O for a thousand tongues to sing, my great Redeemer's praise, Thou the risen of my God and King, Thou triumphs of His grace.
This is Lestare Braley Jr. welcoming you to another broadcast of the Baptist Bible Hour. I have sworn and will perform it, I will keep Thy judgments bright. I'm afflicted, Lord, in torment, Strengthen me, nor lift my might, Because Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, And a light unto my path. Because Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, And a light unto my path.
Lord, accept the offerings of my vow, Teach me, Lord, Thy judgment so. O, my soul's continually in my hand, Yet I'll not forget Thy law. Because Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, And a light unto my path. Because Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, And a light unto my path.
They have laid a snare to bind my feet, Yet have faltered none more strain. Let Thy heritage, my heart rejoice, I'm inclined to perform all ways. Because Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, And a light unto my path. Because Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, And a light unto my path. Well, as we work our way through Psalm 119, earlier this week, our subject, God's Word, is settled, and then we moved on to loving the Word, and now we come today. The Word is our guide, and indeed, it should be in every detail of our life.
If you'd like to help with the support of the program, you can go to our website at BaptistBibleHour.org and make a donation there. I've had the experience a few times in years gone by, walking on a country road when it was very dark and without any light, whatever, can cause a bit of apprehension. Walking on the dark street in the city could bring fear. There can be great confusion when you're in the dark.
I've known of people who got up and though they were in the familiarity of their own home, they became disoriented because it was dark and ran into the door, and know somebody who fell down the steps—a lot of things that can happen to us if we are trying to move about, but we're in darkness. We live in a dark world, but God has provided great light for us. He has given us the light of His Word. Let's look at Psalm 119, beginning with verse 105. 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 eared not from thy precepts. Thy testimonies have I taken as an heritage forever, for they are the rejoicing of my heart. I have inclined mine heart to perform thy statutes always, even unto the end.
First, we see here guidance provided. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. There's great need for such light, because we do indeed live in a dark world. In the book of Proverbs, chapter 4, verse 19, it says, Verse 19, it says, The way of the wicked is darkness. They know not at what they stumble. The way of the wicked. There's much wickedness in the world. There are many wicked people who do not honor God, who make no attempt to observe His commandments. And so these who are described as being wicked are in darkness, and they stumble, but they don't even recognize it.
They don't know at what they stumble. There is darkness about us in this world. We find in the book of Ephesians, chapter 6, reference to this fact, when the children of God are told to prepare themselves for living under such circumstances by putting on the whole armor of God. Ephesians, chapter 6, and verse 12, For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. This is why it tells us in the eleventh verse that we are to put on the whole armor of God, that we may be able to stand, stand against the wiles of the devil. This is a major battle.
This is not something that can be taken lightly. We are wrestling, not against flesh and blood, not against human strength and ingenuity, but against powers, rulers, the rulers of what? The darkness of this world. So, seeing that we are surrounded by those that are wicked, who are in the dark, and that the principalities and powers against which we are in combat are the rulers of the darkness of this world, we understand that there is a great need for light. Darkness in the scripture is often equated to ignorance, as in Ephesians, chapter 4.
In fact, let's just take a moment and look at that. Verse 18 says, Darkness speaks of ignorance, of evil, of confusion, and in a number of passages refers directly to destruction. So there is a need, a need for light, a need for guidance because we are living in a dark world. Furthermore, there is a need because we must be alert to the possibility of deception. It's easy to be deceived if you are in the dark. People use the terminology, you know your eyes are playing tricks on you. You perceived it to be one way and it was another way.
You didn't see the reality of the situation. When we start thinking about deception, we think of the first and most significant battleground of all is our own heart. Jeremiah chapter 17 verse 9 says, The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked, who can know it?
Now that's rather alarming when you stop to think about it. That your own heart is deceitful. You can then at times make the assumption that I've kind of gotten my act together.
I'm thinking right. I'm traveling the right road. Only at a later time to discover I was confused. I was making out a case for myself that was far better than what was justified.
I was maybe looking around at others and considering myself to be superior to them and all the while you were elevated in pride and not facing the reality of the situation. So our own heart is deceitful and understanding how we can potentially deceive ourselves should make us very much aware of the fact that we need light. And we pray, Lord, search me, try me, make me to know what's within me. Lord, help me as I travel this path indeed to be dependent upon that lamp that thou hast provided.
The light of thy word to give me guidance that I may be able to see clearly. Not only do we have to be aware of the potential deception of our own heart, but the deception that can be brought about and encouraged by false teachers. In the book of Titus chapter 1 and verse 10, Paul says, For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, especially they of the circumcision, whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not for filthy lucre's sake. Here are these described then as being unruly, they're not submissive, they're not submissive to the truth of God. They are vain talkers, they may talk a lot, they may be very articulate as they express themselves, but they're talking as vain. What they say is empty and they are deceivers.
Surely there are multitudes in the world today who would fit that category. Who are in the process of deceiving others. I've been in communication with a young man in Africa for several months now as I'm trying to guide him in the study of God's word because he feels a burden to preach it and has had very little instruction. And he said recently about how it burdens him to see the false doctrine that is prevalent in the part of the country where he lives and how many people are deceived by it and taken in by it.
Certainly we can see in our own country how we've reached that time that people have itching ears and they seek out teachers that are going to satisfy their carnal interest rather than being faithful to the word of God. False teachers then are deceivers, they often confuse multitudes and we need the light of God's word to give us direction. And then of course the devil himself is the greatest deceiver of all.
In the book of Revelation chapter 20 and verse 10 it says, And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. The devil that deceived them. The devil then is the great deceiver.
That's his work. That was his work in the Garden of Eden when Eve was deceived. And ever since that time he has attempted to deceive others. So understanding that we have such an adversary, we need to be alert to those deceptions, the potential deception that can be brought about by his ongoing attacks against truth.
Second Corinthians chapter 11 verse 13 says, Notice how many times the words are repeated in these passages we're looking at talking about those that are deceitful. And he says in verse 14, Now we're nearing that season of the year when people like to put on all kinds of strange costumes and have unique figures hanging sometimes on their doors and at various other places. And in some cases they have that which would supposedly represent the devil. And I guess the figure in which we see him most frequently presented is some kind of a red creature with a pitchfork and a long tail and there's nothing appealing about him or attractive. And you can just rest assured that's not how Satan looks and that's not how he presents himself.
If Satan is going to deceive somebody, he's not going to come at them in some despicable outfit that's going to strike fear. He's going to do what this text says, transforms himself into an angel of light. His message is going to be smooth, it's frequently going to be logical, it's going to have some appeal to it.
He's often going to use people that have a very charismatic personality that are very easy to listen to. So by this method, he deceives. This being the case, we need guidance. We need guidance to overcome the potential deception of our own heart, the deception by false teachers, the deception by direct attacks by the devil himself. Now according to this passage, what we need has been provided. Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path. We read a moment ago in the fourth chapter of the book of Proverbs, that which is spoken concerning the wicked. Look at the contrast in the preceding verse, Proverbs 4.18, But the path of the just is as the shining light that shineth more and more unto the perfect day, the path of the just. Now we know that no man is just in himself for all of sin and comes short of the glory of God. If any of us then stand before God as just, it's because we've been justified. We've been declared to be just.
The righteousness of Christ is imputed to us and therefore we are righteous in Him. So the path of the just is as the shining light, where the way of the wicked is darkness, darkness. And then in chapter 6, also Proverbs chapter 6 verse 23, For the commandment is a lamp, and the law is light, and reproofs of instruction are the way of life. The commandments of God then are a lamp, providing light so we can know how to walk.
His law is light. Much darkness in the world, the vain speculations of men, the philosophies that often are readily accepted and very popular provide only confusion and darkness. Because for the most part, God is left out.
Or if it's even acknowledged, the truth about Him is distorted and misrepresented. It's not in harmony with what God has revealed about Himself in His Word. But the commandments of God are as a lamp for us. How do we find such expressions in the Old Testament and as we do in our text here in Psalm 119 which continuously talks about the tremendous value of the Word of God and what it means to us in a practical way in our walk. But going to the New Testament, we look at 2 Peter chapter 1 verse 19. We have also a more sure word of prophecy.
Now that's really a remarkable statement. When you realize that Peter, who penned these words, was present with Jesus Christ on numerous occasions, and was there when he refers in verse 17 to the voice of the Father speaking saying, This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from heaven we heard when we were with Him in the Holy Mount. Now we would generally conclude that if we'd been present, if we were there to see Jesus Christ, we were able to behold Him with our own eyes and we heard the voice of His Father speak from heaven, This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased. This would be the ultimate as far as any evidence was concerned.
There couldn't be anything to surpass that. But look what he says, We also have a more sure word of prophecy whereunto ye do well to take heed as unto a light that shineth in a dark place until the day dawn and the day star arise in your hearts. Knowing this first that no prophecy of scripture is of any private interpretation. Making it clear that we must look on the scripture as a whole, not picking some text out of its context to make it mean what we want it to mean, but to take it in its setting and take it in conjunction with other passages of scripture. But we have this sure word of prophecy which he describes as more sure than what he experienced when he was on the mountain and heard the very voice of God. So how can we say that we are deprived, that we don't have today what somebody had in some previous generation.
What we have is exactly what God intended for us to have. And Jesus said when I go away the comforter is going to come and we have the comforter, the Holy Spirit of God to guide us. So we read in the book of 1 Corinthians chapter 2 and it tells us that the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God but they are revealed to us by the Spirit. The Spirit of God makes us to know it and understand it by His power working in us. So the provision is there. Now to say that could possibly leave somebody saying well I believe that's right but how do I apply that?
What does that mean? Well there are a lot of people that say I believe the Bible but they differ dramatically in their opinion about what the Bible teaches. So if there's all of this possibility of deception and my own heart could deceive me, how can I know what's right? What does the Bible really say? Well we've noticed throughout this psalm that the writer was continually praying for divine guidance. He expressed gratitude for the word, appreciation for the law, the commandments, the statutes of God but he was continually praying teach me. So first of all we've got to have a humble spirit as we come to the book. We don't come there with preconceived ideas trying to prove what we've already decided we want to believe. We come there praying Lord be my teacher, guide me and then this principle of not just removing a text from its context but looking at what the Bible in its entirety may present.
I'll illustrate it like this. I was brought up to believe that God loved every member of the human race without exception and that he wanted to save all of them. In fact that he was doing everything he could conceivably do to save them.
But it was impossible for him to save all that he would like because some had hard hearts and stubborn wills and they would not give in. When I first started making an effort to preach, that's what I preached because that's what I had been taught, that's what I understood the Bible to teach. But at a later time I began to come across these passages in Ephesians 1 and Romans 8 about God making choice of a people and predestinating them. And my first reaction was that can't possibly mean that because that doesn't fit what I've already been taught. And I remember one day feeling like that I had light dawned from heaven as I struggled with those passages and thought what on earth can this mean? And you know at the moment I thought I'm probably one of the few people that ever thought of this. This has just really come clear to me.
This simply means that God looked down through time and saw who would make the right choice and he chose them. That's simple. My views were intact.
I didn't have to make any adjustment. That would fit well with what I already believed. But there was something about it that troubled me. I kept coming across other passages that taught the same thing. And as I prayed the Lord to direct me, I one day came across Psalm 14 verse 2. The Lord looked down from heaven upon the children of men.
That sounded like that was going to be my text because that's what I was thinking. The Lord looked down. He looked down through time and saw what man was going to do. But when I read this it said he looked down from heaven upon the children of men to see if there were any that did understand and seek God. They are all gone aside. They are all together become filthy.
There's none that doeth good, no not one. There went my theory. I said, what I thought just won't work because when God looked down from heaven he didn't see anybody coming toward him. There was none that sought God, none that loved him, none that would come. Well, you see how the Word of God can correct our erroneous thinking.
I've talked to people that had this explanation. Oh, they said we know that the Bible says something about election and about predestination, but you must realize that that speaks only of the Jews. That's talking about people with regard to their national status before God. It has nothing to do with individual salvation. But then you go to Romans 9 24 and it says, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles. Well, that's the end of that argument.
Not just Jews, but Gentiles. And that whole passage is talking about how God saves sinners, that it's not of him that willeth nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy. So, we need the light of God's Word to establish doctrine, to establish what we believe, what we embrace as far as the truth about God, about man, about salvation, about how God brings about the salvation of fallen sinners. Well, I'm glad you've been with us today. Hope you'll be back tomorrow for part two of this message. Our address, if you'd like to write to us, is Baptist Bible Hour, Box 17037, Cincinnati, Ohio 45217. Now, until we greet you at this same time tomorrow, this is LaSara Bradley, Jr. bidding you goodbye and may God bless you. Praising my Savior, Praising my Savior, Praising my Savior, All the day long.
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