Give me understanding, that I may observe Your law
And keep it with all my heart.
Make me walk in the path of Your commandments,
For I delight in it. Psalm 119:34-35 (NASB)
As we spend time reading our Bibles this coming year, let’s remember the ultimate goal. We want to draw closer to Hashem and know Him better.
According to 1 Corinthians 2:13, we, as disciples, are taught by the Ruach HaKodesh and not by men.
Many people take this to mean we don’t need to study the Bible. We can draw our meaning of the text by what the Spirit reveals to us. The history, original language and even what the author intended to say are all ignored in favor of a perceived meaning. Whatever the reader feels is right is accepted, regardless of the context.
But that’s not the meaning of the word “taught”. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, teaching involves giving lessons, not just answers. So to teach a subject fully takes time.
In all the classes I’ve taken, I never had an instructor just give me the answers without expecting me to study and think. And sometimes experimentation or hands-on tasks were needed before really learning the lesson.
We see the same process with Yeshua when teaching His disciples in John 4 and the story of the Samaritan woman at the well. In order to stress how ready the fields were for the harvest, He took them on a field trip to Samaria where they ended up staying for two days.
The actual experience of being hosted by the Samaritans would have made a much larger impression on the disciples that G-d accepted them just as much as the other Jews.
This is much different than just reading the Bible and accepting the first thought that comes into your head.
David understood this and asked Adonai to give him an understanding of His Word. The Holman Christian Standard Bible says:
“Teach me, Lord, the meaning of Your statutes, and I will always keep them.
Help me understand Your instruction, and I will obey it and follow it with all my heart.” (Psalm 119: 33-34).
Our understanding of how to walk out G-d’s Word does not come from within us. There is inherently nothing good in us so we cannot relate to the application of Scripture in our lives. While the meaning may be plain, it is the Ruach HaKodesh that enables us to live out the Word.
Blessed are You, L-rd, our G-d, Ruler of the Universe, Who gives us His Spirit to teach us His ways.