One Sure Light in a Dark World

Sam Petitfils 

“And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone's own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit” (2 Peter 1:19-21).

Sometimes the way forward looks murky and dark, producing fear and robbing us of confidence to move ahead. But Peter provides excellent help in one of the final admonitions of his life: Pay close attention to God’s Word.

He admonishes us to pay attention to the Word, and then provides the reason why. He then gives us the duration of this command. Why should we pay attention to God’s Word? Because it furnishes light in a dark place. Of course, Peter speaks figuratively of the power of the Word, illuminating our way with spiritual light. Left to ourselves, we would stumble into many errors and give in to various fears. Instead, we need to take in God’s truth daily in order to prevent the darkness from creeping in. The surrounding culture can produce deep-seated pessimism and depression, but God’s Word enlightens us by giving us spiritual eyes to see (Ephesians 1:18). When we consider this, we would be foolish not to avail ourselves of the power and wisdom of the Word of God.

How long shall we do this? “Until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts.” Most scholars see this as pointing to the second coming of Christ. Peter’s point is clear: We need to study God’s Word until Christ returns, or we go to be with Him in death. Either way, we need to heed Peter’s caution to carefully take in God’s Word lest we stumble in the dark.

He goes on to describe the heavenly origin of this Word that the Spirit of God spoke to the holy writers of old, safeguarding their writings against error and contamination. Hence, we have a more sure word of truth. Therefore, we need to “make every effort” (2 Peter 1:5) to take positive steps toward renewing our minds daily with the love and power of God contained in His Word.

In the coming year, will we make sacrifices that allow us to prioritize our time with God? Will we make a habit of setting aside time in order to study God’s Word and “pay attention” to it? Will we safeguard our minds against encroaching darkness that follows close behind and instead partaking of heavenly light contained in God’s Word?

Ask God to help you to set a firm commitment to prioritize your time with God. Pray for Holy Spirit illumination so that you may understand His truth with ever increasing clarity. We also need to pray that God would give us strength and wisdom to apply this truth as we set out to live for Him. Many voices vie for our attention, but only one is worth our undivided attention. Make sure to choose “the best portion” (Luke 10:42) and plan to elevate God’s Word to its rightful place in our demanding schedules.

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