Teach me your way, O LORD; I will walk in your truth: unite my heart to fear your name.
In the expressions "teach," "fear," "walk," we have religion presented to us in the three aspects of knowledge, feeling, and conduct. In other words, religion in the head, in the heart, and in the feet. The several forms of human activity may be described by three phrases — I think, I feel, I do.
I. RELIGION AS A MATTER OF KNOWLEDGE, A PROCESS OF INSTRUCTION. "Teach me Thy way, O Lord."
1. The teacher is the Lord. Men are both blind and in darkness in relation to spiritual matters; there is an objective and a subjective disability in regard to these things. The Bible is calculated to meet both these conditions; it not only dispels the darkness — that is, removes the historical ignorance of men regarding God's plans and methods for saving them — but it goes further; it removes their blindness by conferring the faculty of spiritual vision. "The entrance of Thy word giveth light." There is not only the word, but the word secures an entrance into the mind, illuminating it with the light of God. Divine truth not only reveals objectively, but is by its very nature, as the mind of the spirit, instinct with a convincing force, enabling it often to overcome the most ingrained prejudices, to arouse the most callous indifference, conquer even the fiercest hostility, and secure for it the most cordial reception by the mind.
2. The learner. He displays the first essential of a true learner, a keen desire for his lesson. He craves it even on his knees, for he prays that he might be taught. How essential an attitude is this in all who would truly learn of God. It is the teachable disposition — the true receptive mood. The Divine Teacher will not withhold the waters of knowledge from a soul thus panting for them. How emphatically is Divine instruction promised to such as manifest this docile disposition (Psalm 25:9, 14). Meekness and fear, that is, docility and reverence, are qualities in the pupil which unlock the secrets of the Divine heart.
II. RELIGION IN THE HEART, OR RELIGION AS A MATTER OF FEELING. "Unite my heart to fear Thy name."
1. The "fear" is not that of terror or dismay, but love. It is the childlike disposition, sweet, trustful, and penetrated with holy, subduing reverence.
2. The essential condition of this beautiful disposition is a heart at peace with all its passions, in thorough harmony with God. This consecrates all its aims. God becomes henceforth the great end of every act, thought, ambition, etc.
III. RELIGION IN THE LIFE, OR AS A MATTER OF CONDUCT. "I will walk in Thy truth." The process has now reached its final stage, from the head to the heart, from the heart to the conduct — in other words, from knowledge into motive, from motive into action; from an understanding illuminated by Divine instruction to a heart dominated by Divine love (heart-fear), from a heart dominated by Divine love to a life regulated by Divine truth.
(A. J. Parry.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Teach me thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name.