Monday, March 14, 2016

Thoughts on Psalm 119:33

33 ​​Teach me, O Lord, the way of Your statutes,
​​And I shall keep it to the end.

In the Introduction to He, the fifth letter of the Hebrew alphabet, which is represented in Psalm 119:33-40, we made a connection to the idea of Grace.

So the first thing to notice here in Psalm 119 about Grace is that Grace teaches.

The implication is that life in God is one of learning. God teaches us, and we learn.

Good and upright is the Lord; ​​therefore He teaches sinners in the way.
​​The humble He guides in justice, and the humble He teaches His way. Ps 25:8-9

Isn’t that beautiful? Man-made religion would try and convince you that “You messed up. Therefore you’re a sinner, and God is going to punish you!” But the word of God - even here in the Old Testament - says that God is good, upright, and he teaches sinners how to walk in justice, in His ways.

Jesus answered and said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.Luke 5:31-32

In reality, once you have accepted Jesus’ sacrifice for your sins, and believe that God has raised Him from the dead - your old, sinful nature has been put to death, and you have a new inward nature that is no longer a sinner. That is what Jesus referred to as being “born again.” (see John 3:3-5)

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ 2 Cor 5:17-18

In other words - when you are in Christ, you are no longer a sinner, but even if you were - God would still be willing to teach you his ways! How much more, now that you are in Christ?!

This learning process, then, leads us to discovering who God really is, who we are in Christ, what we have in Christ, and God’s will for our lives.

Teach me, O Lord, the way of Your statutes,
​​And I shall keep it to the end. Psalm 119:33

Notice the humble yet confident approach to God. “I need You to teach me” indicates humility. But there is no begging. There is a confident expectation that God will teach him His ways.

And notice the apparent promise: “I shall keep it to the end.” This is subtle, but I don’t think this is actually a promise at all. The psalmist is not saying, “You just show me what to do, and I’ll take it from there. I promise I’ll always do whatever you tell me to do.

Instead, he is declaring his absolute confidence in God’s ability as a teacher to be effective in working in his life. In essence, saying, “Lord, teach me. You are such a good teacher, that Your lessons will fundamentally align my character to Yours to such an extent that I will live that way for the rest of my life!

So what is it that God is teaching you right now? Are you aware of His lesson? Have you ever had a dream that you were at school taking a test that you were completely unprepared for? That was the Lord trying to tell you that He is teaching you something; you just weren’t paying attention. And that’s okay, God is a very patient teacher. But you’ll miss out if you don’t tune in.

Lord, thank You that Jesus became sin for me, so that I could become righteous with His righteousness. Holy Spirit, please teach me Your ways - show me who You are, and who I really am, so that I can release the life that is in my spirit, and manifest the love and power of God in my life, my family, and to those you’ve called me to minister to. Help me to understand Your lessons, so that I can cooperate with what it is you are developing in me. I trust You to be my teacher, and thank You, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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