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 25:4-10, ESV)

The Scriptures portray God is in many different ways, revealing different aspects of his character and his relationship with us. Images of God as shepherd, father, husband, king, judge and redeemer are all common, and we value how God relates to us in those ways. In this psalm, and others, David reflects on God as his Teacher. It is a beautiful image, and there is much that I need to learn from it.

First, I love how David approaches God and asks God to teach him. David recognizes and confesses that his past behavior is wrong, and appeals to God, in his steadfast love, to have mercy on him and to teach him “your ways.” He acknowledges God’s good character and expresses confidence that God will indeed teach him, a sinner, his way. God is not merely a judge who weighs us and finds us wanting, he is eager to teach us what is right and lead us to a better way of life. As I prepare to teach, or lead a Bible study group, it is good for me to confess my failings before God and appeal to his steadfast love shown in Christ’s death and resurrection for me. My past failures need not hinder my learning in the present, and this is true for those we teach, as well. It is good for us to take time in prayer, confessing our failings and expressing our desire to learn to do better.

I’m also struck by the fact that a measure of humility is the foundation for learning. Have you ever tried to teach someone who thought they knew it all already? You know how hard that is, and how little progress you make, until the student recognizes they really don’t know everything they need to know. This is true for me and true for us all. It is only when I recognize a need that I become open to learn. David knows enough to recognize he has failed, and his only hope rests with a patient, loving God who would forget his failings and lead him in what is right. We also need to start there in our own relationship with God. We must come to him as our wise, loving teacher, acknowledging that he knows better than we do, and he is able to teach us his ways. A healthy dose of humility makes learning possible. We need to pray this, not only for ourselves, but for all those that we teach. As I learn from God and find him transforming my own life, only then do I have something significant to share with those I lead in Bible study. As those I teach recognize their need to learn and God’s ability to teach them through his Word, only then are they truly open to God’s transforming work within them. It all begins with humility.

David acknowledges that the LORD is the God of his salvation, but he wants more than this. He wants God to be his teacher, to lead him in the right way of life. David is confident that God is ready and willing to instruct him because of his goodness, steadfast love and faithfulness to his people. How about you? Are you eager for God to teach you and lead you in his ways? If so, there is hope for your own growth because of God’s steadfast love for you, and there is hope that you can be a good teacher, for you will be a living example of someone eager to learn from God.

I come back to this passage again and again, and I encourage you to do the same. We all need reminders of who God is, his character, and our need for a Savior who will teach us and lead us in a better way. Thank God for his steadfast love and faithfulness, and let us maintain a humble heart!

Lord God, thank you for your salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ’s finished work on our behalf. Thank you for your steadfast love and faithfulness, and for your patience with my slow growth. Please, may you never stop teaching and leading me in your way. Help me to keep an open, humble heart, ready to learn from you and ready to follow you as you lead. May my own teaching reflect a measure of your patient love for me, and may I be an example of a humble learner, sharing what I have learned from you with others and encouraging them to follow as you lead. Amen.

This devotional is one of fifty-two from a collection, “Feeding the Soul of the Bible Study Leader.” If you would like to read more or share them with a friend, you can access them online at and they are also available in book form through