Psalm 25: Teach Me Your Paths

This note on this one just says “Of David”. We’ve come across a few others that do that. Again, it could mean a few things;    he could have written it himself, it could be written about him or it could just use an instrument or tune that he wrote.

Psalm 25

1To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul.
2O my God, in you I trust;
let me not be put to shame;
let not my enemies exult over me.
3Indeed, none who wait for you shall be put to shame;
they shall be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.

4Make me to know your ways, O LORD;
teach me your paths.
5Lead me in your truth and teach me,
for you are the God of my salvation;
for you I wait all the day long.

6Remember your mercy, O LORD, and your steadfast love,
for they have been from of old.
7Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions;
according to your steadfast love remember me,
for the sake of your goodness, O LORD!

8Good and upright is the LORD;
therefore he instructs sinners in the way.
9He leads the humble in what is right,
and teaches the humble his way.
10All the paths of the LORD are steadfast love and faithfulness,
for those who keep his covenant and his testimonies.

11For your name’s sake, O LORD,
pardon my guilt, for it is great.
12Who is the man who fears the LORD?
Him will he instruct in the way that he should choose.
13His soul shall abide in well-being,
and his offspring shall inherit the land.
14The friendshipb of the LORD is for those who fear him,
and he makes known to them his covenant.
15My eyes are ever toward the LORD,
for he will pluck my feet out of the net.

16Turn to me and be gracious to me,
for I am lonely and afflicted.
17The troubles of my heart are enlarged;
bring me out of my distresses.
18Consider my affliction and my trouble,
and forgive all my sins.

19Consider how many are my foes,
and with what violent hatred they hate me.
20Oh, guard my soul, and deliver me!
Let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in you.
21May integrity and uprightness preserve me,
for I wait for you.

22Redeem Israel, O God,
out of all his troubles.

Here again we have a psalm that more prayer than song, I feel. It praises and worships and makes requests. It reminds God of the devotion of the writer while asking that it be reciprocated with the exact things the writer wants from God. It’s among the more relatable psalms that I’ve seen so far, offering trust but not necessarily absolute confidence. Mostly it seems that the writer wants God to do good things with his life and to lead him to those things, sure that he wouldn’t find them on his own.

I especially like verse 7, which is a sentiment that most of us feel to not just God, but everyone who knew us as adolescents and children. I love the way it goes from there into a few verses of acknowledgement of the things God does and then on to the requests of the writer. Verses 16 to 18 sound to me like a piece that could be added into daily prayer. It’s simple and includes a lot of troubles while staying concise. Mostly, it just doesn’t ask for absolute and finite things. Those are the prayers that get us into trouble, I feel. This one leaves room for the way it is done to not be obvious to the receiver of such a gift, but the kind of gift that we only really see in the rear view. It’s leading the Israelites away from Egypt, the only place they had ever known at that point, and out into an unforgiving desert for them to find their home. There’s time to get lost in the middle, not because God wants us to lose our way, but there must be faith and trust for any long term endeavor to pan out. Without that, they ended up banned from seeing the promised land, wandering far longer than originally intended.

Instead, verse 16 to 18 leave open the possibility of wandering in the desert but feeling assured that they were brought out of the place of their distress and being lead to someplace better. Maybe that’s just how I read it. I just love that piece. I also appreciate the request for “integrity and uprightness” to “preserve” the writer. I think we could all use an abundance of integrity and uprightness, religious believer or not.

This one is definitely a favorite.

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