The Torah: A Light in a Dark Place

The Torah: A Light in a Dark Place
James Scott Trimm

There is a spiritual battle taking place between light and darkness. Paul writes:

“…what communion has light with darkness? And what concord has Messiah with Belial…”
(2 Corinthians 6:14b-15a)

Throughout the New Testament there are extended metaphores revolving around light and darkness. Believers are called “sons of light” (Lk. 16:8; Jn. 12:36; Eph. 5:8; 1Thes. 5:5). The full armour of God is also called the “armour of light” (Rom. 13:12). The New Testament speaks of those “who walk in darkness” (John 8:12; 12:35).

But what does this idiomatic use of the terms light and darkness mean? For the answer let us turn to the Tanak:

“For the commandment is a lamp; and the Torah is light…”
(Proverbs 6:23)

“Your word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path.”
(Psalm 119:105)

“To the Torah and to the testimony; if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.”
(Isaiah 8:20)

“…for a Torah shall proceed from me, and I will make my judgement to rest for a light of the people.”
(Isaiah 51:4)

So according to the Tanak the Torah is a light for our paths. Those that walk in the Torah walk in the light. This is why the New Testament speaks of those who walk in darkness (Jn. 8:12; 12:35; 1Jn. 1:6; 2:11). These are those who do not walk by the light of Torah. Of these John writes:

“And if we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we are liars and we do not walk in truth.”
(1 John 1:6)

Notice that John equates “walking in truth” with walking in the light.

As we noted previously “the Torah is truth” (Ps. 119:142) thus if “walking in the light” means “walking in truth” then both phrases refer to walking in the Torah. This takes us back to our passages from the Tanak given above. John also confirms this by writing the parallel statements:

“…walking in truth.”
“…walk according to his commandments.”
(2 John 1:4, 6)

Now lets look back at a moment to the full armour of God. As we have noted Paul also calls this armour the “armour of light” (Rom. 13:12). According to Paul we are involved in a spiritual battle with “the rulers of the darkness of this world.” (Eph. 6:12) and thus he instructs us to put on this “armour of light” (Ephesians 6:13 & Romans 13:12)

Now several of the items of the “armour of light” also tie in with the Torah:

The Belt of Truth

“Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and your Torah is truth.”
(Psalm 119:142)

“You are near, O YHWH, and all your commandments are truth.”
(Psalm 119:151)

The Breastplate of Righteousness

“What great nation is there that has statutes and judgements as righteous as this whole Torah which I am setting before you today?…”
(Deuteronomy 4:6)

The Shield of Faith

“Remove the false way from me, and graciously grant me your Torah. I have chosen the way of faith; I have placed your ordinances before me.”
(Psalm 119:29-30)

The Sword of the Word

“…For the Torah will go out from Zion; and the word of YHWH from Jerusalem.”
(Isaiah 2:3)

Thus the Armour of Light is the armour of the Torah which lights our path. There are two paths before us, one of darkness and one of light. On the one hand one may “walk in darkness” on the other hand one may “walk in the light” of Torah. The “son’s of light” put on the “armour of light” and walk in the light of Torah, while the “sons of darkness” walk in the Torah-lessness which is the darkness of this dark world.

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