Perhaps the first thing to think about is: what is a lamp and when do we need one?
A lamp in those days is probably synonymous to what we call a lantern or torchlight 🔦 today. They’re used amidst darkness to give a little light. Better said, the light from a lamp is sufficient enough to help us take the next step but never enough to completely clear out the darkness. In the dark, you must rely on the lamp to know the right step to take i.e. any step you take without it would likely be the wrong one. This also means that if you’ve been walking without a lamp, just start using it and you’ll find your way back to the right track no matter how far off you had gone, but you need to use it consistently.
Another analogy to use in thinking about this is the lights of a car. They illumine the path ahead of us but only enough for us to have the confidence to keep driving but never bright enough to illumine the entire way up to our destination.
So, the word of God being a lamp suggests a principle in how God works or guides His children. He may tell us His plans for us many years out but how we get there we only figure out one step at a time, like the peeling of a boiled egg. Get the gist?
Now, three Bible stories that explain this:
1) In the Lord’s prayer, Jesus said we should ask: “give us this day our DAILY bread”. Daily bread, not bread for the week or year, but for the day. God tells us not to worry about tomorrow because today has enough trouble of its own. When we read Exodus 16, the story about God providing manna for the Israelites, we see that He provided for them daily and today’s provision was sufficient enough for that day alone.
2) God told David when he was probably about 15 years old that He will be king but this didn’t come to pass until 15 years later. He became King of Judah at 30 and King of all Israel 7.5 years later. He writes so much in the book of Psalms about how he disired to do God’s will and the law of God being in His heart. So we know David was trying his best to walk with God daily but we also know that he didn’t make perfect decisions during this wait. But God says all things work together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. So the testimony says of David – he was a man after God’s own heart.
3) God showed Joseph in a dream at probably about 17 years old that he would be a prominent man, having his family bow down to him. But this didn’t come to pass for another roughly 13 years when he was 30 years old. We know that Joseph remained faithful to God and obeyed God’s word, being diligent in his work, having a spirit of excellence in all that he did. It was in this wilderness season that Joseph learnt leadership skills (in Potiphar’s house and in prison); learnt to interprete dreams; learnt patience, perseverance and long suffering (when the Butler forgot him for 2 whole years! 😭); learnt to control his sexual urges (!!!); learnt to walk daily with God despite all the pagan worldly attractions that surrounded him in the most powerful kingdom on earth. Basically his wilderness season was his training ground to enable him receive, but more importanly, manage and sustain the blessing that God was sending his way.
In all these examples, it was a daily walk. They had their eyes on a prize but remained in lockstep with God as they navigated this life. What do we know about tomorrow outside of God? Vapor!
Note that Prov 4:18-19 talks about the way of the righteous man being like the first gleam of the sun, shining ever brighter unto the perfect day. This sheds even further light on this principle. As we go through life with God’s word, our understanding of His ways expands. As we follow the new light we’ve been shown, even more light is given to us. When we don’t follow, we stagnate, then even the former light dims till we end up blind and in darkness like the wicked. 💔 We may not always see how the dots are connecting but when we trust in the Lord with all our heart and lean not on our own understanding but acknowledge Him in all our ways, we can be super sure that He is directing our paths and all those dots will surely connect. 👌🏾
In summary: the word of God gives us sufficient light to take the next step but never enough to illumine the entire pathway in front of us. As we walk in the path the lamp shows us, we receive even greater light, enabling us to see clearer the markings of the path ahead of us. Like God provided daily for the Israelites, guiding David and Joseph towards their calling, He will guide us DAILY on the path we should go. Don’t be like the foolish man who sees danger coming but doesn’t plan (Prov 22:3) but plan you must, committing them all to God and He will determine the steps you should take, making your plans succeed in accordance with His will (Prov 16:1, 3, 9). This is the confidence that we have that whatever we ask of Him, in accordance with His will, we know that He hears us, and because we know that He hears us, He will grant us the desires of our heart (1 John 5:14-15). BELIEVE THIS and make that Bible your best and first friend everyday! 😇🙏🏾