Psalm 25:1, 4-5, 8-9, 12, 14
1 “O Lord, I come before you in prayer. 4 Make me understand your ways, O Lord! Teach me your paths! 5 Guide me into your truth and teach me. For you are the God who delivers me; on you I rely all day long. 8 The Lord is both kind and fair; that is why he teaches sinners the right way to live. 9 May he show the humble what is right! May he teach the humble his way! 12 The Lord shows his faithful followers the way they should live. 14 The Lord’s loyal followers receive his guidance, and he reveals his covenantal demands to them.”
We have all had teachers we have admired and ones we could have done without. Some inspired us and some discouraged us. Although teaching is not always a lucrative career, teaching is valued highly by God and near to His heart. David knew where to get wisdom on how to live. He cried out. Those who want to know more of God or how to live in order to please him just need to ask Him. He is willing to teach us! To be tutored by the Most High God is no small thing. Today, I worship our Almighty God and Shepherd, the best teacher of all, Who will personally guide each of us and instruct us through his Holy Spirit. His rebuke is life-giving, but only the humble can receive it.
As a homeschool mom for 18 years, teaching brings an inner delight to me. God called me to home educate the children He gave me before my first child was born. I chose to home educate out of obedience and also because more than anything, I cared deeply about my children’s character and knowledge of God. To be able to convey a truth to my children and have them perceive and comprehend it on deeper and deeper levels over the years has never ceased to amaze me. The first time my oldest was reading at age three was thrilling! A door had just been opened to her – though it could be for knowledge of good or bad – she was most importantly able to gain insight into her Creator and into life.
I vividly recall when we were doing a bible study out of the book of Romans and the look on my oldest daughter’s face at age four conveyed her understanding for the first time that “no one was good, no not one”. She wept and realized that she needed a Savior. Wow. God instructed her through His living word. Over the years, all of my children have had crowning moments of academic success as well as difficult moments of realizing they still had so much to learn. So do we all.
The paucity of knowledge is not to be lamented, however, when we have a God Who has all knowledge and He wants to give it to us. Even knowledge that appears unimportant can become a treasure. Each station in life offers opportunities to learn something new. When the subject or trial we are in appears mundane and inapplicable to life (like some school subjects my kids tell me are not important), God uses it all. Education equips us for future endeavors or callings on our lives that He wants to use to enable us for that season and for His glory.
I have always loved to learn new things, so it is difficult for me to comprehend someone not being fascinated with the opportunity of obtaining more knowledge. Knowledge is a doorway to wisdom, when correctly applied, and to be able to understand more of God is the highest privilege.
Sometimes, though, teaching is not a delight. Burnout can occur, of course, but when the pupil is lazy, not teachable or not desiring to learn, teaching can become a daunting task. I imagine that our lack of zeal to instruct as a teacher or to search for more insight and understanding from God as a student hurts His heart. He is ready to teach us, to show us more of Him, and we often do not even arise to knock on His door.
As a teacher, our children might not be crying out for wisdom, but we can also ask God, Who is the wisest teacher, to help us to provoke them to want to learn. When I consider how good God is, that He would not just command, but would show us how to obey by walking among us as a fragile human, I am completely undone. We have no excuse – we have a God Who is alive and Who has not left us without instruction. He was also willing to live it out before us. Ignorance kept us in sin – but God did not leave us in that place. Our flesh may often tire, but we can still cry out for God to give me a hunger to learn more of Him. If we feel discouraged or unmotivated to continue educating others or to to be inspired to learn, God can meet us at that place and ignite our hearts again with deeper truths worth exploring – we just need to ask Him. His knowledge knows no end and He promises to give wisdom to those who ask Him.
Lord, thank You for teaching us daily and in Your mercy showing us our faults and sins, that we could become more like You. Helps us to be teachable and to yearn your correction, for it brings life – and that abundantly.