Volume 11, Number 1, July-August 2007
The Creator as Teacher
by Norman Edwards
Everyone who believes in the Creator of the Universe can have the confidence that He will teach them individually. That is an awesome promise!
But just because God promises to teach, does not undo all of His commands for His people to teach.† God also promises to be a father to the fatherless, but that does not mean that human fathers are guiltless if they ignore their job. Parents need to teach their children. Mature brethren need to teach those new in the faith.
But whoever we are, wherever we are, we can also realize that God will teach usóif we are meek (Pslm 25:9), fear him (Pslm 25:12) and are willing to listen (Jer 32:33).† Like David, we should ask Him to teach us (Pslm 25:4; 27:11; 86:11; 119:many verses; 143;10; 144:1).
God has made many promises to teach us in his Word (Deut 4:1, 10; 1Kngs ; Isa 48:17; Titus -12). At times, he teaches through angels (Jdgs 13:8). There is a blessing to his teaching:
Pslm 94:12 Blessed is the man whom You instruct, O Lord, And teach out of Your law,
Godís Creation Teaches Us
God does not always teach us in a voice, or in some special occurrence just for us. He often teaches us from his creation, if we are willing to receive it. There is much wisdom to be found by working in agriculture, going into the wild, and otherwise studying these subjects.
Who teaches us more than the beasts of the earth, And makes us wiser than the birds of heaven?í (Job 35:11 ).
Give ear and hear my voice, Listen and hear my speech. 24 Does the plowman keep plowing all day to sow? Does he keep turning his soil and breaking the clods? 25 When he has leveled its surface, Does he not sow the black cummin And scatter the cummin, Plant the wheat in rows, The barley in the appointed place, And the spelt in its place? 26 For He instructs him in right judgment, His God teaches him. 27 For the black cummin is not threshed with a threshing sledge, Nor is a cartwheel rolled over the cummin; But the black cummin is beaten out with a stick, And the cummin with a rod. 28 Bread flour must be ground; Therefore he does not thresh it forever, Break it with his cartwheel, Or crush it with his horsemen. 29 This also comes from the Lord of hosts, Who is wonderful in counsel and excellent in guidance (Isa 28:23-29)
This writer will have to admit that he does not fully understand the lessons taught here. But it would be good to know; the overall principle is that God has made things for certain uses and wisdom is learning how to use them, not forcing them into some use that does not work. The following principles should be clear for anyone to follow:
Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise, Which, having no captain, overseer or ruler, provides her supplies in the summer, And gathers her food in the harvest (Prv 6:6-8).
There are three things which are too wonderful for me, Yes, four which I do not understand: The way of an eagle in the air, The way of a serpent on a rock, The way of a ship in the midst of the sea, And the way of a man with a virgin (Prv 30:18-19).
While excitement can be almost indescribable when couples are in love and planning their life together, sometimes they grow weary as life goes on. Nature teaches more:
Like a bird that wanders from its nest Is a man who wanders from his place (Prov 27:8).
The Bible account of Solomonís great wisdom tells how many songs and proverbs he wrote, but also gives his nature studies:
Also he spoke of trees, from the cedar tree of Lebanon even to the hyssop that springs out of the wall; he spoke also of animals, of birds, of creeping things, and of fish (1Kngs 4:33).
When God showed Job how little he knew, He did not pose questions in math, logic or theology. Rather, He asked him about nature (Job 38 & 39).
Jesus used many agricultural analogies in his teachings and parables: the sower (Matt 13:3-23), the seed growing of itself (Mark 4:26-29), the wheat and the tares (Matt 13:24-30), the mustard seed (Matt 13:31-32), leaven (Matt 13:33-35), fishing with a net (Matt 13:47-50), weather forecasting (Matt 16:2-3), the good shepherd (John 10:1-21), the lost sheep (Luke 15:3-7), fig trees (Luke 13:1-9; 21:29-33; Rev 6:13), vineyards (Matt 20:1-16; Matt 21:28-36), and sheep and goats (Matt 25:23-46).
Holy Spirit Is a Teacher
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you ( John 14:26).
These things we also speak, not in words which manís wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual (1Cor ).
But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him (1Jo 2:27).
The last verse does not eliminate the many commands for human teachers, but clearly states we are not dependent on any one man. And if men do fail, God is our Teacher! †&
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