Humbly Learning from the Heavenly Rabbi

by Joseph Franks

Some people are unteachable. They are know-it-alls who need neither God’s Word nor godly counsel. They are self-made, self-taught, arrogant, proud, and abhorred by the Lord. (Proverbs 6:16-19)

However, this is not the posture of the Psalmist. He writes:

Good and upright is the LORD; therefore he instructs sinners in the way. He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way. All the paths of the LORD are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep his covenant and his testimonies.  (Psalm 25:8-10)

The Psalmist sees the Lord as good and upright. He is perfection personified. No one more magnificent can be imagined. Nothing he does can be improved.

The Psalmist also sees the Lord as merciful and gracious. Despite the transgressions of men and women, God continues to teach and instruct sinners. Guilty individuals are allowed entrance into his classroom, and he makes it his glorious habit to justify and sanctify the wicked. God leads sinners in the way they should go, despite their sin-filled record.

Additionally, the Psalmist sees the Lord as loving and faithful. Those who walk according to his instruction are blessed. When men and women meditate on his precepts daily, they are like flourishing trees that yield abundant fruit. God is the way, the truth, and the life; and he promises wisdom and abundant life to all who learn from him. Jesus says, “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:28-29)

However, only some receive benefit from hearing, believing, trusting, and applying his teaching. Who are these people?

Good and upright is the LORD; therefore he instructs sinners in the way. He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way. All the paths of the LORD are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep his covenant and his testimonies.  (Psalm 25:8-10)

Therefore friends, are we the sinful and humble students of God who will be blessed by his gracious instruction today?

Are we wise in our own eyes, or do we see ourselves as wandering sheep in need of the Gentle Shepherd? Do we value God’s wisdom more than our own?

Additionally, do we value God’s wisdom more than the multitude of worldly counselors? Do we consider God to be true and all contrary teachers to be liars?

Will we consider it a wasteful and arrogant day if we do not make time to meditate on God’s Word? And what about this weekend? Will we ignore the teachers who are working hard for him and for us? Will we forsake the assembling of the saints and the reading, teaching, admonishing, and exhorting that comes from Scripture?

Then finally, will we apply what we learn? Or will we really play the fool and allow God’s lessons to go in one ear and out the other, totally disregarding the instruction of the Lord?

Yes, sadly, some people are unteachable. They are know-it-alls who need not the pedagogy of the Lord. They are arrogant and proud fools. But may this not be said of us. May we be sinners who are humble, instructed, and benefited by the steadfast love and faithfulness of our Heavenly Rabbi.

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