1 Samuel 14:1-23; John 7:14-30; Psalms 108:1-4; Proverbs 23:25-28
NT: “When the festival was already half over, Jesus went up into the temple and began to teach. Then the Jews were amazed and said, “How is this man so learned, since he hasn’t been trained?” Jesus answered them, “My teaching isn’t mine but is from the one who sent me. If anyone wants to do his will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own. The one who speaks on his own seeks his own glory; but he who seeks the glory of the one who sent him is true, and there is no unrighteousness in him. Didn’t Moses give you the law? Yet none of you keeps the law. Why are you trying to kill me?”” (John 7:14-19 CSB)
The Jews were amazed at Jesus’ teachings because He hadn’t studied at any of the approved rabbinical schools of the day. Yet, even though He wasn’t an accredited teacher, He still spoke and taught with authority. The Pharisees, on the other hand, taught from the authorities… they regurgitated the teachings of other accredited rabbis. Jesus didn’t need to gain His insight from other rabbis, for He knew The Authority of all scripture, for He was one with The Father who originated scripture and the Holy Spirit who inspired scripture. His teachings were not His own ideas. They came from The Father. Then Jesus said something very key: “If anyone wants (resolves, determines, purposes, desires) to do His will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or from My own thoughts and ideas.” Jesus wasn’t seeking His own glory. He was seeking the glory of The Father. Therefore, His teachings aligned with the will of the Father. The Jewish leaders didn’t singularly desire to do God’s will – they desired to bring honor and recognition to themselves. Therefore, they couldn’t recognize truth from God because they had no idea what His will was. We come to know (have an intimate, experiential knowledge of) the truth by having our wills aligned with and submitted to the will of The Father, and subsequently the will of Jesus our Lord. As the Apostle James taught, wherever there is selfish ambition, there is evil and confusion. To confidently know the truth, you must submit to and obey the will of The Truth… and the more you submit and obey, the more the truth will be in you.
Psalms: “My heart is confident, God; I will sing; I will sing praises with the whole of my being. Wake up, harp and lyre! I will wake up the dawn. I will praise you, Lord, among the peoples; I will sing praises to you among the nations. For your faithful love is higher than the heavens, and your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.” (Psalms 108:1-4 CSB)
Psalm 108 begins as Psalm 57 ended. Psalm 57 was written during a challenging time in David’s life: when he had to flee for his life and hide out in a cave. As David made the Lord his primary pursuit and sought to obey the will of the Lord, he was rescued from his enemy’s hand and was delivered from his challenges. As David faced another challenge later in his life, I wonder if he recounted those early days in his life when God proved Himself faithful… and began this plea with praise born out of God’s past faithfulness. He began by declaring, “My heart is confident… my heart is firmly established and secure.” David could say that because he knew his God. How did he know his God? Through a lifetime of earnestly seeking and obeying the will of God… and as David sought and obeyed, God proved Himself to be ever faithful. What began as a statement of faith in Psalm 57, had become in Psalm 108 a statement of confidence born out of experiential knowledge. Knowing what he knew, he would not allow the day’s challenges to get the best of him. Instead, he would arise before the day began and place his faith and trust in the God he knew: the God of eternal mercy and faithfulness.