The phrase “Your Word is a Lamp to My Feet” reveals to us that there is only one source of wisdom and knowledge, namely God. With all this, the psalmist wrote this because he was delighting in God’s law and that the only source of guidance and life was and is the word of God.
A Jew is taught from a very young age to have contact with God’s laws, also known as Mosaic law. This makes him a well-educated man later on. The lamp can have several meanings in the Bible, in some contexts it can represent the soul, in others it can represent the word of God.
We could interpret it this way – Jesus is the way. That is, because it is a lamp that points the way to the father. A bulb needs to be in good condition to work. You need to have something inside, for it to actually work and begin to illuminate others around you.
This verse is seen in the greatest psalm of the Holy Bible, namely, Psalm Number 119.
The intriguing thing is to see that the psalmist says: “Your Word is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path”. Obviously, the psalm is completed by “light for my path.” For this reason, some interpreters suggest that the expression lamp for my feet is the law of God.
Any man can have access to God’s law, however, it is necessary to understand the word so that it can actually guide his steps. The expression “Your word” refers to the logos of God, which is the same expression used by the evangelist John in the gospel that goes by his name (John 1).
It is the verb of God (logos), that is, the word of God, which is Christ.
Lamp for my feet
Evidently, when a man walks in darkness, the chance of him tripping is gigantic, but when there is light, the probability of him slipping and falling is at a very high percentage. He is able to take firmer steps and thus remove all risk of falling into the bird’s snare – this is because in the Psalm it says that death can strike during the day.
Keeping our lamp burning is about nourishing our life with the words of God. However, we can say that the lamp the psalmist is referring to is the life of man and that the word of God is the source of life that will bring light. Jesus says: “I am the light of the world”, note that Jesus does not say he is the lamp, but rather the light. The light speaks of the essence or character, because it is something that is inside the lamp, which makes the lamp useful for use.
The unknown psalmist who writes the psalm is someone who knows very well the weight of God’s word, he knows that the man who walks by the word is someone who will walk in light on his journey on earth.
Researchers say that at the time the psalm was written, lamps were not made like the ones we know today, which illuminate the entire house. The lamps were very limited and only illuminated the path along which their feet were traveling – if the journey was at night. In other words, it only provided light for the next step – that’s when the psalmist’s expression gains strength “your word is a lamp for my feet”.
According to the Bible, it is impossible for the lamp to mean the Holy Spirit. This is because several verses in the Bible do not support this. For example, the book of Exodus says, “And Aaron shall burn the incense of spices upon it: every morning, when he set the lamps in order, he shall burn it.” (Exodus 30:7).
The reason why there is no way to represent the Holy Spirit is “when you put the lamps in order” – that is, for this reason alone it is understood that it is impossible to symbolize the Spirit, this is because the Holy Spirit is God and God does not need to place himself in order. For this reason, the lamps symbolize man, the soul or the law of God.
The book of Job also describes the lamp as the knowledge of the Most High “When he made his lamp shine on my head, and when I walked through darkness by his light.” In other words, the lamp is God’s law on man’s mind to give him understanding. Therefore, the interpretation of the lamps will depend greatly from context to context. Another example is seen in Psalm 132:17 “I have prepared a lamp for my anointed.” In other words, here it is about the Messiah who would incarnate as a man, the lamp means a body, a body for God’s anointed. Furthermore, it will say in another verse “but you prepared a body for me” (Hebrews 10:5).
Even more, the bible speaks for itself, it says in Proverbs 6:23 “For the commandment is a lamp, and the law is light; and reproofs of correction are the way of life.”
It is practically what the psalmist illustrates that the lamp for the feet is God’s commandment – it is the Torah. And the law is light, because it is through the law that establishes the principles. It is through the law that knowledge of truth and clarity come.
Because, in this case, the lamp represents God’s commandment, which is obedience to his words.
Finally, the lamp is the spirit of man, it has to do with man who needs God’s law to have light in his lamp or lamp.
In Proverbs it says the following: “The spirit of man is the lamp of the LORD,” (20:27). Man must be filled with superfluity of words when it comes to the law of God, which is light for his path. Contrary to this, James, brother of the Lord Jesus, warns us that we must remove all filth and superfluity from the malice that wants to extinguish the light of God in our lives (James 1:21).