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Covid-19 Devotionals

Lamps

The heavy rains during the summer months revealed an ongoing leak from the roof of the outbuildings falling just outside the entrance door. Coupled to this is a small problem in the main house roof. I had the contractors come and inspect today because I would like these two things repaired.

The young man who came needed a light to check the roof above the ceiling in the passage. I let him use the flashlight I use for game drives at night. It is a 10W LED spotlight with a range of 500 meters. He used this to see where the problem was and later asked me where I bought the spotlight. Once I told him, he said he lives on a plot and because the nearest neighbor is quite far, a good light is needed to investigate noises at night. Torches, flash lights, spotlight and flood lights are used for a variety of reasons, especially in the dark.

Mt 25:1 “At that time the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish and five were wise. 3 The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them. 4 The wise, however, took oil in jars along with their lamps. 5 The bridegroom was a long time in coming, and they all became drowsy and fell asleep.

6 “At midnight the cry rang out: ‘Here’s the bridegroom! Come out to meet him!’ 7 “Then all the virgins woke up and trimmed their lamps. 8 The foolish ones said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil; our lamps are going out.’

9 “ ‘No,’ they replied, ‘there may not be enough for both us and you. Instead, go to those who sell oil and buy some for yourselves.’

10 “But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut.

11 “Later the others also came. ‘Sir! Sir!’ they said. ‘Open the door for us!’ 12 “But he replied, ‘I tell you the truth, I don’t know you.’

13 “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour.”

On five occasions the word “lamp” is mentioned. It is difficult to determine whether a lamp or torch is meant in the original text. For such occasions, a staff with a bronze dish containing rags, pitch and oil was normally used. Others would carry a pot of oil in the one hand and a lamp full of oily rags in the other. It is therefore difficult to say categorically that these virgins carried a torch or a lamp.

Whatever they carried, they needed a source to replenish the oil when it ran out … so they were obliged to carry extra containers with oil or to have the extra containers filled when required. An oriental wedding was an elaborate affair with every effort made to have as much “light” as possible because weddings were at night … note verse 6 … “at midnight”. During the marriage procession and at the bridegroom’s home where the ceremony was performed, lanterns, torches and lamps were used. Interestingly, only vegetable oils (especially olive oil) was used in the lanterns, torches and lamps.

Different people have different reasons why we use lighting. One says, “Proper lighting can enhance task performance, improve the appearance of an area, or have positive psychological effects on occupants. Indoor lighting is usually accomplished using light fixtures, and is a key part of interior design. Lighting can also be an intrinsic component of landscape projects.”

Another says, “Mood and ambience, functionality & light levels, general lighting, task lighting, accent lighting and lighting for security.”

Still another says, “There are physical and chemical processes at play. The red rose is red because it reflects only the light waves that our eyes interpret as red. The diamond sparkles because when all of the light is reflected, but it refracted into all of the wavelengths. The light finds the beauty and sends portions of itself back at you so that you can see it. And feel it. And love it. The beauty exists independent of light, but it is the light that illuminates beauty for our eyes to see and then for our hearts to enjoy.”

A last one says, “Lights shapes the mood, makes modern life possible (to see at night), creates an atmosphere, affects emotions and creates an experience”.

It’s amazing what people come up with … all true and relevant. Yet, there is a greater source producing light that is needed by those who love and follow Jesus Christ!

The Word of God is a “light” and a “lamp”.

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

We have two words that hint on where we go and how we get there. In the Psalmist’s day, the main means of getting from one place to another was on foot, and the route he traveled was along the pathway or road. As a child of God, he is saying that where he goes morally (in the spiritual realm) and how he gets there is important. He needs God’s Word to give him directions and means. Spurgeon says, “We are walkers through the city of this world, and we are often called to go out into its darkness, let us never venture there without the light-giving word, lest we slip with our feet.” Before the Word can be a “light”, it needs to be known and understood. This requires regular reading, studying and meditation followed by praying through what you read and learn for applicatory purposes.

The Word of God gives understanding.

Ps 119:130 The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.

In all honesty, before you know Jesus as Lord, you have no true understanding about life, eternity and spiritual matters … but as the Word “unfolds” (is explained/opened up/taught), it gives light as in spiritual understanding leading to wisdom as to God’s will as opposed to the will of man or this world.

Dear Lord, please help me not to merely glimpse over Your Word but to study it in depth so that it might provide guidance to me as I make choices and decisions. I do want to be godly. I do want to honour You and I do want to prepare myself sufficiently for life, service and eternity. Guide me O Thou great Jehovah, for I am in need. Amen.

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