Show me Your ways, O LORD; teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; on You I wait all the day. (Psalm 25:4-5, NKJV, emphasis added)
God’s words are truth and are certain and these become evident when we wait upon Him with great hope.
Incline your ear to hear the words of the wise, and apply your heart to my knowledge; for it is a pleasant thing if you keep them within you; let them all be fixed upon your lips, so that your trust may be in the LORD; I have instructed you today, even you. Have I not written to you excellent things of counsels and knowledge, that I may make you know the certainty of the words of truth, that you may answer words of truth to those who send you? (Proverbs 22:17-21, NKJV, emphasis added)
This passage has much to teach us about God’s words. How we approach the words of the Lord tells us a lot about our character. The person of Christian character trusts the Word of God. If we have waited upon the Lord God and let the Holy Spirit have His way in us we can learn to apply these great truths to our lives. This is the desire of the Lord for us. Because God’s words are truth we can trust them with certainty.
Incline your ear to hear the words of the wise. We have an imperative, a command, to incline our ear to the Word of God. Incline in the Hebrew is to stretch out, to extend; to pay attention. An effort is made on our part to pay attention to the words of the Lord. When we wait upon God we are practicing inclining our ears as we seek out His will for us.
Apply your heart to my knowledge. The Hebrew word for apply means to set or put. The order is to purposely set your heart to gaining the knowledge of God. Once again we have a choice to submit to the Holy Spirit’s instruction. We learn at His feet while we wait upon the Lord God.
For it is a pleasant thing if you keep them within you. There is a blessing for those who wait upon God and keep His words within them. To keep the words of the Lord within you is to watch, to preserve, to guard, to be careful, to watch over, to watch carefully over, and to be on one’s guard with the words of God. The blessing comes to the person who waits.
Let them all be fixed upon your lips. Fixed in Hebrew means to set up, to make firm, to establish, and to prepare. The primary action of this verb is to cause to stand in an upright position, and thus the word also means fixed or steadfast. We should not only have the word in our heart, but be ready at all times to speak it forth as the Holy Spirit directs us.
So that your trust may be in the LORD. The reason we can trust God is because we know His word is truth. The Lord is faithful and true to Himself. The person who is developing Christian character through waiting upon God learns to trust the Lord.
Have I not written to you excellent things of counsels and knowledge? God’s words are excellent indeed! These excellent things are counsels and knowledge. Counsels refer to advice given. Knowledge describes God’s gift of technical or specific knowledge along with wisdom and understanding. Both of these are taught to us through the written Word.
That I may make you know the certainty of the words of truth? The Hebrew word for know means to know, to learn, to perceive, to discern, to experience, to confess, to consider. The word used for certainty in the Hebrew means the vindication of a true assessment by reality. The Word of God is written for us so that we learn to discern what is real from what is not. The person developing Christian character through waiting knows with certainty that the Lord can be trusted because His word is the only truth.
That you may answer words of truth to those who send you? We are ambassadors for Christ (2 Corinthians 5:20 and Ephesians 6:20) and should give every man an answer (1 Peter 3:15 and Colossians 4:5-6) for our faith as we contend for the truth (Jude 3).
There were many commands given in this lesson. Commands are meant to be followed so ask the Holy Spirit to empower you to do the following:
Incline your ear to hear the Word of God
Apply your heart to gain God’s knowledge
Have the Word of God fixed upon your lips
Trust in the Lord
Know for certainty the truth of God’s Word
Be an ambassador of the Word of God