Imagine a classroom. What comes to mind? As a college professor, I picture desks in rows, a whiteboard, and a podium in the front. Education in ancient Israel was a bit different. There were no classrooms. The student/teacher relationship was also bit different. Scripture was taught mainly in the home (Deut. 6:7). Learning a new trade was accomplished through apprenticeships.
In today’s reading, David portrays God as his teacher. He asks God: “Show me your ways, LORD, teach me your paths” (v. 4). He wants to be guided by the Lord, because he knows that God is “good and upright” (v. 8).
David’s request is based on two important truths. First, God cares for us and desires for us to change. David affirms, “All the ways of the LORD are loving and faithful” (v. 10). God cares for him even though he has not been perfect. God also “instructs sinners in his ways” (v. 8). As Jesus taught, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick” (Matt. 9:12).
Secondly, David’s request assumes a posture of humility. Being taught can be a painful and difficult process. It means changing how we think and behave. Learning to walk in God’s ways requires that we begin with the fear or respect of the Lord (v. 12). The proud cannot learn. They are too busy looking down on others to look up to God. David reminds us that God “guides the humble in what is right” (v. 9). Our attitude should mirror that of David: “My eyes are ever on the LORD, for only he will release my feet from the snare” (v. 15). Or as Paul instructed the church in Philippi, “Have the same mindset as Christ Jesus...[who] humbled himself by being obedient to death— even death on a cross!” (Phil. 2:5, 8).
>> God is your teacher. No one else can guide and instruct you like He can. Let our eyes be on the Lord today and look to His Word for instruction.
By Your Holy Spirit grant us insight into Your Word. Teach us the sound of Your voice and the sense of Your prompting. You are the God of all wisdom and You have made us in Your image; make us wise.