Psalms 119:105-112 KJV Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.  I have sworn, and I will perform it, that I will keep thy righteous judgments.  I am afflicted very much: quicken me, O LORD, according unto thy word.  Accept, I beseech thee, the freewill offerings of my mouth, O LORD, and teach me thy judgments.  My soul is continually in my hand: yet do I not forget thy law.  The wicked have laid a snare for me: yet I erred not from thy precepts.  Thy testimonies have I taken as an heritage for ever: for they are the rejoicing of my heart.  I have inclined mine heart to perform thy statutes alway, even unto the end.
Psalms 119:105 MSG By your words I can see where I'm going; they throw a beam of light on my dark path.
I. INTRODUCTION—THE SUFFICIENCY OF SCRIPTURE
-I again find myself at a place where the love for Scripture has captured me again. I have just returned from the Atlanta Doctrinal Conference and was very much caught up with the sessions of Brother Dan Seagraves. Much of his time was spent on the relationship that Jesus Christ has with the Psalms.
-In fact, I learned that the book of Psalms is the most quoted book in the New Testament followed by Isaiah and then Deuteronomy.
-As I listened to him, my mind was again drawn back into the concept of the power of the Word in the believer’s life. You can literally unleash God’s power, one verse at a time, if you are willing to pay the price and get into it.
-Consider the scope of Scripture that is expressed in Psalm 19:
Psalms 19:7-14 KJV The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.  The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes.  The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether.  More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.  Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward.  Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults.  Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression.  Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.
-At the conference, I again found myself drawn to the command to “preach the Word!” and never have I wanted to do it more than now. Somehow I want to get the Word in your heart and your head.
-There is power in the Word!!!
• Preachers have lifted it and churches have been revived by it.
• It has been scattered about the world and the world has experienced its illumination.
• The Bible gives light to pulpits making them fortresses of truth.
• It draws men with conviction to tear-soaked altars of repentance.
• It changed John Bunyan’s prison into a church.
• It helped John Huss bear the pain when he was burning at the stake.
• It helped others as they climbed the scaffolds to be hung for their faith.
• It helped John Knox strike fear in the heart of the Queen.
-We gather our sermon title from the paraphrase, The Message, by Eugene Peterson. . . . Light Beams on Dark Paths. . .
II. THE WORD OF GOD GUIDES US
A. Guides Our Feet in Our Walk—119:105
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
-The Bible is our book. It is a book that is written to the Church and despite its great detractors from the world, it will never pass away. If you do not have a love for Scripture, I would seriously question whether a true conversion has taken place.
-The Bible uses a word for people in this condition—lost! The man who discovers the light beam on the dark path is a man who will find his way. In the passage from Psalm 119, we can note that the Book can guide us, guard us, and hearten us.
-The picture the Psalmist paints is one from the ancient days. Those who were travelling at night would have shoes designed in such a way that lamps could be attached to their feet. Because of this, their steps were guided by the lamp and their path was brightened by the light.
2 Peter 1:19 KJV We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:
-The Bible does not give us the ability to see how that all the details in our lives will be worked out, but it does show us what happens to those who follow the path of the godly. If the entire way was unfolded, we would be too terrified to walk along the sheer cliffs, and we would be very depressed about the valleys we would have to go through.
-God’s greatest men have demonstrated this in the past. God always begins in such a way that gradually heightens in the level of commitment we live out.
• God asked Abraham to give up his father and Lot long before He asked Him to give up Isaac.
• God asked Moses to pull off his shoes before He told him to go to Pharaoh.
• God asked Joshua to walk with Moses before He told him to go on alone after Moses death.
• God asked David to take care of bears and lions before He told him to kill the giants.
-God guides our feet meaning that we only take steps and not miles in our walk with Him.
Deuteronomy 33:25 KJV Thy shoes shall be iron and brass; and as thy days, so shall thy strength be.
Psalms 138:3 KJV In the day when I cried thou answeredst me, and strengthenedst me with strength in my soul.
Psalms 37:23 KJV The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.
George Mueller—The steps and stops of a good man are ordered of the Lord.
B. Guides Our Heart in Our Weakness—119:107
I am afflicted very much: quicken me, O LORD, according unto thy word.
-The affliction will come from the outside. Just a quick reading through this Psalm gives us the understanding that the writer was the object of the active dislike of some very powerful and influential enemies.
• Psalms 119:23 KJV Princes also did sit and speak against me. . .
• Psalms 119:51 KJV The proud have had me greatly in derision. . .
• Psalms 119:53 KJV Horror hath taken hold upon me because of the wicked that forsake thy law.
• Psalms 119:61 KJV The bands of the wicked have robbed me. . .
• Psalms 119:69 KJV The proud have forged a lie against me. . .
• Psalms 119:78 KJV Let the proud be ashamed; for they dealt perversely with me without a cause. . .
• Psalms 119:85 KJV The proud have digged pits for me . . .
• Psalms 119:110 KJV The wicked have laid a snare for me. . .
• Psalms 119:134 KJV Deliver me from the oppression of man. . .
• Psalms 119:157 KJV Many are my persecutors and mine enemies. . .
• Psalms 119:161 KJV Princes have persecuted me without a cause. . .
-Then we note the words, “Quicken me!” Revive me, breathe life into me, and help me. Affliction from the outside and depression from the inside but the Word of the Lord brought him great hope and comfort.
-The Word of God deals with anxiety, guilt, and depression. It can destroy our fears and with all of the other negative feelings that try to torture us on the inside. It is just a matter of learning how to use the Word of the Lord to your advantage.
-Put your trust in the Lord and in His Word. Eddie James summed up who God is in a song simply entitled “I Am.”
Verse 1: I am the Lord, I’m the Almighty God
I am the One for when nothing is too hard
I am the Shepherd and I am the Door
I am the Good news to the bound and the poor
Verse 2: I am the righteous One and I am the Lamb,
I am the Ram in the bush for Abraham,
I am the Ultimate Sacrifice for sin,
I am your Redeemer, the Beginning and the End
Verse 3: I am Jehovah, and I am the King,
I am Messiah, David’s Offspring,
I am your High Priest, and I am the Christ,
I am the Resurrection, I am the Life
Verse 4: I am the Bread, and I am the Wine,
I am your Future, so leave your past behind.
I am the One in the midst of two or three,
I am your Tabernacle, I am your Jubilee.
Verse 5: I am Hope, I am Peace, I am Joy, I am Rest,
Oh I am your Comfort, and Relief from your stress,
I am Strength, I am Faith, I am Love, I am Power,
And today I am your Freedom, this very hour.
C. Guards Our Lives From Our Enemies—Psalm 119:110
The wicked have laid a snare for me: yet I erred not from thy precepts.
-The psalmist’s heart was in his mouth because of the danger of being snared by his enemies. It seemed as if traps were all about him. Our attention turns to David in this instance.
-Saul had laid a trap for him by offering his daughter Merab, the eldest, as his wife. David had fulfilled the condition of killing Goliath (1 Samuel 17:25). So now the snare becomes clear to David. He is being tested to see if he is a curtain-climber, a back-slapper, or a man who is politically ambitious.
-Saul is clearly looking to see if Merab is going to be his avenue of opportunity but David is careful and pleads with Saul. . . I am but a nobody and unfit to gain such an honor as to be a son-in-law to the king. So Saul allows Merab to marry someone else.
-But waiting in the wings was another younger daughter of Saul, Michal, who fell in love with David. Saul gave his consent but in doing so he said, “I will give him her that she may be a snare to him” (1 Samuel 18:21-22).
-But David did not err from the precepts of the Lord and was preserved numerous times from the snares laid by Saul. If you know the Word of the Lord it can keep you from wrong-doing.
-The devil hates those who are godly and is constantly trying to lay snares to destroy them. Yet the reality of it is that he will use people to accomplish his task.
• Haman laid a snare to destroy Esther and her people.
• Herod laid a snare that did destroy John the Baptist.
• The scribes and Pharisees laid a snare to destroy the Lord.
• Temptations are snares.
• Backslidings are snares.
• Cunning craftiness and every wind of doctrine are snares.
• The counsel of the ungodly is a snare.
• The seat of the scornful is a snare.
-Choose not to err from the precepts of the Lord.
-When it seems like we are almost down to our last straw of hope. . . consider the prayer of the Lord that was not just for Peter but for all of those who are called by the Lord.
Luke 22:31-32 KJV And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:  But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.
-No other way for us to have known the Lord was praying for us except through this strange conversation between the Lord and Peter which is in the Bible—my light beam for dark paths.
III. CONCLUSION—THE HERITAGE OF THE BIBLE
Thy testimonies have I taken as an heritage for ever: for they are the rejoicing of my heart.
-One of the most priceless treasures that I have is the Bible. A heritage is something that you have inherited and the Word of God has been passed down through history to our hands today. Yet the Bible only yields its treasures under certain conditions.
There was a man who once lived who had three sons. These three sons believed their father was very wealthy because he was so secretive about it. They secretly longed for the time when he would die and the great inheritance would be passed on to them. The problem with his sons was their leanings toward laziness.
One day the old man got sick and the doctors confirmed that his time for this world was not long. The three boys gathered around their father hoping that he might express the amount of his perceived wealth. So on that day, he told the boys that the secret to his wealth was found in a vast vineyard. The boys left there and begin to dig hoping to find a buried box of treasure.
They toiled for months being very careful not to damage the vines. In the course of time they dug over every inch of that huge vineyard and did not find a thing. But that fall their vineyard produced the finest crop of grapes on record. It was only then that the boys realized what their wise father had done. He had forced them to stop loafing around and instead cultivate the vineyard. The secret of his wealth was the vines and when they were properly taken care of, would keep them wealthy too.
-Our heritage—The Word—is even more priceless but it will never yield its wealth to us without work. When we are willing to work at it, the Bible will load your life with spiritual wealth that is beyond this world.
July 17, 2011