Isaiah 50:11 God's Light

Behold, all ye that kindle a fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks:

walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks that ye have kindled.

This shall ye have of mine hand; ye shall lie down in sorrow.



To understand this verse, we have to picture the Eastern village in the morning. After the people rise up with the crowing of the cock, some of the men come to the center of the town and build a fire. The first man who comes, builds a small fire with his bundle of sticks, then another man comes and adds his bundle to the fire, and so on; and they all warm themselves by this fire.

            There is a great spiritual truth in this. A pastor preaches and warms our hearts with the fire of his message, but, like the men and their sticks, we should not warm ourselves unless we have contributed our share. No man in the East dares to warm himself by the fire unless he brings his share of sticks, but in the Church sometimes we want to receive the blessings without contributing.

            Paul followed this practice when he was shipwrecked, as we read in Acts chapter twenty-eight. The natives of the island kindly built a fire for the men, and Paul then went and gathered a bundle of sticks to lie on the fire. He was observing this custom referred to in the first part of Isaiah 50:11.


Now let us see what it is about; the sparks are mentioned next. You see, the farmers in the East live in the villages and must walk to their land in the morning in order to till the soil. They usually start out while it is still dark so they will be there by the time it is light enough to begin work. In order to light their way, so that they will not step on scorpions or snakes with their bare feet, these men take a rope made of coconut bark and light the end of it at the fire in the center of the village. They take their equipment on their shoulders and lead the oxen (if they have any,) to the field. They make the fire burn brightly at the end of this coconut rope by blowing on it, and in so doing, some sparks come off. That is where we get the "sparks" in our Scripture.

            God is saying that if we walk in the light of these sparks, our own light, we shall lie down in sorrow. Is this poor man who is trying to keep from stepping on some thing dangerous by lighting his way to the field, condemned for this? No, not really, for God is using this familiar illustration from the everyday life of the people to teach them higher truth. He is saying that if we try to walk in the light of our own knowledge, instead of walking in God's light, we will lie down in sorrow.

            If we try to walk in our own light we shall lie down in sorrow, but in God's light, we have victory, joy and peace; we are more than conquers. God bless you.


Bishop K.C. Pillai, D.D.

Anthony Gilmore,
Apr 15, 2012, 5:24 PM