MORE THAN WHAT
By Dave Reiss
Teach me, Lord, the meaning of your statutes, and I will always keep them. – Psalm 119: 33
The best teachers don’t just teach the what of a subject, they teach the why. Teaching the what entails learning facts and processes, how one plus one equals two and that in 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue. While these might be important facts to learn, if we don’t understand why, they are useless.
This is true in life and in faith. Growing up we may learn Bible stories about Noah, David, Jonah, Mary & Joseph, Peter, and Jesus. We may hear these stories read out of cute picture bibles. We may see Noah build a boat, Jonah get swallowed by a fish, and see Peter and Jesus walking on the water. While these are all fun stories, knowing about them is meaningless if we don’t learn something from them. These stories tell us more than what, they tell us why. Why we should trust God, why we should follow his direction, and why we can trust Jesus with our lives.
Our verse today (Psalm 119:33) invites us to let God teach us not just his statutes (his guidance, his ways, his instruction), but more importantly the meaning of is statures (guidance, ways, and instruction). When we understand that God’s purpose for his instruction is for our blessing and benefit, then we will follow them. God’s statures are not to stop us from living, but to show us what real, true, pure, and adventurous living really is like.
Spend some time in God’s word. Read his stories. Ask him to show you more than the what, teach you the why. When you understand the meaning it will give you a reason to keep it.