Psa 27:11-12, 11 Teach me Your way, O LORD, And lead me in a smooth path, because of my enemies. 12 Do not deliver me to the will of my adversaries; For false witnesses have risen against me, And such as breathe out violence.
The map of life is a network of roads. To navigate through the unknown and surrounding dangers calls for carefully mapped out paths to different destinations. David understanding the complexity of life has but two interrelated requests to the Lord, “teach me” and then “guide me”. To teach is to pass knowledge, educate, provide useful information. To guide is lead for example travelers through unknown or unfamiliar locations.
David aims to understand the way of God’s providence by teaching, then guided to his duty in response to the way. Learning without application is least beneficial and bears little fruit, but even with application, guidance is needed lest one destroys that which is good. We learn gradually; we learn by study; we learn by effort; we learn by discipline, yet from weakness within and trials without, we are in constant danger of going astray or being wounded, we need to be guided. Practical submission to God’s will is the truest learning and safety net.