The Aura of the Lamp

Picture of a typical clay lamp from Israel.

A typical clay lamp

Occasionally I bite off more than I can chew when it comes to hiking. The sun sets before I get back to camp. I finish the hike, in the dark, with just a tiny flashlight to show the way. But it always amazes me how effective that light is. It reminds me of another of the names of God and our walk of faith with Him.

David spoke of God as “my lamp.”

For You are my lamp, O Lord;
And the Lord illumines my darkness.
(2 Samuel 22:29)

The lamp was no flashlight, though. The tiny, oil-filled clay holder cast a dim aura of light—just enough for a person to take one step at a time.1 That is exactly what a faith walk is meant to be like.

If God sat us down for an annual briefing and handed us a schedule for the coming year, ours would not be a walk of faith. Certainly God does reveal some events ahead of time in order to prepare us, but mostly He wants us to stay close to Him—the source of light. When we have relationship, we have less need for a plan.

In order to walk in the light we must go where the Light goes. When God moves ahead, we must follow; when He changes course, we must be ready to respond. When David described God as “my lamp” He understood that God is no inanimate tool. Rather, David knew God as a living personality, a sovereign Lord who decides the best path and expects us to follow. Our walk of faith depends on relationship. If we are close to God and attuned to His voice it will be easiest to remain in the light of His wisdom and guidance. It’s like walking in a pool of light cast by a lamp.

On my unplanned night-hikes I notice that I become more alert to sounds: the crack of a branch that could only be caused by a huge, fanged beast, a distant howl that seems to be rapidly closing in. Straining the senses to penetrate the darkness of complex problems and uncertain futures unnerves us. The best remedy for those unwanted adrenaline rushes is focus—focus on the light cast by the lamp. Step by step and hand in hand with God we will reach our destination.

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  1. Adapted from: The Name Quest – explore the names of God to grow in faith and get to know Him better, by John Avery, Morgan James Publishing, 2014. Used with permission. []

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