“He drew me up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure.” (Psalm 40:2)
Throughout the Psalms, we read David’s words of lament for his sins and his praises for God’s forgiveness. As the king learned more about the wonders of his Creator, his words made a clear distinction between the heaviness he experienced while he was running away or hiding from God and the happiness he later declared in knowing full restoration. Through God’s sanctifying work in David’s heart, he made an eye-opening discovery: God not only dealt with his past but was also willing to direct his future. Yahweh didn’t simply pull him out of a miry bog; He also established his coming and going (Ps. 121:8).
Still today, as we grow in understanding the beautiful fullness of God’s forgiveness, it’s common to ask ourselves, What happens next? And because Almighty God is unchanging, His answer to us is the same as was His answer to David: “I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you” (Ps. 32:8).
How beautiful is it that we can rest in the knowledge that God knows our names, cares for us, and provides us with instructions for life that are practical and intensely caring.
As God instructs us, He does so in very practical ways. He is not merely theoretical, content to load us up with information only for our minds. John Bunyan, the writer of Pilgrim’s Progress, used to say of the Bible, “This book will keep you from sin, or sin will keep you from this book.”
If we neglect our time spent in God’s Word, it will be much easier to deviate and wander away. But when we have a steady diet of this instruction manual for our lives, it changes us. Remember that Solomon said in Proverbs, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death” (14:12). As followers of Christ, we should feel compelled to go in a way that is contrary to what our sinful natures would otherwise choose. It may be dreadfully challenging at times—but obedience to God can also be tremendously exhilarating!
Yet we’re not left to our own devices. Better than even the best earthly parent, our heavenly Father teaches us how to walk, never taking His eyes off of us: “Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love” (Ps. 33:18). How beautiful is it that we can rest in the knowledge that God, who is sovereign over the affairs of billions of people, knows our names, cares for us, and provides us with instructions for life that are practical and intensely caring.
Spurgeon once said, “He who has made you his child, will put you to school.”1 It is indeed a privilege to learn from your Master Teacher as His Spirit works in your heart through His Word. His instruction is comprehensive, and He promises to do the teaching Himself, with the Bible as your guide. And even better, He does so as an instructor who takes a personal interest in your welfare! What a wonderful reminder of the vigilance and intimate care of Almighty God.
This was adapted from the sermon “‘I Will Instruct You’ — Part Two” by Alistair Begg.
C. H. Spurgeon, “Bit and Bridle: How to Escape Them,” The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit 37, no. 2190, 101. ↩︎