God says that He is the Lord, reminding us that He is our Redeemer; that He is Holy. He says, “I Am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you (NIV), who teaches you to profit (ESV).” He also tells us, “I Am the Lord your God, who directs you in the way you should go (NIV), who leads you in the way you should go. (ESV)”
Webster’s Vest Pocket Dictionary defines “direct” as “cause to move or follow a certain course,” “show (someone) the way,” “regulate the activities or course of,” “request with authority.” The verb “lead” is defined as “direct or run on a course,” “go at the head of,” and “bring or tend to a definite result.”
God has an ultimate result in His Mind; He has a certain course, a definitive way. He certainly knows what is best for us. He is most assuredly holy. Above all, He has the authority.
“Profit” is defined as “valuable return” or “gain.” God says He teaches us to gain. He expects us to gain a valuable return for His investment in us. God expects not only what is best for us, but what is best — period!
We see here God as Shepherd, prodding, directing our course with His crook. He hooks it around our necks now and then, pulling us away here, pushing us forward there. Sometimes He takes that crook and brings it down sharply on our backsides to remind us who is really in charge of our direction, of our ultimate course. He is at the head at times, expecting us to follow. Ocassionally, He winds up behind us, seeking us out with a wary eye. But, rest assured, He is always there. He is always our Shepherd, and He always loves His sheep.