4 Shew me thy ways, O Yahweh; teach me thy paths.
We do not know, when we first become acquainted with the Truth, how complete a thing it is in its adaption to all the wants of man. We know it is glad tidings, in the sense of reporting to us a coming deliverance otherwise unattainable, but we do not know its completeness as a supply for all our needs. It is questionable if we will ever rise in the present state to the full appreciation it calls for.
Our faculties are so weak, and our surroundings are so uncongenial, that the vision has scarcely a chance of full development. If we could see it as it is, we should be heartier in our appreciation of it, and more emphatic and cordial in the expression of our praise.
Bro Roberts - The Completeness of The Truth
It is of the highest moment that our ideas of the Gospel be correct the language by which we express them is of secondary importance. Correct ideas are the outcome of an understanding of the Word, and this is a vital condition of salvation.
Correct speech arises from secular education, and furnishes no ground of confidence for an entrance into eternal life. Those who are deficient in ability to give utterance can look forward to this deficiency being rectified with a change of nature.
Not so with ideas; now is the time for imbibing these. The first principles of the truth, like character, must be acquired this side of the Kingdom. Fluent and grammatical speech, apart from right ideas, is dangerous; it beguiles and misleads the simple and unwary. Ability, unaccompanied by an understanding of the Word, is suggestive of Solomon's proverb,
Bro AT Jannaway
The Christadelphian, Nov 1886
5 Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the Elohim of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.
Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the Elohim of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.
Whoever has the truth possesses "the right or authority to set it up as the only standard."
The truth gives a man this right, wherever it exists. The truth, as a system of faith and practice, has no existence in the nominal Christian world; it possesses therefore no divine right or authority to set up its views of scripture as the standard thing.
To discuss the question of right and authority to do this is to discuss the wrong thing first. It is a simple question of what is the truth, and who has it? Settle that, and you settle the other at the same time.
Those who have the truth "how" to it, or they would not have it for long; what they require of others is only what they do themselves; for the truth's community is essentially a constitution of men and women who all bow down at the shrine of the truth, or, in other words, all consent to the same thing.
Only on the principle of being "agreed" can men walk together (Am. 3:3) with results of edification and peace.
The Christadelphian, Dec 1888
What is our standing in relation to THE TRUTH?
What are we doing to 'make' our calling and election sure"?
If we have followed our daily Bible readings carefully and prayerfully, we must realize by this time that our walk in the Truth - according to what it may be - will lead us either unto death or unto life. The ultimate result depends entirely upon how we walk before God.
Do we all clearly realize that it is quite possible for us to be deeply interested and active in the details of The Truth from what we might call a structural or technical point of viewand yet totally fail to lay hold on the deep and spiritual things relating to it: the things that give life? That is, those things that should lift us entirely out of worldliness and fleshliness, and should stir up our love and zeal, and a flooded sense of overwhelming thanksgiving that would rend our very being, and cause us to exclaim with Paul (Rom 2: 33)~
"0 the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out!"
Then, again, it is possible to have our minds centered upon the signs of the times, so that every important change that takes place among the nations would stir up our enthusiasm, and burst forth into excited conversation. Of course, there is nothing wrong with that - indeed, it is desirable - provided our walk in the Truth, our obedience to the commands, and our manifestation of the spirit of Christ, all reflect the same ardent spirit.
We must keep vividly before our minds that the Signs all relate to, and focus upon THE COMING OF THE LORD, and our standing before him to give account of our stewardship, and how well we have heeded Paul's counsel of salvation (Eph, 4:22-24)-
"That ye put off, concerning the former conversation (way of life) the Old Man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts. "
''And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that ye put on the New Man, which after God is created in righteousness and: holiness of Truth. "
It is also possible for us to look upon The Truth from a strictly intellectual, scholastic, or scientific point of view; and to become absorbed in burrowing into secondary questions of original tongues, or hazy secular historical backgrounds and relationships, which lead us into blind alleys of mere worldly learning - and away from the Gospel's living power as to Holiness and Godliness.
It is so fatally easy, and pleasing to the pride of the flesh, to be led away from the searching, practical, personal application of Scripture to our own conduct, into current 'scientific' and 'scholarly' speculation and controversy, after the learned confusion of the wise of the world.
Many things are very interesting, and have a natural attraction for the mind. But they are the sterile husks compared to the true spiritual meat that will build us up in the stature of Christ. They should be left at that point, and our time should be devoted to the study and meditation of that which is written for our instruction in godliness, so that we may be more and more conformed to the mind of the Spirit.
If we faithfully and prayerfully apply ourselves to that, we shall find that our motives which lead us into action will be generated by love: "love for God, and for the Truth, and for our brethren - and not by a love of prominence, or controversy, or novelty, or excitement.
Let us then, in the spirit of teachable humility and desire to obey, apply our minds to the divine ideas and principles so beautifully revealed in, and woven into, the Word of God. We will then, in thankful joy, 'keep ourselves in the love of God,' and will know (1 Tim. 3:15)-
"How we ought to behave ourselves in the House of God, which is the Ecclesia of the Living God, the Pillar and Foundation of THE TRUTH. "
Bro George Gibson
9 The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way.
Meekness opens the gates to communion with God. God will not transmit wisdom through any other medium.
"To this man will I look ... him who is of a humble and contrite spirit."
And it shuts the gates in the opposite direction. It is difficult to hurt a meek man. Arrows bounce harmlessly off the armour of his meekness. The proud is covered with exposed and tender susceptibilities, but the meek man knows none of these miseries.
10 All the paths of Yahweh are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.
We unconsciously tend to absorb from those around us dangerous conceptions concerning the indiscriminate operation of God's mercy. God said,
"I will have mercy ON WHOM I WILL HAVE MERCY. Great is His mercy TOWARD THEM THAT FEAR HIM."
And those that fear the Lord are specifically defined in Psalm 112:1, as
"those that DELIGHT GREATLY in His commandments."
Not just delighting in His Word, but delighting in the actual application of it to their lives.
Every effect has a cause. All things operate by law, and the Scriptures teach us that the mercy of God is no exception. He is not a God of chance or caprice. For those who bend every effort to carefully learn and obey God's commands as the first concern of life, His mercy will have no limits; but for those who in any way presume upon their position, or ignore His instructions in any respect, mercy does not enter the picture.
If we delight greatly in a commandment, it ceases to be a commandment, and becomes a loving expression of communion and desire. This is the perfect law of liberty -- the ultimate perfect merging of duty and desire. Law, we are told, is not for the righteous, but for the disobedient. Love eventually absorbs all law, as it does all fear, by removing all cause and necessity for it.
Thus in the very process of abolishing the law, we establish it. The law is the form into which the character is poured. The form is soon removed, but the fixed character remains as an eternal monument to it.
20 O keep my soul, and deliver me: let me not be ashamed; for I put my trust in thee.
It is pleasant to have the smile and countenance of neighbours; it is pleasant to have plenty in hand; it is pleasant to have the friendship and honour of the world; and, therefore, men are liable to be insensibly governed by these things in the ordering of their lives, and to yield but a cold response to the demands of wisdom -- demands which, in many cases, are inconsistent with these pleasures, and mortifying to the natural man in general.
The result of listening to these seductions will certainly be shame and death. This is revealed; and though men in prosperity may disregard the still small voice of wisdom, they will be compelled to listen at another time, when their surroundings will be those of desolation and consternation.
21 Let integrity and uprightness preserve me; for I wait on thee.
...Not that which is pleasant to be done, but that which is wise to be done, will be the motto of every true member of the house of Christ. And that which is wise to be done is that which God has commanded; because obedience to His commandments only, will bring honour and life at the last.
And what He has commanded is that which is written in the Scriptures of truth. Our anxiety, therefore, is to know, and remember, and hold fast, and honour, and constantly meditate upon, and do the things that are written therein. There is no other path of wisdom but this.
Bro Roberts - Light and darkness
22 Redeem Israel, O Elohim, out of all his troubles.
When in trouble, let us be patient
Let us commune with God in reference to the matter, and keep a wise and vigilant lookout for lawful relief (we say lawful relief, for our tendency is, when confronted with trouble, to seek relief by any means-lawful or otherwise). If relief is slow in coming, console the mind with the grand fact that benefit, and not hurt, is accruing from the delay.
God has an object in sending or permitting trouble (Heb. 12:6, 7; 2 Cor. 1:6). It is very hard to realise this, especially when trouble presses heavily; but it is true. The Scriptures are not false in declaring that "all things"-things occasioned through foes or friends, poverty or riches, ill health or robust health-"work together for good to them that love God" (Rom. 8:28).
Be our experiences what they may, God will, if we are faithful, never leave us nor forsake us (Heb. 13:5, 6). To whine or "flare up" when in trouble will never improve the situation. This simply aggravates matters-it makes others miserable and ourselves more unhappy. Besides which, it must be intensely displeasing to God. Impatience is a sign of unbelief, and the only cure for it is faith in God.
If needs be, let us cry, but not complain. Grief is not inconsistent with patience. Paul wept often, but was not impatient. He appreciated trouble, for he knew the philosophy of it. "We glory," said he, "in tribulations" (Rom. 5:3; 2 Cor. 7:4). But he never courted affliction, nor was he slow to lawfully escape it.
An illustration of this occurs in his request for the prayers of the brethren that he might be delivered, if possible, from the chief cause of the apostle's trouble - the machinations of wicked men (2. Thess. 3: 1, 2).
Bro AT Jannaway
The Christadelphian, Aug 1906