In you, Lord my God,
I put my trust.
I trust in you;
do not let me be put to shame,
nor let my enemies triumph over me.
No one who hopes in you
will ever be put to shame,
but shame will come on those
who are treacherous without cause.
Show me your ways, Lord,
teach me your paths.
Guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my Saviour,
and my hope is in you all day long.
Remember, Lord, your great mercy and love,
for they are from of old.
Do not remember the sins of my youth
and my rebellious ways;
according to your love remember me,
for you, Lord, are good.
Good and upright is the Lord;
therefore he instructs sinners in his ways.
He guides the humble in what is right
and teaches them his way.
All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful
toward those who keep the demands of his covenant.
For the sake of your name, Lord,
forgive my iniquity, though it is great.
Who, then, are those who fear the Lord?
He will instruct them in the ways they should choose.
They will spend their days in prosperity,
and their descendants will inherit the land.
The Lord confides in those who fear him;
he makes his covenant known to them.
My eyes are ever on the Lord,
for only he will release my feet from the snare.
Turn to me and be gracious to me,
for I am lonely and afflicted.
Relieve the troubles of my heart
and free me from my anguish.
Look on my affliction and my distress
and take away all my sins.
See how numerous are my enemies
and how fiercely they hate me!
Guard my life and rescue me;
do not let me be put to shame,
for I take refuge in you.
May integrity and uprightness protect me,
because my hope, Lord, is in you.
Deliver Israel, O God,(Ps. 25:1-22 NIV)
from all their troubles!
The Psalmist displays his confidence in God and shows how personal his relationship with God is, he says my God, in You I put my trust. He is one with those who trust in the Lord. The Psalmist has an attitude of submission and yet he anticipates the Lord’s response to his prayer. Because the Psalmist’s confidence is in the Lord, he does not fear his enemies. All who have ever put their trust in the Lord will not be put to shame.
The Psalmist does not allow his confidence and personal relationship with the Lord to cause him to forget the holiness and majesty of God. The Psalmist submits to needing God’s guidance. He wants God to teach him. He submits his whole way of life to the scrutiny of God.
The Psalmist wants to know more of God’s ways because he wants to do God’s will. To walk in a way pleasing to the Lord requires a submissive spirit to the Lord’s instructions. True godliness is not the outward conformity to God’s law, but the spiritual application of God’s law to our lives. God’s law exposes that which is not right in our lives, and leads the Psalmist to ask for God’s mercy and covenant love (hesed) which God has faithfully shown to all covenant generations. The Psalmist is led to reflect on his own sin. Throughout his life there have been sins of omission and commission. The Psalmist does not want God to bless him according to his own loyalty, but rather according to the faithfulness of God to His own covenant promises. The ground of forgiveness is the goodness of God towards His people. The Lord’s way towards His covenant people is characterised by that which is good and upright, loving and faithful. It is not the Lord’s intention to do us harm but to bless us in Christ. The Lord does this for sinners. The striking thing about the Psalmist is the balance in his attitude. He begins with confidence. With us our confidence can easily become arrogance, but the Psalmist expresses his desire to learn from God. As he learns God’s ways he expresses his sin and confesses. He continues humbly before the Lord (v9). The Lord instructs, guides and teaches. The humble are those who remain teachable. The more we learn from God, the more we learn what is sinful in our lives. This causes the Psalmist to return again to the issue of his sin (v11). As the Psalmist has learned more of God’s ways he has not allowed his learning to cause him to be proud.
The more he learns, the more sensitive he becomes of his need. He pleads for forgiveness on the ground of God’s name.
The Psalmist moves to reflect on the fear of the Lord. Living in the fear of the Lord means that we are constantly looking to the Lord. We gain in experience and confidence and we develop our faith. The Lord shares covenant blessings with His people. He reveals His will through His word and we can prosper. Ultimately we will receive our inheritance of the land in the New Heavens and the New Earth.
The Psalmist has his eyes firmly fixed on the Lord. As he fixes his eyes on the Lord it leads him to further petitions. The Psalmist is aware that, though he has enjoyed the Lord’s presence, he is not immune from further attacks from his enemies and from personal failure. There is a constant need for us to renew ourselves in committing our way to the Lord.
Abba Father, we thank you that by the Spirit of God we are able to come in this very personal way in the presence of the Most High God. We come in Christ’s worth. Lord teach us Your Word so that we can learn Your will and grow and develop in our faith. Help us to develop in our confidence but help us to humbly remember that we ought to live in the fear of the Lord, for Christ our Saviours sake. Amen