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theophilus

A lamp or a flashlight?

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theophilus

Imagine that you have to go somewhere at night on a road that has no lights on it. You will need to take a source of light with you and there are two available. One is a flashlight and the other is an oil lamp. The flashlight has fresh batteries and you can see a long distance by its light. The lamp only gives off enough light to illuminate the area immediately around you. Which one would you choose?

 

This question is a no-brainer. With the flashlight you could see a long way ahead and know what to expect as you travel. You wouldn’t be surprised by unexpected obstacles. When you use a lamp only the area immediately around is illuminated and you have no idea what lies further ahead. If there are obstacles you won’t know about them until you reach them.

 

All of us are in fact traveling on a dark road. We are living our lives in a world that is in darkness because of sin. God has given us a light to guide us but it isn’t the kind we would have chosen for ourselves.

Your word is a lamp to my feet

and a light to my path.

Psalm 119:105 ESV

God has not given us a choice between a lamp and a flashlight. He has given us the Bible to be our lamp and we must either walk by its light or walk in darkness.

 

If you think God is making a mistake you need to consider the fact that God gives us what we need rather than what we want and because he is omniscient he always know what we need even if we don’t. Each day is filled with things that God wants us to do and he wants us to keep our minds focused on these duties. If we knew what was in the future it is possible that we would be so excited over the good things ahead and so worried about the bad that we would overlook the things God wants us to do now.

 

A lamp reveals enough so that we know the next step we need to take. When we take that step we carry the lamp forward and its light reveals the next step. That is how God’s guidance works. He shows us what our present duty is and only after we carry out that duty does he reveal the next thing he wants us to do. We don’t need to know our future because God knows it and if we obey him he will prepare us for the dangers and opportunities that are ahead. He will give us the information we need when we need it.

 

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Cornelius

Theophilus, I like that you're trying to find meaning in scripture. But, I can't agree with your position. Flashlights didn't exist when the Bible was written, so a lamp was the only choice for Psalms. Lamps are what travelers used in biblical times. I also think God's guidance is as much long-range as short-range.

 

Maybe in a 100 years, someone will explain why Psalms mentions is lamp instead of a corneal mapping display.

 

There's another argument for lamps which you could have used. A single flashlight works well for one person, but horribly for multiple people. A single lamp works well for multiple people. Maybe God wants us to travel alongside our brothers, so he gave us a lamp instead of a flashlight.

 

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RS Presbyterian
Theophilus, I like that you're trying to find meaning in scripture. But, I can't agree with your position. Flashlights didn't exist when the Bible was written, so a lamp was the only choice for Psalms. Lamps are what travelers used in biblical times. I also think God's guidance is as much long-range as short-range.

 

Maybe in a 100 years, someone will explain why Psalms mentions is lamp instead of a corneal mapping display.

 

There's another argument for lamps which you could have used. A single flashlight works well for one person, but horribly for multiple people. A single lamp works well for multiple people. Maybe God wants us to travel alongside our brothers, so he gave us a lamp instead of a flashlight.

 

 

I think the bible is both a lamp and a flashlight. It's a lamp unto our feet when we make decisions to obey the Lord yet it's also a flashlight that points and reveals the end of road: the hero of redemption's story, Christ Jesus and His plan to save His people.

 

So I guess the bible is a telescoping lantern?? :P

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