Meditating on Metaphors
1. Gold and Honey – Psalm 19:10
Here, the psalmist declares that the Word of God is more desirable than the finest gold and sweeter than honey. I believe that he is speaking of both the value of the Word of God and the experience of interacting with the Word of God. Its wisdom is incomparable. We can know God’s plan for how to live and prosper – what an unbelievably valuable gift! Also, the experience of God’s Word can be so rewarding. We find encouragement, peace, and hope from the heart of God. It is the place where I run when I am hurting or lonely. It is an unfailing source of peace. Knowing God more deeply through His Word is sweeter than could ever be described with words.
2. Sword – Hebrews 4:12-13
The sword must be absolutely sharp to be effective. The Bible is the absolute standard of righteousness. It is in its absoluteness that it receives its sharpness. The truth is separated from untruth by this standard of righteousness. The sharpness of the sword is painful. Sometimes our sin becomes so much a part of who we are that it hurts desperately to remove. I think that this is the reason that we sometimes choose to live knowingly with sin – the pain of removing it is so great. We may have a fear of the sword. However difficult it may be, I am so thankful that God has given us a standard for righteousness and a sword for removing impurities. He knows what is best for us and what will make us into His image, even if it is painful.
3. Lamp – Psalm 119:105
The Word of God is a lamp by which we can see where to go and what to do. Sin has made the world so dark – confusion and pain reign everywhere. The Word of God is truth. By truth, we can judge how to handle reality. The Word of God brings clarity and focus, guiding us in the way that God has set out in His will. I have experienced the “lamp” metaphor recently. When I have tough decisions to make, and I just feel like I can’t make sense of all of the factors in front of me, I always find comfort and guidance in Scripture.
4. Water – Psalm 1:3
In this verse, the man who is grounded in the Word of God is like a tree, nourished by flowing waters. The Word of God and its teachings are often compared to water. I think that this is the case for two specific reasons. First, water is absolutely necessary for life. Man cannot survive for more than a few days without water. In fact, most civilizations spring up around sources of water. The Scripture is the same way. It is essential to the Christian life, and we must settle in it, drawing on it every single day. Also, water is refreshing, bringing cleanliness and purity, and is a source of strength. Over and over, water is an image used in the Psalms especially, as a reference to Scripture. In the Word of God, we can be cleansed of impurity and our souls are restored.