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Need a Light in the Dark? (Psalm 119:105)
By Rev Peter Chan
Nov 2020

Your word is a lamp to my feet
and a light for my path.
Psalm 119:105

It has been more than nine months since the start of the Covid-19 Pandemic hit Singapore in February 2020. By middle of March, our Government sensed the situation was worsening and needed to put the situation under control and so a “Circuit Breaker” was introduced for two months in April to early June. Situation turned for the better for a while until we were almost overwhelmed by the huge clusters of infections in the dormitories.

Since February, the Singapore Government had introduced Covid-19 Relief Packages to support Singaporeans and the economy. Without these reliefs, the situation could be worse. However, these support schemes could not and should not be continued indefinitely. Thus, the inevitable happened, businesses folded up or are under serious threat of survival. Employees have to be put on leave or retrenched. Already the number of Singaporeans retrenched has been rising, though the official figures suggest some of them managed to be re-employed within weeks or months.

Besides economics concerns, there are reports of the rise of domestic violence in Singapore. Also, there is rise in number of people struggling with mental wellness. No doubts, in a highly urbanised and fast-paced society, domestic violence and mental wellness have always been a challenge, but they are now magnified and intensified by the Covid-19 Pandemic, with no end in sight yet!

In the international arena, the world is still struggling to bring the pandemic under control. In European Union (EU), the third or fourth wave of infections is sweeping across member countries. In the US, with the heat of the Presidential Elections going on, the Covid-19 crisis being politicised, and the society being deeply divided, efforts to control the pandemic are hijacked by politicians and their agenda.

Besides the Covid-19 Pandemic, we see the rising tensions between China and several countries – US and Australia. While the world is in an unprecedented disease crisis, some politicians are exploiting the situation to be their playground. International institutions that provided global order have been discredited and discarded – e.g. UN, WHO, and WTO.

As I describe the domestic and international situations, I am sure you share my sense of feeling worried and frustrated. In fact, sometimes, I am overwhelmed by fears about the developments of the world around me. The world seems to be in a situation where hope is bleak and maybe absent!

This morning, as I woke up, I was thinking of Psalm 119:105, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.”. With foregoing scenarios I have described, we need the Word of God as our lamp and light ever more!

The Word of God is a lamp. This is a befitting picture of the Word of God. It illumines our world, our lives. When the world around you seems darker, reach out for the Word of God and allow its truths to light up your world.

For example, worried about jobs and livelihood? Look to Matthew 6:19–34. Jesus exhorted listeners to trust God as heavenly Father who knows, is able, and willing to supply your foods and clothing – the necessities of life. You might sneer at it as being idealistic or naïve. But, the people of Jesus’ time in Palestine was experiencing economic hardships too! Will you allow the thought God as your heavenly Father to light up your world today, trusting that He knows, is able, and willing to meet your needs?

We do not know the full extent of the situation of the Psalmist. But, from the little here and there, in this Psalm, it seems that he had enemies and was under threats. If you and I were in his shoes, we would be preoccupied with resolving the problems. Yet, listen to what the Psalmist says:

110     The wicked have set a snare for me, 
but I have not strayed from your precepts.
111     Your statutes are my heritage forever; 
they are the joy of my heart.
112     My heart is set on keeping your decrees 
to the very end.

In the midst of troubles and tribulations, where his world seemed darkening and hopes seems diminishing, he reached out to the Word of God to be his lamp, light, heritage, and joy!

The Word of God is a lamp, but the trouble is that we are not reaching out for it when we are struggling in a dimming and darkening world. Sadly, we allow ourselves to live as people living and walking without a torch or light (the Word of God) in the dark!

Father in heaven, praise be to You! Thank You for giving us Your Word, the Bible, as a lamp to our feet, and a light to our paths. Help me to love Your Word, for in it I find wisdom, faith, hope, and love – i.e. light for a dimming world that I am living in! In Jesus’ Name. Amen .


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