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Teach Me, O Lord

Teach Me, O Lord

       It is quite interesting to me that the only place in the Bible one can find the phrase “Teach me, O Lord” is found in the book of Psalms. Teach me, O LORD, the way of thy statutes; and I shall keep it unto the end. (Psalm 119:33) There are a number of passages within Psalms (and one in Job) that have the phrase “teach me”, but none are found in the New Testament, or elsewhere in the Old Testament.    However, it is equally interesting that teaching by the Lord was in place long before the Spirit had the Psalmist pen the Words “Teach me”.   We read in Exodus 4:12, when Moses made his final excuse, God refused this and all other excuses Moses offered when He told Moses:  “Now therefore go, and I will be with thy mouth, and teach thee what thou shalt say.

     Moses was given what to say, what to do and how to do it. God successfully led Israel our of Egyptian bondage by teaching Moses what to do.   Moses then, as directed by God, taught Israel so they would know what to do and how to do it when they entered the Promised Land. In Deuteronomy 4:1 we can read God’s directives to Moses for the people.   Now therefore hearken, O Israel, unto the statutes and unto the judgments, which I teach you, for to do them, that ye may live, and go in and possess the land which the LORD God of your fathers giveth you.  Then in Deuteronomy 6:6-9 we read how this instruction from the Lord was to be perpetuated among Israel. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.    We all know what happened to Israel as they continually refused to adhere to God’s teaching.

     Even after God showed His great mercy and brought Israel into the Promised Land, He sent many different prophets to warn Israel repeatedly. God’s great plan for the salvation of souls began to be fulfilled when, in the fullness of time He sent His Son, born of a virgin in Bethlehem.   He lived His life doing God’s Will as the latter part of John 5:30 tells us: . . . I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.   And, in the ultimate expression of love for His Father and for mankind, gave His life on the cross of Calvary.

       God has continued to teach man throughout history. In Hebrews 1:1-2 we see the means by which God’s “teaching” was delivered to man.   God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, 2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;  And Jesus, while here on earth chose twelve men who would deliver His message after His death, burial, resurrection, and ascension. In John 14:26 we read the promise of the Lord to these twelve that ensured that the message would be taught and have no errors.   He said: But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you

       As the “teaching of the gospel” was delivered first at Pentecost A.D. 33 in Jerusalem as God had planned, those who were taught, and obeyed the gospel were saved. The way the message was delivered was preaching as the Spirit (Comforter) gave it to the apostles.   Not everyone appreciated the message and some even persecuted folks for teaching others how to be saved.   We read in Acts 8:3-4 of one who tried to destroy the church and what those that were scattered abroad did. This ensured that even more folks were taught. As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison.  4Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word This means they were teaching the Word of God even as they fled the persecutions.

     What about today? Can we not see the pattern established during the early years of the church for which Jesus died?   The gospel was preached and folks heard, believed and obeyed it. Having become Christians, and upon receipt of more teaching, these people sought others to teach.   Is this not what the Great Commission teaches?   Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. (Matthew 28:19-20)

     We cannot just “sit back” and expect God to teach us. I am afraid that is what some expect.   In 2Peter 1:3 we see that God has supplied the material and the means by which we can access His teaching. According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue:  We need to heed the Spirit’s advice to Timothy from Paul in 2Timothy 2:15. Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.  This is how Words of Jesus which are found in John 6:45 can be best applied.  It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.  Learn His Word – Obey it.   Be taught of the Father.        

                                                 Dennis Strickland – Mooresville church of Christ

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