Joy from Light Bulb Moments and a Lesson from Daniel

moments. I love them. How about you? Those moments when the light bulb clicks
on over your head. We’re unpacking Psalm 19 the next few weeks. Let’s look at verse 8 today.

statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart;
The commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the
eyes;” NKJV
it is in the Message:

life-maps of God are right, showing the way to joy.

The directions of God are plain and easy on the eyes.”

KEY WORDS Today: Statutes/life-maps/pure/eyes
(always pull a few key words from
scripture to help you understand the meaning better)
or life-maps are also translated as precepts.
in Hebrew is, “piqquwd” and it means “precepts.”
according to the online dictionary means:
1. A
rule or principle prescribing a particular course of action or conduct.
2. Law An authorized direction or order; a
we could say, God’s authorized
directions that come from His written Word make the heart glad and bring joy.
order, commandment, of God is pure. “Pure” in the Hebrew is “bar” and
it means sincere, or clear. It enlightens, or brings light to the eyes. Eyes in
Hebrew is “ayin” and it means, “eye” “of mental or spiritual
we could say, God’s Word is sincere and
clear and it gives us spiritual and mental ah-ha light bulb moments about our
life and the direction we need to take.
look at someone from the Bible who had an ah-ha moment. We’ll look at what it
led him to clearly do and the result that came from his obedience.
look at Daniel. Chapter 9 starting in
verse 1.
“It was the first year of the reign of Darius the Mede, the
son of Ahasuerus, who became king of the Babylonians. During the first year of
his reign, I, Daniel, learned from reading the word of the Lord, as
revealed to Jeremiah the prophet, that Jerusalem must lie desolate for seventy
From reading scripture (scrolls and Jeremiah’s word more
specifically), Daniel had a light bulb
. Here’s what God told Jeremiah:
“This message came to Jeremiah from the Lord early
in the reign of Jehoiakim son of Josiah, king of Judah. “This
is what the Lord says: Stand in the courtyard in front of the Temple
of the Lord, and make an announcement to the people who have come there to
worship from all over Judah. Give them my entire message; include every word. Perhaps
they will listen and turn from their evil ways.”  Jeremiah 26:1-3
God’s people were turning from Him. He’d warned them early on that
if they stopped serving Him, He would do whatever was necessary to draw them
back. Jeremiah has come to warn them and bring judgment–which is fair.
Here’s what God instructed Jeremiah to say, and this is what
Daniel read years later.
to them, ‘This is what the Lord says: If you will not listen to me
and obey my word I have given you, and if you will not listen to my
servants, the prophets—for I sent them again and again to warn you, but you
would not listen to them—–then I will destroy this Temple as I destroyed
Shiloh, the place where the Tabernacle was located. And I will make Jerusalem
an object of cursing in every nation on earth.’”The priests, the prophets,
and all the people listened to Jeremiah as he spoke in front of the Lord’s
Temple.  But when Jeremiah had finished his message, saying
everything the Lord had told him to say, the priests and prophets and all
the people at the Temple mobbed him. “Kill him!” they shouted. Jeremiah 26:4-7
Not exactly welcoming to God’s
words, huh? So…
“Then Jeremiah spoke to the officials and the people in his
own defense. “The Lord sent me to prophesy against this Temple and
this city,” he said. “The Lord gave me every word that I have
spoken.  But if you stop your sinning and begin to obey
the Lord your God, he will change his mind about this disaster that
he has announced against you.” Jeremiah 26:12-13
However they did not. And…
“‘This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God
of Israel, says: With my great strength and powerful arm I made the
earth and all its people and every animal. I can give these things of mine to
anyone I choose.  Now I will give your countries to King
Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, who is my servant. I have put everything, even the
wild animals, under his control.  All the nations will serve
him, his son, and his grandson until his time is up. Then many nations and
great kings will conquer and rule over Babylon.  So you must
submit to Babylon’s king and serve him; put your neck under Babylon’s yoke! I will
punish any nation that refuses to be his slave, says the Lord. I will send
war, famine, and disease upon that nation until Babylon has conquered it.”
Jeremiah 27:5-8
Seems harsh? Nah, not really
and besides…
“‘They will all be carried away to Babylon and will stay
there until I send for them,’ says the Lord. ‘Then I will bring them back to
Jerusalem again.’””Jeremiah 27:22
entire land will become a desolate wasteland. Israel and her neighboring lands
will serve the king of Babylon for seventy years.” Jeremiah 25:11
And what will happen then you ask?
is what the LORD says: “You will be in Babylon for seventy years.
But then I will come and do for you all the good things I have promised, and I
will bring you home again.” Jeremiah 29:10
And what famous verse comes after?
 “I say this
because I know what I am planning for you,” says the Lord. “I have good plans for you, not plans to hurt
you. I will give you hope and a good future.” Jeremiah 29:11
And we know in Daniel Chapter one, it begins. Nebuchadnezzar comes
in and takes them captive, a young Daniel is swept up among them.
At this point in Chapter 9, Daniel is an old man, still serving
the Lord, still reading scripture. He’s been in captivity about 67 years. And
he discovers that the 70 years is almost up. The same words we take comfort in today, Jeremiah 29:11, he took
comfort in on that day.
God was about to do something awesome! Daniel had trusted God on
many occasions. When he refused to eat idol-sacrificed food at the king’s
table, when he interpreted dreams for the Neb and then later his
great-grandson, and of course when he was thrown into the lion’s den for not
compromising his faith.
Daniel knew when God spoke a
word, He was good for it. Do you know that? Do you believe it?
As a result of reading this, of having his eyes enlightened—he knew
good things were coming. Freedom could be tasted! What did Daniel do?
 “I turned to the Lord
God and pleaded with him in prayer and fasting.” Daniel 9:3
prayer; fasted
prayer is amazing and it’s recorded in verses 4-19. But I want to pull out
these verses:
the Lord our God is merciful and forgiving, even though we have rebelled
against him. We have not obeyed the Lord our God, for we have not followed
the instructions he gave us through his servants the prophets. All
Israel has disobeyed your instruction and turned away, refusing to listen to
your voice.” Daniel 9:9-11
God wasn’t being harsh, He was being fair. They rebelled. They had
not followed the instructions.
What does Psalm 19 say? The instruction of the Lord (His precepts)
rejoice the heart. When we do not follow them, when we rebel, we go into
captivity. Maybe not like the Israelites…but I assure you, you’ll find yourself in
bondage. Enslaved.
And miserable.
Like Daniel, we pray. And God,
Who is faithful to forgive us our sins when we confess them, acts.
On our
behalf. With mercy. And grace.
 “O my
God, lean down and listen to me. Open your eyes and see our despair. See how
your city—the city that bears your name—lies in ruins. We make this plea, not
because we deserve help, but because of your mercy. O Lord, hear. O
Lord, forgive. O Lord, listen and act! For your own sake, do not delay, O my
God, for your people and your city bear your name.” Daniel 9:18-19
Daniel’s faith and faithfulness to God opened up a special
blessing. God gives Daniel some amazing visions, and he gets to see Christ in all
His glory in a few of them! What could bring more joy?
All because he loved the Word of God.
Practical application: Spend time in God’s Word. When we spend
time with God in His Word, it will always keep us pointed on Jesus Christ.
When was the last time you
had a light bulb moment from scripture? If it’s been awhile, why do you think
that is? And care to share that amazing moment in the comments? 

I’m hosting at LBG today!
Come by and share your
favorite verse about light!

**Photocredit: lightbulb tree: freedigitalphotos/zirconicusso
**Photo credit: bulb with a book: freedigitalphotos/digitalart
**Photo credit: clear glass of water: freedigitalphotos/by gt_pann 
**Photo credit: rubble: freedigitalphotos/cbenjasuwan 
**Photo credit: infant hand: freedigitalphotosNutdanai Apikhomboonwaroot
**Photo credit: faith and believe: freedigitalphotos/thepathtraveler
/**Photo credit: steel cage: freedigitalphotos/bejim

The Joy of Light

Today I’m breaking
it down. Verse seven of Psalm 19 that is. But go ahead and beat-box if you
choose. It’s not like I’ll feel the spray of spittle from here. Just sayin’.
On Monday, we looked
at the whole Psalm 19 in the Message translation. 
Today, I want to
look at it more in detail (just a portion) in the NKJV. I’m a fan of the NKJV and that’s what I use to study
with each morning, but again, it’s important and beneficial to study your Bible
by looking at many translations. An easy way to do this is by pulling up Biblegateway each morning, or evening when you
have study time, and yes…you should be having daily study time!
We’re focusing on
verse 7 today.
“The law of the Lord is perfect,
converting the soul;
testimony of the Lord is sure,
making wise the simple;” Psalm 19:7 NKJV
Here it
is in the Message translation:
revelation of God is whole and pulls our lives together.
signposts of God are clear and point out the right road.”
meanings are the same but it’s said in a way that gives you a little different
word picture.
word is perfect. Whole.
translation says, “The law of the LORD is perfect, refreshing the
I don’t
know about you, but I could stand to be refreshed. The way for that to happen
is by studying the law of the LORD. His Word. Um…yep, the Bible. Not just
skimming it out of obligation. Reading it to meet a yearly goal. But to digest
it, letting it run like oxygen through the blood stream, bringing life to every
organ and limb of your body and then applying what you’ve studied to your every
day life. If you never do that, it’s pointless. It’s just some  head knowledge. Big deal.
*A helpful hint: Use your cross-reference if you have
one in your Bible, to study. If not, use the online cross-reference at BibleGateway or
verse leads us to Psalm 119:130 “The entrance of Your words gives light;
It gives understanding to the simple.” NKJV
I don’t
know about you, but I qualify here. I’m the simple. And I could use some
understanding. Am I the only one? Really? That’s what I thought! Then hang
tight with me a few more paragraphs and let’s bring this joker home!
The key
word here is light.
The entrance of  light i.e. reading God’s Word, taking it in
and digesting gives light. It gives understanding. I get that. I know what
understanding and entrance mean, but what exactly does the word light mean. Am
I going to implode like a firework? Will I glow like those Fisherprice worms?
better to get a grip on light but the first time it appears in scripture. At
the beginning. Like we are at the beginning of the year. At the beginning of
the Bible. Genesis. Chapter 1. The beginning.
“Then God said, “Let there be light”; and
there was light.” Gen. 1:3 NKJV
God always wanted light. From the beginning. It was the first thing He brought
about. And it’s been a steady topic all throughout the Bible.
photocredit: freedigitalphotos/thawats
brought light out to the darkness and separated the two, because light and dark can’t co-exist. They just can’t.
If you bring even the tiniest light to a dark place, it can be seen and it’s
not blinding dark anymore.
before He did that, in verse two, something was happening.
the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.”
earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the
photo credit: freedigitalphotos/VictorHabbick
light was about to come.
For the first time.
We have
to ask some questions (that’s what good students do!). What exactly does w/o
form, void and dark really mean?
Without form in the Hebrew is “tohuw”
and it means, “confusion, unreality, emptiness, wasteland, a place of
Void in the Hebrew is “bohuw”
(similar) and it means emptiness, waste
And the
word darkness in Hebrew is
“choshek” and it means, obscurity–which means a state of being
unknown or unimportant.
But with
one word from The Word (John 1:1-3) it all changed. The Spirit was hovering
over the chaos, that which seemed unimportant, a wasteland, that which seemed
empty. But He saw order. He saw something beautiful and He brought light. (and
He kept on going)
Do you feel unimportant? Empty? Like your life is a chaotic
Spirit is hovering, waiting on the Word to go forth to bring order. Peace. A
purpose to your life. Just say the word and THE WORD will give the command.
Let the
entrance of His words give you understanding. And light. Light of the knowledge
of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ shines from us inside out. And
it takes the work of the Spirit (sanctification) to do it. It also takes
discipline to crack the book open.
Corinthians 4:6 says, “For it is the God who commanded light to shine out
of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the
light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”
Message says it like this:
 “Remember, our Message is not about
ourselves; we’re proclaiming Jesus Christ, the Master. All we are is
messengers, errand runners from Jesus for you. It started when God said, “Light
up the darkness!” and our lives filled up with light as we saw and understood
God in the face of Christ, all bright and beautiful.”
Want to
light up the darkness around us?  We can.
The entrance of God’s Words bring order to chaos. Peace to anxiety and fear.
Confidence to doubt. Purpose to a wasteland. Fulfillment to emptiness.
And you
know what a person has when they have peace, confidence, purpose and
 The joy of the Lord is our strength. Nehemiah 8:10
with joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.” Isaiah 12:3
the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water
springing up into everlasting life.” John 4:14 This was Jesus talking to
the woman at the well. A woman who had been married five times and was now
living with a man. I see chaos. Lack of purpose. Emptiness. But the Word was at
the well that day.
photo credit: freedigitalphotos/Adamr
Ephesians 5:8 (MSG) says,”You groped your way through that murk once, but no longer.
You’re out in the open now. The bright light of Christ makes your way plain. So
no more stumbling around. Get on with it! The good, the right, the true—these
are the actions appropriate for daylight hours. Figure out what will please
Christ, and then do it.”
you who sleep! Arise from the dead and Christ will give you light.’ Ephesians
cleansed and transformed by the washing of the water of the Word. (Eph. 5:26)
It brings light from darkness (new life from death) and it keeps giving us
light to keep shining in a dark/dead world.
brings us back to Psalm 119:130 and ultimately our verse we began with today.
Psalm 19:7 “The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul; The
testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.”
wiser? I do!
Practical application: Study your Bible just
like we did now. Choose one verse. Reflect on it. Then act on it and journal it
at the end of the day.
What one thing comes to mind right now that you can do
to shine light today? Share it in the comments and use it as accountability to
that one thing!
Join me
at Living By Grace. I encourage you to leave a verse about light in the
comments on the FACEBOOK PAGE! Let’s see if we can light it up! 
*Genesis Bible photocredit: freedigitalphotos/JanakaDharmasen