Unfolding Light of Understanding (Lent 14, 2017)

If you’ve ever wanted a psalm to identify all the virtues of the law, Psalm 119 would be it.  One of the virtues extolled in this acrostic (alphabetic) psalm is that the law gives light.   It’s the unfolding light of understanding.  When the beauty and effectiveness of the law are examined and applied, well, this inspection opens up a whole new understanding.  God’s words in Scripture, unfolded and explained, give light.

Truth be told, I sometimes get a little sad at not preaching anymore.  For a while, I was preaching every week instead of listening to someone else do it.  It’s one of the tragic flaws of ministry that when one is gifted for preaching/teaching, it’s kind of tough to listen to other people do it.  Even pulpit pastors who can hit the target within the first 20 minutes of trying still present the pew-preacher (kind of like an armchair quarterback) with plenty of opportunity to second guess, act as an analyst, and generally spend the time drifting into how they would present it differently, or maybe better.

We’re supposed to be listening for learning.  To have that unfolding light, the light of understanding impact our lives.  After all, the whole point of listening to a sermon is to have it open the Word to understanding, right?

God desires we listen, we learn, and that the exposition and preaching of His Word will give us light of understanding!

Fun Fact of Light:  The Chandra X-Ray Observatory at Harvard tells this story about X-rays and the ability to see through to details otherwise invisible to the naked eye.   

“A new form of radiation was discovered in 1895 by Wilhelm Roentgen, a German physicist. He called it X-radiation to denote its unknown nature. This mysterious radiation had the ability to pass through many materials that absorb visible light. X-rays also have the ability to knock electrons loose from atoms. Over the years these exceptional properties have made X-rays useful in many fields, such as medicine and research into the nature of the atom.  Eventually, X-rays were found to be another form of light.”

There’s something mysterious about X-rays, especially for writers of science fiction stories or superhero comics.  In them, X-ray vision is usually an ability to see through solid objects at the selective choice of the one having this superpower (e.g. notable and iconic Superman of DC Comics).

According to Chad Orzel, physics contributor at Forbes who was enjoying exposing the notion of X-ray vision,

“Medical X-ray images aren’t made by focusing light to make an image, they’re made by putting the detector directly behind the target and blasting x-rays at it.  Really, they are just the shadows cast by stuff in front of them, like one of those photosensitive walls you see at science museums.”

For further study:

In the Bible there were plenty of people who heard the Word but never had it unfolded.  Their spiritual blindness hardened their hearts to where they couldn’t see the light.  Read Luke 8.  How did Jesus speaking in parables accomplish this?  His disciples asked Jesus to explain.  Luke 8:10 He said, “The knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God has been given to you, but to others I speak in parables, so that, “‘though seeing, they may not see; though hearing, they may not understand.'”

Read Nehemiah 8:1-12.  In it, Ezra reads the Book of the Law.  Note the reactions people had to the Word of God giving them light of understanding.

Categories Articles and Devotionals, Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on March 15, 2017

Social Networks: RSS Facebook Twitter Google del.icio.us Stumble Upon Digg Reddit

Leave a Reply