Sunrise over the Galilee? Almost. This quiet place is tucked inside the new Museum of the Bible in Washington, D.C. In the exhibits and floors around us are amazing high-tech displays, but not here. Just simple benches and peaceful scenery and a moment to reflect on what the Bible means to all of us.
And especially, what the Bible means to you.
When I was young and foolish, I thought the Bible was an antiquated book of rules, a boring list of thou-shalt-nots. Only after I’d come to the end of myself did I finally understand how God uses His Word — His spoken, written, living Word — to call us “out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Peter 2:9 NASB).
We are grateful, Lord. Every one of us.
As this year draws to a close and a new year beckons, many believers will choose one word for 2018. I confess, my word each year is always the same: His Word.
Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. Psalm 119:105
This cherished verse from the Psalms contains just five Hebrew words, all of them nouns. In the Hebrew Bible, they fall in this order: lamp, feet, word, light, path. That means word lands in the middle — illumined by lamp, put in motion by feet, surrounded by light, and given direction by path.
How like His Word, to be at the center of everything!
Maybe you’re thinking, “But where’s the word is?” It’s implied, but not included in this verse. Sometimes God speaks to His people in shorthand. Just the nouns. Just the facts. Just what we need.
…a lamp… Psalm 119:105
God’s Word is “a light for my journey” (CEB) and for yours, shining like a beacon, season after season.
Psalm 119:130 tells us, “The unfolding of your words gives light.” Truth is, the whole of Psalm 119 sings the praises of God’s Word, and each verse is more delicious than the last:
- “I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word.” 119:16
- “Your word, Lord, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens.” 119:89
- “How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!” 119:103
Like I said, delicious.
Over the last year, you and I have spent time together in His Word, exploring the stories of His women all through Lent and Advent. We’ve written His Word on our hearts, and applied His Word in our lives, grateful the Bible “guides” (ERV) us every minute of every hour.
Verse by verse, we’ve discovered the lamp of His Word is sufficient to banish the darkness from our hearts and light the path ahead. When we don’t know what to do, we still know where to turn.
…for my feet… Psalm 119:105
How personal this verse is! Not just anyone’s feet, not just anyone’s path. Yours, beloved, and mine too.
As I’ve walked out my cancer journey this year, strengthened by your prayers, I’ve learned that everything the Bible says about God is the absolute truth. He is exceedingly faithful and endlessly merciful, “keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commandments” (Deuteronomy 7:9).
Where are His commandments recorded? Where is His covenant written?
In His Word.
Your word… Psalm 119:105
The Museum of the Bible exists because people who love God’s Word wanted a place where everyone could engage with the most important Book ever written. You could easily spend days there, taking it all in. Nine days of eight hours each, our guide said. Or you could take a minute or two right now and marvel at the possibilities.
In Psalm 119, His Word goes by many names: His laws, His statutes, His ways, His precepts, His decrees, His commands, His promises. Each one points us to the One who spoke our world into existence, then bathed it in light. “And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light” (Genesis 1:3).
His light shines still.
…a light… Psalm 119:105
Sometimes this word in Hebrew points specifically to “dawn” or “daylight,” that hour of the morning when the sun crests the horizon and night quickly fades.
Putting the Bible at the center of our lives is like walking through the house turning on lights. Ah, that’s better. Yes, that’s brighter. The Message paraphrases Psalm 119:105, “By your words I can see where I’m going; they throw a beam of light on my dark path.” Exactly so. The light of His Word keeps us from stumbling and helps us find our way.
Speaking of following His leading, may I share some exciting news? On January 6th, I’ll begin letting this little light of mine shine on the Faith Radio Network with a new weekend program, Word by Word with Liz Curtis Higgs. Saturday mornings at 9:30am CT, and again Sunday afternoons at 4:30pm CT, we’ll walk through the stories in Scripture (you got it) word by word. Broadcast or podcast, join me?
…on my path. Psalm 119:105
Not just any route, but “the path I should take” (ERV). The correct path, the best path.
This path God laid out for us long ago is full of surprises for us — but not for God. He knows the way and shows the way. He walks before us, behind us, beside us. He guides us “along the right paths for his name’s sake” (Psalm 23:3), and His Word promises us, “in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight” (Proverbs 3:6).
So, here is this month’s verse, carved into the marble walls of the Museum of the Bible (and sung by Amy Grant, if you’re in the mood for music).
Finally, it wouldn’t be Christmas without a little gift giving.
This year, it’s my latest book, 31 Proverbs to Light Your Path, on audio CD, including every word of the original book, read by your Lizzie.
On December 27, I chose 5 winners at random from all those who commented here. Congrats to Linda, Beth, Dorsee, Jodel Ann, and Ashley!
Until next month, dear friend, the merriest of Christmases to you and yours, as we celebrate that glorious day when “the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us” (John 1:14).
Your sister, Liz
P.S. On a personal note, with surgery, radiation, and five chemo sessions behind me, I have just one chemo treatment left on January 17. Then, as the Lord wills, I’ll be done! About a month later, I’ll have a CAT scan to see if I’m cancer free. So grateful for all He has taught me and all the ways you’ve encouraged and supported me!