Teach Me Your Precepts
33 Teach me, O LORD, the way of Your statues, and I shall keep it to the end.
34 Give me understanding, and I shall keep Your Law; Indeed, I shall observe it with my whole heart.
35 Make me walk in the path of your commandments, For I delight in it.
36 Incline my heart to your testimonies, And not to covetousness.
37 Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things, and revive me in Your way.
38 Establish Your word to Your servant, Who is devoted to fearing You.
39 Turn away my reproach which I dread, For Your judgments are good.
40 Behold, I long for Your precepts; Revive me in Your Righteousness.
Job, the man who suffered at the hand of Satan, tells us in the book that bears his name “Behold, God is exalted by His power; Who teaches like Him? (Job 36:23)
Both the Psalmist and Job are correct, who can teach us like God can teach us. God who created the universe is the only one capable of teaching us about it, and God is the author and finisher of our salvation, then who better is there to teach us about salvation?
The LORD has established his statues, His law, and His commandments. Therefore, who is there but God that can teach them to me. So the Psalmist cries out, “O LORD, Teach me the way of Your statues.”
Yet we must have a humble and teachable spirit for even the Lord to be our teacher, for he cannot force us to learn, that which we are unwilling to humble ourselves to learn.
David makes sure to impress upon us that it is not enough to be taught, we must also ask for understanding in the things we are being taught. “Give me understanding of your law, and I shall keep Your law; indeed, I shall observe it with my whole heart.
When learning Math or the events that take place in history, it is far easier to understand the equation or the event when we have the back ground behind what we are trying to learn. Therefore the Psalmist is saying, give me that hidden information, that background into what made the law the law and our reason for it, and it shall become easier for me to keep your law.
But, although our intentions are good, our drive, our perseverance is weak and so as the Psalmist says, Make me walk in the path of Your commandments, when you do, I will not be sad or in despair, but will delight in it. Why? Because when giving my will to God, and upon Him taking control, I will feel such love, love that washes over me, filling me to the brim with His goodness and His mercy.
Our natural tendency is to be covetous, desiring all manner of things around us. Often when we allow our will to come forth in this manner we get ourselves into bad situations as we hurt others by our actions that are the result of our covetousness. So the Psalmist is saying, “Make the desire of my heart not the things of others, the power and wealth and things of this world, but make my heart desire your testimonies. Your teaching should guide and direct me to path that leads to a better life, and that life expressed in your testimonies to me through Your word O LORD and the words of your prophets whom you have sent to instruct me in Your will and in Your ways. For there is none like you in all the heavens and in all the earth.
Therefore, turn my eyes away from looking at things that are worthless, things that draw me away from your way. Revive me in Your way, so that my only desire is you and not the worthless things of this world.
Write upon my heart your words, your desires for me for I delight to do Your will and am devoted to loving you.
Therefore I pray, take away the reproach and dread that I feel. Take away the fear from Me that believes you only mean harm to me. Teach me of your great love for me, because I hear another that tells me you don’t love me and only wish to harm me. Therefore I love for your precepts and ask you again to Revive me in Your righteousness. Quicken this new power within me that come from You to meet new emergencies that come my way and when I fail, I ask you for Your reviving strength to wash over me until I have the strength to get up from where I have fallen.