helpful passages may come to mind when we supplicate Jehovah.
Helped by Jehovah’s Reminders
16, 17. (a) Why do we need God’s reminders, and how should we view them? (b) How may others look upon us, but what really matters?
16 To be heard in prayer and to enjoy divine favor, we must heed God’s reminders. (Psalm 119:129-136) Since we are forgetful, we need Jehovah’s wonderful reminders that bring his instruction and commandments back to our minds. Of course, we appreciate the spiritual light shed by every new disclosure of God’s words. (Psalm 119:129, 130) We are also grateful that Jehovah has ‘made his face shine upon us’ in approval, although ‘streams of water run from our eyes’ because others violate his law.—Psalm 119:135, 136; Numbers 6:25.
17 We are sure to have God’s continued favor if we comply with his righteous reminders. (Psalm 119:137-144) As Jehovah’s servants, we acknowledge that it is right for him to bring his righteous reminders to our attention and place them upon us as commandments that we should obey. (Psalm 119:138) Since the psalmist obeyed God’s commandments, why did he say: “I am insignificant and contemptible”? (Psalm 119:141) Apparently, he was alluding to the way his enemies viewed him. If we maintain an uncompromising stand for righteousness, others may look down on us. Yet, what really matters is that Jehovah looks on us with favor because we live in accord with his righteous reminders.
Secure and at Peace
18, 19. What results from our observing God’s reminders?
18 Observing God’s reminders keeps us close to him. (Psalm 119:145-152) Because we pay attention to Jehovah’s reminders, we feel free to call upon him with our whole heart, and we can expect to be heard. We may awaken “early in the morning twilight” and cry for help. What a fine time to pray! (Psalm 119:145-147) God is also near us because we avoid loose conduct and view his word as truth, even as Jesus did. (Psalm 119:150, 151; John 17:17) Our relationship with Jehovah sustains us in this troubled world and will carry us through his great war of Armageddon.—Revelation 7:9, 14; 16:13-16.
19 Because of our deep regard for God’s word, we enjoy true security. (Psalm 119:153-160) Unlike the wicked, we ‘have not deviated from Jehovah’s reminders.’ We love God’s orders and therefore are secure in his loving-kindness. (Psalm 119:157-159) Jehovah’s reminders stimulate our memory so that we remember what he requires of us in specific situations. God’s orders, on the other hand, are directives, and we readily acknowledge our Creator’s right to direct us. Aware that ‘the substance of God’s word is truth’ and that we cannot direct our own steps independently, we gladly accept divine direction.—Psalm 119:160; Jeremiah 10:23.
20. Why do we have “abundant peace”?
20 Our love for Jehovah’s law brings us abundant peace. (Psalm 119:161-168) Persecution does not rob us of the incomparable “peace of God.” (Philippians 4:6, 7) So much do we appreciate Jehovah’s judicial decisions that we praise him for them often—“seven times in the day.” (Psalm 119:161-164) “Abundant peace belongs to those loving your law,” sang the psalmist, “and for them there is no stumbling block.” (Psalm 119:165) If we as individuals love and keep Jehovah’s law, we will not be stumbled spiritually by what someone else does or by any other matter.
21. What Scriptural examples show that we need not stumble if difficulties arise in the congregation?
21 Many individuals of Bible record did not let anything be a lasting stumbling block for them. For instance, the Christian man Gaius was not stumbled but ‘went on walking in the truth’ despite the ungodly conduct of Diotrephes. (3 John 1-3, 9, 10) Paul exhorted the Christian women Euodia and Syntyche “to be of the same mind in the Lord,” likely because difficulties had arisen between them. Apparently, they were helped to resolve their problem, and they continued to serve Jehovah faithfully. (Philippians 4:2, 3) So we need not stumble if difficulties of some sort arise in the congregation. Let us concentrate on keeping Jehovah’s orders, remembering that ‘all our ways are in front of him.’ (Psalm 119:168; Proverbs 15:3) Then nothing will permanently rob us of “abundant peace.”
22. (a) If we obey God, what privilege can we enjoy? (b) How should we view some who have wandered away from the Christian congregation?
22 If we always obey Jehovah, we will be privileged to keep on praising him. (Psalm 119:169-176) By living in harmony with God’s regulations, not only do we enjoy spiritual security but ‘our lips continue to bubble forth Jehovah’s praise.’ (Psalm 119:169-171, 174) This is the greatest privilege we could have in these last days. The psalmist wanted to keep living and praising Jehovah, but in some undisclosed way, he had ‘wandered like a lost sheep.’ (Psalm 119:175, 176) Some who have wandered away from the Christian congregation may still love God and may want to praise him. Let us therefore do all we can to help them so that they may again find spiritual security and experience the joy of praising Jehovah with his people.—Hebrews 13:15; 1 Peter 5:6, 7.
Lasting Light for Our Roadway
23, 24. What benefits have you drawn from Psalm 119?
23 Psalm 119 can benefit us in various ways. For instance, it can make us more reliant on God, for it shows that true happiness results from “walking in the law of Jehovah.” (Psalm 119:1) The psalmist reminds us that ‘the substance of God’s word is truth.’ (Psalm 119:160) This surely ought to enhance our appreciation for the entire written Word of God. Meditating on Psalm 119 should move us to study the Scriptures diligently. The psalmist repeatedly petitioned God: “Teach me your regulations.” (Psalm 119:12, 68, 135) He also pleaded: “Teach me goodness, sensibleness and knowledge themselves, for in your commandments I have exercised faith.” (Psalm 119:66) We do well to pray in a similar way.
24 Divine teaching makes possible a close relationship with Jehovah. The psalmist repeatedly calls himself God’s servant. In fact, he addresses Jehovah with the touching words: “I am yours.” (Psalm 119:17, 65, 94, 122, 125; Romans 14:8) What a privilege it is to serve and praise Jehovah as one of his Witnesses! (Psalm 119:7) Are you serving God joyfully as a Kingdom proclaimer? If so, be assured that Jehovah will continue to support and bless you in this privileged activity if you always trust in his word and let it light your roadway.
How Would You Answer?
• Why should we be fond of God’s word?
• How are we sustained by God’s word?
• In what ways are we helped by Jehovah’s reminders?
• Why are Jehovah’s people secure and at peace?
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God’s word is a source of spiritual light
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If we love Jehovah’s reminders, he will never regard us as “scummy dross”
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If we read the Bible daily, helpful passages may readily come to mind when we pray