Archive for Old Testament

Walking in Truth – OT

Posted in NTBC C&C with tags , , , , , , , on May 30, 2010 by Mark Hanson

How many of you think the Old Testament, for daily practical living, only applies to the Jews? This morning we’re going to explore whether this is a reality or not in one particular concept: Walking in Truth. David uses this phrase, “walking in truth,” so this week we start by looking at its use in the OT and follow up by looking at its use the NT. Both the Hebrew and the Greek roots for these words have similar definitions.

Walking conveys the meaning of acting, doing, performing, going, behaving, and living.

Truth carries the connotation of being trustworthy, faithful, truthful, and maintaining consistency over time.

David’s use of “walking in truth” really centers on his specific understanding of truth. And David’s understanding of truth is directly connected to his concept of God:

Psalm 86:10-12 “For thou art great, and doest wondrous things: thou art God alone. Teach me thy way, O LORD; I will walk in thy truth: unite my heart to fear thy name. I will praise thee, O Lord my God, with all my heart: and I will glorify thy name for evermore.”

David focuses on who God is. He understands God teaches man to follow after Him, and as a result of that teaching, man will have the ability to walk in truth. Walking in truth can only be accomplished by truly understanding who God is. Understanding who God is directly related to a proper walking in truth. It is only in knowing God’s way that we will be able to follow after Him properly. This then in turn produces praise that is completely focused on God’s glory. David also connects walking in truth to the privilege of being in God’s presence.

Psalm 15:1-2 “LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill? He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart.”

While David takes time to connect truth to the person and presence of God, he also shows how we are able discover this truth:

Psalm 119:30 “I have chosen the way of truth: thy judgments have I laid before me.”

Psalm 119:142 “Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and thy law is the truth.”

Psalm 119:151 “Thou art near, O LORD; and all thy commandments are truth.”

David makes a choice to both know and follow the instructions that God has revealed for us. He is following something that is intrinsically right, and that value will never change. And because God’s law is forever right and true, it is the one standard by which we can measure right and wrong, good and evil.

Psalm 25:4-8 4 Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths. 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. 6 Remember, O LORD, thy tender mercies and thy lovingkindnesses; for they have been ever of old.  7 Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions: according to thy mercy remember thou me for thy goodness’ sake, O LORD. 8 Good and upright is the LORD: therefore will he teach sinners in the way.

Psalm 51:6-12 6 Behold, thou desirest truth in the inward parts: and in the hidden part thou shalt make me to know wisdom. 7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. 8 Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. 9 Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. 10 Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. 11 Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. 12 Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.

In Psalm 25 and 51 (David’s Psalm after his sin with Bathsheba) one can see that David understands that God is not some distant and far off impersonal being who’s only relationship is one of correction, but rather that God desires a real change of heart which then allows for a real relationship.

These passages give a picture of David’s understanding of truth and how it is to be integrated into life. Knowing where David is coming from is critical when looking at this passage as he is stepping down handing over the throne to his son Solomon.

1 Kings 2:1-4 Now the days of David drew nigh that he should die; and he charged Solomon his son, saying, 2 I go the way of all the earth: be thou strong therefore, and shew thyself a man; 3 And keep the charge of the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and his testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses, that thou mayest prosper in all that thou doest, and whithersoever thou turnest thyself: 4 That the LORD may continue his word which he spake concerning me, saying, If thy children take heed to their way, to walk before me in truth with all their heart and with all their soul, there shall not fail thee a man on the throne of Israel.

1 Kings 3:6, 14 And Solomon said, [to God] Thou hast shewed unto thy servant David my father great mercy, according as he walked before thee in truth, and in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with thee; and thou hast kept for him this great kindness, that thou hast given him a son to sit on his throne, as it is this day… And [God said] if thou wilt walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my commandments, as thy father David did walk, then I will lengthen thy days.

There are some principles that David touches on in his writings (in the broader context than the verses listed here) about truth:

  • Understanding God’s “otherness”
  • Understanding that we must learn
  • Understanding that we must be taught
  • Understanding that we must be led
  • Understanding that we must be dependent
  • Understanding our sin
  • Understanding our guilt
  • Understanding that we must humble ourselves
  • Understanding that we must seek forgiveness
  • Understanding that God demands internal change
  • Understanding this change is complete: heart, mind, soul
  • Understanding that this produces appropriate response
  • Understanding that this leads to God’s presence
  • Understanding that this change is dependent on the holy spirit
  • Understanding that this is all found written in God’s Word
  • Understanding that God’s Word IS truth and must be obeyed

Walking in Truth is what God desires from all of us. David was a man after God’s own heart and God sums it up at the end of David’s life that this entailed walking after God by keeping His commandments. And this is the very same relationship and drive that David wanted to pass on to his son. We should strive to do the same.

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