WORD STUDY – LEAD ME IN THY TRUTH
Psalm 25:5: “Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou [art] the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.”
Here the Psalmist is asking God to not only lead him in His truth but to teach Him truth as well. The age old question is “What is truth.” Of course in one respect that is easy, look it up in your dictionary. Obviously, the question is not asking for the definition of truth but the nature of truth. There are many definitions of the English word truth. Basically it is conformity with fact or reality. To a philosopher it is the actuality of existence.
Nothing gets my boiler fire burning more than when someone opens their Bible, points to a verse and says, “But this is truth.” This is particularly irritating when I interpret the verse entirely different than they do. So what is the truth? Is it your interpretation or mine? Both interpretations seem to conform to reality but both cannot be truth? Now if that person points to the name Jesus and says: “That is the truth.” Well, there is no argument there.
Jesus said in John 14:6 that He is the truth. What he was saying was that He was the actuality of existence. Why do we exist? What is our purpose in life? It is knowing Jesus for He is the one who draws us into the God who created us. When you create something you have a reason for that creation. Truth as defined in this context as the reason, the actuality of and for our existence.
Does that English definition fit the Hebrew word for truth? The word truth in the Hebrew as used here is ba’amiteka from the root word ‘emth. It is interesting that the root word is spelled Aleph, Mem, and Taw. It starts with an Aleph and ends with a Taw. The Aleph is the first letter of the Hebrew Alphabet and the Taw is the last. Truth is the beginning and the end. In the middle of the word for truth or the beginning and the end is the letter Mem which represents the revealed knowledge of God. Truth is the knowledge of God from the beginning to the end. Truth is everything about God. Romans 11:36: “ For of him, and through him, and to him, [are] all things: to whom [be] glory for ever. Amen.” It is interesting that in my Aramaic Bible the word for amen is amin which means in agreement and truth.
The word itself is defined in our lexicons as faithfulness, firmness, reliability, stability, endurance, sureness and divine instruction. That is a lot of good things. No doubt the Psalmist desires to be led in all these things. I am sure you do as I. In its Semitic root the word means a firmness that is completely trustworthy. In our vernacular we would say: “It is a sure thing.”
So God sent His Son Jesus who is the living example of the sure thing. He is the one who can guarantee life, for He is life eternal. Jesus said in John 14:6: “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” He is the way, His is the manner of our life style. He is the truth, His way is the surest guaranteed manner of life and the one which leads to life eternal. By following Him He will lead us to the Father.
So the Psalmist wants to be led into the surest thing. The word led is derek. Seems we found that word before in verse 4 where it was rendered as way which means a manner of one’s life style. This time it is used as a verb, however, and is in a Hiphal (causative) form. But there is more to this word. The particular form of the word derek- lead in this verse in the Hebrew is haderikenu. This particular verbal form is a Hiphal (causative) imperative (command) form.
The Psalmist is firmly demanding (imperative) that God causes something (Hiphal) to happen to bring him into a life style that is the surest thing to God’s presence. Do you ever want to live a life that is the surest thing to the life God wants you to live that you are actually demanding that God causes something to happen to bring this about? That could mean that God will take you sunshine and turn it into a storm. Do you want that life bad enough to enter a storm? It may mean that God will take joy and turn it into sorrow, your wellness into pain, if that is what it is going to take to smash your will and bring you into that manner of living that is pleasing to God, is that what you are willing to do? Do you want it that bad?
Fanny Crosby became blind as a small child through the mistake of her physician. After many years of walking with God and writing some of the world’s most beautiful and soul stirring hymns she was asked by a reporter what she would say to the physician who caused her blindness if she ever met him. She said: “I would thank him.” She believed with all her heart that it was her blindness that brought her into that derek, that manner of walk, life style with God that brought about the hundreds of hymns that were a blessing to millions.
We can read this as “Lead me into Thy truth” but we must remember the emotional context and the broader meaning to the word lead – derek and truth – ‘emth. For then we will capture the true heart of the Psalmist who is crying out to God: “Do something in my life that will cause me to have a life style that is pleasing to You and is a sure thing to your presence.” Just remember that embodied in this demand is the risk of a sacrifice, a sacrifice of your will, desires and lust.
I remember during one of the most trying periods of my life I went to a pastor friend of mine and started ranting. I cried out all the injustice, all the pain, all the hurt, rejection and suffering and then concluded by saying: “It seems I’ve lost everything and all I got was Jesus in return.” My friend simply said: “Amen.” I heard Amin – truth.–