Receiving personal instruction
In one of my year-long college courses, I was fortunate enough that the professor who taught the class had also written the text book. This might not seem like a big deal from the outside looking in, but it made a huge difference in how we learned from him. We knew that what he taught us in the morning was going to be reiterated in the same style and with the same emphasis as we read the text in the evening.
Prof could easily explain how the different sections fit together and even cross-referenced chapters as we were being taught. He knew the exact layout and intention of each part of the text because he was the one who had put it all together. There was never any conflict between the teaching and the text – they were from the same man. Not only was the text well-written for the subject matter, but the class became almost like a personal tutoring session with the author.
We get the same dynamic as we go through the Scriptures. Although it took hundreds of years and many different authors to complete the text, God superintended the process such that it all hangs together as one, and communicates truth directly from the Creator of Everything to each of us individually.
The author of Psalm 119 did more than just acknowledged this reality of Scripture – he enjoyed it thoroughly. Take a look through this section and note the role God’s Word plays in the author’s relationship with God.
How I love Your teaching! It is my meditation all day long.
Your command makes me wiser than my enemies, for it is always with me.
I have more insight than all my teachers because Your decrees are my meditation.
I understand more than the elders because I obey Your precepts.
I have kept my feet from every evil path to follow Your word.
I have not turned from Your judgments, for You Yourself have instructed me.
How sweet Your word is to my taste – sweeter than honey to my mouth.
I gain understanding from Your precepts; therefore I hate every false way.
The psalmist doesn’t distinguish between communicating with God and reading the Scriptures, they are interactions with the same person. The psalmist gives the reason why he follows what God has taught him when he says for You Yourself have instructed me. He trusted God’s teaching because it was coming from God Himself. Nothing was second-hand, there was no need for an interpreter or any guess-work.
And just look at the results of this personal instruction from the Lord – success over enemies, gaining insight and wisdom, the ability to avoid every evil path, gaining understanding, and he can also recognize every false way. The psalmist has become fully mature because his instruction has been taken directly from the Lord.
The Lord will mature and develop us as well. He’s ready to give each of us personal, one-on-one instruction. The teacher and the text are from the same person. As much as the teaching or writing of others can sometimes help, there is nothing like direct communication and instruction from the Author of Life. He knows how it all works and why it all works.
We have an open invitation to be instructed by God Himself. Will you accept the invitation and meet Him in the Scriptures?