Deus Dux Doctrina Lux – God is our leader; learning is our light.
“By your words [God] I can see where I’m going;
they throw a beam of light on my dark path.”
~Psalm 119:105 (Msg).
Without godly provision we’d all be utterly destitute in the pit of inglorious hell. This is true if we consider the skill of our centuries-honed legal systems—and by virtue of the fact that we can call it an ‘ass,’ for what ungodly monstrosity would allow it? Our relative freedom within society is proof of God’s providential light for our collective paths.
But light is beyond this sort of providence. Light is for revelation and inspiration; for learning. And we’re learning nothing if we’re not guided. God is that Guide leading us on the right path.
Interrogating Psalm 119:105
God encourages us to attack his Word with ferocity for learning. On a non-visual path, morality is the basis of our spiritual compass, and the bearing is toward light and away from the darkness of immorality.
Meditating over the meaning of this single verse, out of a chapter of Psalms totalling 176-verses, helps us focus on the value of the structure for life. God’s Word, like the Law, gives us foundations we can trust, for they’ve always worked.
The reason they work is because they’re entwined with holy wisdom; the measure of completion in life. Go the way of the Word of God and success, eventually, is assured. In pragmatic terms, the Bible provides light for hope on an often hope-barren journey we traipse in this world.
Learning by the God Light Means Following the ‘Light of the World’
If we converted this verse, Psalm 119:105, into New Testament language we’d soon find ourselves at John 8:12 (below in the NRSV):
“Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life’.”
Jesus is the Word (John 1:1). By the Word we have light for life.
When we go back to Deus Dux Doctrina Lux we find that Jesus is our leader and his light is for our learning—that such sophistication is the greatest goal of life.
As we connect the two ideas—God as leader and learning as light—we find every good way for life is endeared to the nexus of this combined principle. Learning is humility and humility is the path to wisdom; every good way.
Practically, learning is that ability to accept all circumstances as they come, with a hopeful openness that seeks to find the way through, particularly in our difficulties.
This is God’s way for us, because when we need God in our trials, the method out of them is always the same. It’s through patient endurance that we follow our Leader by fashion and knowledge of learning of, and obeying, his Light.
© 2011 S. J. Wickham.
Acknowledgement: Article inspired by Christ Church Grammar School’s (Perth, Western Australia) motto on their School Arms.