Light for the Path (Psalm 19:8)

The precepts of the LORD are right,
giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the LORD are radiant,
giving light to the eyes. (Psalm 19:8)

I’ve been reading a little bit of the English biologist and writer T.H. Huxley, a man known as “Darwin’s Bulldog” and the grandfather of Aldous Huxley, the author of Brave New World. When he wasn’t championing Darwinian evolution in England and abroad, Huxley also promoted broader education, claiming that “artificial education” (or school) helped prepare people for the “natural education” of life. That makes a certain amount of sense to me.

When I look about me, I see a number of people who stumble along life’s ways for want of the various sorts of education that I was blessed to receive. Having been raised by astute and moral parents, I learned beforehand¬† to avoid a good number of the obstacles that life (nature in Huxley’s formula) would have placed in my path, leaving me a bloodied lip and little if any explanation.

To make my way down this twisty track we call life, some light in the form of instruction is helpful. The problem, however, is that all light is not created equal. I think of the “light” that Pinocchio received on his way to school. I think of the “light” given to young people today equating easy sexuality with happiness. That sort of light seems to show the way but leaves dangerous tangles unrevealed.

The commands of God, however, are radiant. They give us true and revealing light. Where Huxley trusted in the partial light provided by science, we must trust in the full light of God’s counsel.