During World War II, small compasses saved the lives of 27 sailors 300 miles off the coast of North Carolina. Waldemar Semenov, a retired merchant seaman, was serving as a junior engineer aboard the SS Alcoa Guide when a German submarine surfaced and opened fire on the ship. The ship was hit, caught fire, and began to sink. Semenov and his crew lowered compass-equipped lifeboats into the water and used the compasses to guide them toward the shipping lanes closer to shore. After three days, the men were rescued.
The psalmist reminded God’s people that His Word was a trustworthy “compass.” He likened it to a lamp. In that day, the flickering light cast by an olive oil lamp was only bright enough to show a traveler his next step. To the psalmist, God’s Word was such a lamp, providing enough light to illuminate the path for those pursuing God (Ps. 119:105). When the psalmist was wandering in the dark on a chaotic path of life, he believed that God, through the guidance of His Word, would provide direction.
When we lose our bearings in life, we can trust our God who gives His trustworthy Word as our compass, using it to lead us into deeper fellowship with Him.
Heavenly Father, it is difficult to navigate life. I drift sometimes, but I will trust in You. Lead me and guide me by the faithfulness and reliability of Your Word.
God has given us His Word to help us know and follow Him.
Many times we view rules and laws as restrictions on what we can and cannot do. It is tempting to see laws as impinging on our freedom. However, the psalmist clearly has a positive view of God’s law. Instead of seeing it as limiting, the psalmist celebrates the law as something that gives him life (119:107,111). Since we live in a broken world, we need the guidance of God’s Word to show us how to truly live. J.R. Hudberg