As we brought our first child home from the hospital, we wished newborns came with instruction manuals. To live our lives, we have one–it is written by God and is full of His perfect teaching!
I. Judges 13:1-12. When the angel explained the rules to govern Samson’s life as a Nazirite, his father was wise enough to ask God in prayer to teach them what they were to do. Before the age of synagogues, what would a man of the fields know about the Lord’s instruction except that many years before, a covenant with God had been made on Mt. Sinai that God’s people had agreed to obey (Exodus 19:5-8)? Yet, this father-to-be, faced with a great challenge, knew not to trust in his own understanding.
II. John 16:12-13. Since Eden, we have understood the world through learning (Genesis 3:22), and so the first covenant God made with His people came by instruction (Exodus 24:12), and promises that God would teach us for a second covenant were made (Jeremiah 31:31-34). God’s Son came as a master teacher (Mark 10:1) and just before the cross promised that God’s Spirit would lead his followers into all truth. Indeed, the Thessalonians were told that they were taught by God to love one another (1 Thessalonians 4:9).
III. Proverbs 3:5-7. The big question is–will we submit to God’s teaching or lean on our own understanding? Like the man who assembles something from a box without consulting the instructions, if we do this with our lives, we’ll end up with a pocketful of extra parts and a product that doesn’t work well or at all. Instead, we need to delight in God’s teaching (Psalm 1:2) and not be a fool who despises it (Proverbs 1:2-7). We must say with the Psalmist, “Teach me” (Psalm 25:4-10).
We are surrounded by sources of teaching that would have us living our lives in many different ways, some that even sound wise, but the only instruction for life and godliness comes from God.