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Lamp and Light
by Terry Barlow
03/25/14
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In the sixth chapter of Proverbs verse 23 the commandment of the Lord is referred to as a lamp and the law of the Lord is referred to as a light. What's the difference? Nothing if it is just another example of synonymous parallelism, common in ancient Hebrew language. Wait a minute though, for even among synonyms there are distinctions to be made. For one thing a lamp is often portable while a light may not be. If a light isn't portable but is stationary we are in a sense tethered to it, if we want to be illuminated by its rays; whereas a lamp can be carried with us into the darkness and will always illuminate at least the next step or two, so that we can carefully proceed on our journey, be it a long or short journey. Think of headlights on a car at night, they light up just enough of the road for us to drive safely. It has been aptly said that being filled with the Spirit of God is more like a sail being filled with wind than a glass being filled with water. A sail filled with wind causes movement and takes us to some destination, a glass filled with water does not. Also a commandment implies the relationship of one who commands and the one who hears or receives that command. A law, though it can shed light, doesn't imply relationship in that same direct sense.



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