TAUGHT OF GOD'S WAYS
Isaiah and Micah prophesied of a time when people would expectantly seek Divine instruction. Rather than shrinking back in unbelief, they would press to the very mountain of the Lord--His residence--in order to be taught by Him. The language of the prophets is precise, and is characterized by a beauty that attracts the soul. "And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths: for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem" (Isa 2:3; Micah 4:2).
Law and grace
The language of the prophets shows the contrast of Law and grace. Under law, the people were not aggressive to learn from the Lord. Their honor was only with their lips. Their heart was far from the Lord(Isa 29:13). God declares it would not always be this way! The time would come when "many people" would confidently come to the dwelling place of God. They would be assured that God would teach them of His ways, resulting in them walking in His paths. The Law would issue from the Divine residence, ascompared to mere teachers of the Law. Once again, means would be used, but the God of the means is the point of confidence.
People who formerly could not learn, would effectively be taught. Speaking of this accomplishment, the prophet wrote, "They also that erred in spirit shall come to understanding, and they that murmured shall learn doctrine" (Isa 29:14). In arresting language, the effects of God's teaching are proclaimed by the prophet Isaiah. "Then the eyes of those who see will not be blinded, And the ears of those who hear will listen. And the mind of the hasty will discern the truth, And the tongue of the stammerers will hasten to speak clearly" (Isa 32:3-4, NASB). And what is responsible for this remarkable transformation? It is not that men became more intellectual, or more adept at deciphering Biblical texts. No special technic was discovered for interpreting Scripture--like a new hermeneutical principle! The difference was the Lord! The people were willing--YES, but Divine instruction caused their change! It is the involvement of Deity that makes the critical difference! Effective teaching in the New Covenant. As might be expected, Divine instruction is more precisely defined within the new covenant. The teaching would be effective, ending the dominancy of "flesh," or the "sinful nature" (NIV). Anyone that has struggled with sin knows the human need of effective teaching and leadership. How is it possible to have a basic inclination toward the Lord? To have a fervent love for the truth? To be in fundamental agreement with God and His will? These are the benefits of the New Covenant, and they are owing to Divine instruction. Once again, read the New Covenant in all of its blessedness. "But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more" (Jer 31:33-34). The word of promise is this, "I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts." This is another way of saying, "They shall all be taught by God." The latter expression emphasizes the Source of the instruction. The former accentuates the effect of the instruction. Who but God could put His law into our "inward parts," and "write it" upon our "hearts?" The book of Hebrews quotes this passage in these words, "I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts . . . I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them" (Heb 8:10; 10:16). What does it mean to have the laws of God "put" into your heart and mind, or "written" in your mind and heart? This is nothing less than being "taught by God." This is teaching that results in unanimity with the Lord, or agreement with Him. Those so taught find the commandments are "not grievous" (1 John 5:3). This experience is expressed by David prior to the inauguration of the New Covenant. He was a man that lived ahead of his time, possessing a spirit more akin to the New covenant than the old one under which he lived. The expression is found in Psalm 27:8. "When Thou didst say, 'Seek My face,' my heart said to Thee, 'Thy face, O LORD, I shall seek.' That is being effectively "taught by God!"This is not privilege of a chosen few within the new covenant; it is the blessed condition of everyone"in Christ." This is what happens in the new covenant--not what should happen! "All" within the covenant of blessing are "taught by God"--effectively "taught by God!"