When I was doing field studies for my undergraduate degree in NY many years ago, I became fascinated with a lighthouse at the far end of Long Island. The Montauk lighthouse is the last bit of stonework between NY and Portugal. It was commissioned by George Washington in 1792 and was completed in 1796. It is among the oldest such beacons in the United States. However, there are quite a few lighthouses around the world that date back many generations.
The oldest is said to be the Hercules lighthouse in Galicia, Spain, and records date it to the 2nd century AD. Several others built in the 1500’s still survive. On our family trips to the Central California Coast, I became enamored with the Port San Luis Lighthouse that was built in 1890. The complex lens that has guided so many ships is fascinating. By design, theFresnel lens generated alternate red and white flashes of light every 30 seconds and was visible 17 nautical miles (31 km) out to sea. This lens, often referred to as “the invention that saved a million ships,” was retired in 1969 and replaced by a simple electric light.
The point is not to study lighthouses but to draw the parallel to the light of our lives that is God the Father and His Son. How easy it is in this world to lose one’s way. This is what Satan wants for us, for if we lose the path, we lose safe passage around sin. We need God’s light to guide us, and especially when we are lost and vulnerable.
Let’s consider a Scripture in Psalm 119, and in verse 105: “…Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” God’s Word is our lighthouse in this foggy, murky world that is fraught with shoals and shallows. None of us wishes to lose the gift of life that God has given to each of us, but losing one’s opportunity for eternal life is far worse. Sadly, that is exactly what can happen if we miss His light and allow the darkness to guide us. Satan does not wish us to rely on God to avoid the trap of temptation.
Consider the words of Isaiah in chapter 60, and verses 19 and 20: “The sun shall no longer be your light by day, nor for brightness shall the moon give light to you; but the LORD will be to your everlasting light, And your God your glory. Your sun shall no longer go down, nor shall your moon withdraw itself; for the LORD will be your everlasting light, and the days of your mourning shall be ended.”
It isn’t just the light of the beacon that guides the ships into a channel and towards the port; the beacon also provides the warning that signals captains to consult the charts and look for danger. The beacon may also be linked with a navigational signal that offers an extra measure of security. So too, God’s Word is not only the navigational star to guide us, but it also provides us with the warnings that sin is around us, and we can succumb to it if we are not on our guard.
In God’s Kingdom after the Millennium, there will be no need for the sun and the moon—nor for the lamp. In Revelation 22, and in verse 5, we read: “There shall be no night there: they need no lamp, nor the light of the sun, for the Lord God gives them light. And they shall reign forever and ever.” This Scripture points us back to Isaiah, both in chapter 60 as referenced above, and chapter 9 where he foreshadowed the coming light that was and is Jesus Christ. Jesus told us that He was the light of our lives in John 8, and in verse 12, where we read: “Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.’”
The point is that we need Jesus and the Father to navigate our course of action in this world. Without God’s mercy, we might wander aimlessly and become ensnared in the many traps that Satan sets for people in general, and the brethren in particular. We can only overcome this world by and through Jesus Christ.
In Micah 7, and in verse 8, we read: “…the LORD will be a light to me.” The Israelites paid a price for losing their way to sinfulness, but God was merciful with them as He is with us. When we repent and obey, when we are sorrowful and seek Him, He will be there to guide our way. When we turn our thoughts, actions, and obedience to God, He does not abandon us. He will guide our path and strengthen us, but we must ask in faith and in obedience. And as we read in Numbers 6, and in verse 25, the outcome is like nothing we can imagine: “The LORD make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you.”
When we have faith and obey God’s commands, we can walk in His light, rather than stumble into evil. God’s expectation of us is simple: follow and obey! In Proverbs 6, and in verses 20 through 23, we see this clearly: “My son, keep your father’s command and do not forsake your mother’s teaching. Bind them always on your heart; fasten them around your neck. When you walk, they will guide you; when you sleep, they will watch over you, when you awake, they will speak to you. For this command is a lamp, this teaching is a light, and correction and instruction are the way to life…”
We know that God has given those of us whom He has called the path to follow and the beacon to light our way.