Posted by: rcottrill | December 6, 2009

Lead the Way

You are my hiding place; You shall preserve me from trouble; You shall surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah.

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye. Do not be like the horse or like the mule, Which have no understanding, which must be harnessed with bit and bridle, else they will not come near you. (Ps. 32:7-9)

In a time of temptation, King David had fallen into great sin, involving himself in adultery and murder. Then he tried to hide from God, to conceal the evil he had done (vs. 3). But finally he acknowledged his sin (vs. 5). Once again he was able to enjoy the blessed privilege of all those in right standing with God, safely hiding in Him, instead of hiding from Him.

In Psalm 143:8, David prays, “Cause me to know the way in which I should walk, for I lift up my soul to You.” And Ps. 32:8 supplies the answer. “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye [upon you].” the reason we need instruction and guidance is illustrated in the first part of the psalm. Without the Lord directing us, and our own obedient trust in His direction, we will go astray. We will only avoid the paths of sin by consistently following the Lord.

God will instruct…teach…and guide. There is a wonderful progression in that. To instruct (sakal in Hebrew) is to make wise, to give understanding. To teach (yawraw in Hebrew) is to direct, and point the way. The first is an enduring inner quality; the second is situational, direction for the present case.

Then, the second provision contrasts in turn with a third. If the second perhaps has to do with pointing the way at the beginning of a journey, the third has to do with its progress. To guide (yawats in Hebrew) means to advise, to give counsel. And the Lord says He does this “with My eye.” That is, keeping an eye on you, keeping you under observation. The three operations are accomplished by the Spirit of God, through the Word of God. And what a full provision for our progress!

But it is not automatic. Vs. 9 makes an important contrast between us and dumb animals that must be controlled and virtually forced to do their master’s will. In our case, there are choices to be made. Will we seek and accept God’s wisdom, and His direction and guidance? Or not? That is up to us. Nathanael Niles reflects upon our text in his 1873 gospel song:

Precious promise God has given
To the weary passerby,
On the way from earth to heaven,
“I will guide thee with Mine eye.”

I will guide thee, I will guide thee,
I will guide thee with Mine eye
On the way from earth to heaven,
I will guide thee with Mine eye.

When temptations almost win thee
And thy trusted watchers fly,
Let this promise ring within thee,
“I will guide thee with Mine eye.”


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