Reading: Psalm 119
Teach me, LORD, the way of your decrees,
that I may follow it to the end.
Give me understanding, so that I may keep your law
and obey it with all my heart.
Direct me in the path of your commands,
for there I find delight.
Turn my heart toward your statutes
and not toward selfish gain.
Turn my eyes away from worthless things;
preserve my life according to your word.
Fulfill your promise to your servant,
so that you may be feared.
Take away the disgrace I dread,
for your laws are good.
How I long for your precepts!
In your righteousness preserve my life (NIV).*
How do you learn? We live in an era when education and learning are highly valued, so this is an important question. In recent years psychologists have discovered what good teachers have recognized intuitively. Not everyone learns in the same way.
We all learn by taking in information through our senses, but that’s where individual differences begin to emerge. Some of us are primarily auditory learners. We learn best by listening. Others are primarily tactile or kinesthetic learners; they learn through touch and physical activity. Some learn best by reading. Visual learners grasp concepts best by engaging with pictures, maps or diagrams. Personally, visual learning is one of my strong suits.
The psalmist begins today’s reading from Psalm 119 by expressing his desire to learn from the LORD: Teach me, LORD, the way of your decrees, that I may follow it to the end. Give me understanding, so that I may keep your law and obey it with all my heart.
Now that’s a noble request. We all need to pray that prayer. But how exactly do we learn from God? The psalmist goes on to provide some answers. Turn my heart toward your statutes and not toward selfish gain. Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word.
It all begins with turning our hearts—our affections—toward the LORD. You can’t expect to learn much if you turn your back on the Teacher. And that requires a repentant heart. What are your eyes taking in? Is it worthless things, or the glory of God in nature, or in the face of Jesus Christ?
Response: Father God, I want to see you. Open my eyes to your wonders around me. Teach me your ways in practical life altering steps that draw me close to you. Open your word to me. Amen.
Your Turn: What kind of learner are you? What are you learning from the LORD?