To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
O my God, in you I trust;
let me not be put to shame;
let not my enemies exult over me.
Indeed, none who wait for you shall be put to shame;
they shall be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.
Make me to know your ways, O Lord;
teach me your paths.
Lead me in your truth and teach me,
for you are the God of my salvation;
for you I wait all the day long.
Remember your mercy, O Lord, and your steadfast love,
for they have been from of old.
Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions;
according to your steadfast love remember me,
for the sake of your goodness, O Lord!
Good and upright is the Lord;
therefore he instructs sinners in the way.
He leads the humble in what is right,
and teaches the humble his way.
All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness,
for those who keep his covenant and his testimonies. Psalm 25:1-10 ESV
That very day two of them were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, and they were talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them. But their eyes were kept from recognizing him. And he said to them, “What is this conversation that you are holding with each other as you walk?” And they stood still, looking sad. Then one of them, named Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened there in these days?” And he said to them, “What things?” And they said to him, “Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, a man who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and rulers delivered him up to be condemned to death, and crucified him. But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since these things happened. Moreover, some women of our company amazed us. They were at the tomb early in the morning, and when they did not find his body, they came back saying that they had even seen a vision of angels, who said that he was alive. Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but him they did not see.” And he said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself. Luke 24:13-27 ESV
In the past, when a young man was old enough to learn how to work and have a trade to support himself, he might become an apprentice. And apprentice went to live with his master for many years, and while he lived with his master he had to obey him and do whatever work the master gave him to do. He might have to do small jobs such as cleaning or running errands. But he also got to watch the master’s work every day and learn by being with the master. The master’s job was to teach the apprentice everything he knew about the trade–whether it was as a blacksmith or carpenter or candlemaker.
Psalm 25 talks about God teaching his people his ways. Learning God’s ways is a little like an apprenticeship. It isn’t just learning facts or things about God, but it’s about walking with God while he teaches us the way we should go. God teaches us in his word, the Bible, and we learn by taking his word into our hearts and lives as we live every day. It’s a little like having God walk with us while we live our lives.
There was one special time when Jesus walked with two of his close followers. It was after Jesus had risen from the dead, but they didn’t understand or believe what had happened. Jesus came to walk with them on the road, but he kept them from recognizing who he was. He talked to them about the promised Savior. They didn’t understand how God could have let Jesus die on the cross, and they also didn’t understand that he would rise from the dead, even though this had been God’s plan all along. Jesus taught them by showing them from God’s word what the promised Savior would do.
When God walks with us in our lives and teaches us, the most important thing we will learn is who Jesus is and what he has done for us. Jesus is the promised Savior, who died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins, and then rose again from the dead to defeat death and all the forces of evil. When we understand that, we understand the heart of God’s ways for us.
Dear Heavenly Father, please teach us your ways, especially what Jesus has done for us in his death and resurrection. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.