Psalm 25 is another Psalm written by David. In this Psalm, David starts out with a prayer, then praises God, and goes back to praying. The overall message of this Psalm is that God is there for us when we need Him, and when times get tough, we can take our problems to God through prayer knowing that He will help us in our hour of need.
When I did an overview of the Psalms, I pointed out that the Hebrew writers would sometimes use an acrostic pattern using their alphabet, and I used Psalm 119 as an example, but there are total of 9 Psalms that do this, and they are Psalms 9; 10; 34; 37; 111; 112; 119; 145 and our Psalm we are looking at tonight Psalm 25.
Psalm 25:1 A Psalm of David. To You, O LORD, I lift up my soul.† 2 O my God, I trust in You;
There is no way for us to know exactly what part of Davidís life this specifically refers to since he was a man of war, but we do know that it was at time when he was facing off with his enemies. I cannot think of a better time when prayer should be our first line of defense. David understood that God would bless him in his endeavors and it was God that caused him to be successful in his battles.
Just like David, we should always to pray to God for help against our enemy the devil and the many temptations that we are faced with. Unlike David, the majority of our battles are spiritual in nature as Paul said:
Ephesians 6:12 †For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.
Notice how David lifted up his soul to God. This means that he was putting his entire being into the hands of God, which is made clear when he said, ďO my God, I trust in youĒ. Sometimes it becomes difficult for us to allow ourselves to fully trust in God, but as Christians, we must learn to stop thinking that we can only rely on ourselves because God is trustworthy, and we have not reason to doubt Him. When you really think about it, can you really say that you are completely trustworthy? How many times have you set a goal for yourself and then failed because you could not keep your word or because of your weakness, you were drawn away from your goal because of sin.
When you get right down to the only person that is trustworthy 100% of the time is God. So, let us learn from Davidís example by lifting our soul to God when we pray with full trust in Him, anything less expresses doubt, and we donít want be doubtful in our prayers because James says:
James 1:6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
David continues and says:
Let me not be ashamed; Let not my enemies triumph over me.† 3 Indeed, let no one who waits on You be ashamed; Let those be ashamed who deal treacherously without cause.
Davidís enemies knew that God Almighty was on his side, and if he was defeated by his enemy it would give them a reason to boast over David and God. David does not want that to happen, and he never wants to be put in the position of being ashamed or embarrassed. His plea is that no one who waits on the Lord, which means to faithful serve Him, will become ashamed or embarrassed. Instead, he wants all those who are evil and treat others treacherously to be ashamed.
In a similar way, we should never allow ourselves to become ashamed of the Gospel even if we are under persecution because when we do Godís will and follow the pattern He has left us in His Word, we have nothing to be ashamed of because we can be confident that we are being pleasing to God, and in the end, we will triumph over our enemies. At the day of judgment it will be them that will be brought low, and they will experience the worse shame a soul can experience because they will spend eternity with the devil and his angels.
One way that will help us not to be ashamed is found in what Davidís says next:
Psalm 25:4 Show me Your ways, O LORD; Teach me Your paths.† 5 Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For You are the God of my salvation; On You I wait all the day.
If you want to be on the Lordís side and have the confidence you need not be ashamed, then you will have the same desire as David to be lead by God. You and I are so fortunate to live in a time where we have full access to Godís Word. We have tons of tools available to us to help us to have deeper understanding of Godís Word, but all tools in the world will not help unless you are willing submit yourself to God and allow His Word to be your guide.
We need to have the attitude of Ezra in:
Ezra 7:10 For Ezra
had prepared his heart to seek the Law of the LORD, and to do it, and to
teach statutes and ordinances in
We must prepare our hearts to seek the law of God, and the best place to begin is with prayer. We should pray to God to give us wisdom and direct our pathways. We must never think so highly of ourselves that we think we can do it better than God because we cant, so I hope that each of us hear tonight will learn to set our thoughts to the side and allow Godís Word to give us wisdom, but we cannot do it by prayer alone because we must be willing dig into Godís and use the many tools we have such as dictionaries, commentaries, and written material that will give us deeper insight into Godís Word. This is not something that should be done once a week, it should be done daily if possible. So, trust in God and allow Him to be your guide.
Next, David acknowledges his sin:
Psalm 25:6 Remember, O LORD, Your tender mercies and Your lovingkindnesses, For they are from of old.† 7 Do not remember the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions; According to Your mercy remember me, For Your goodness' sake, O LORD.
Many times in the OT, you will find these Godly men reminding God of His promises or in this case reminding God of how merciful and loving He is. Itís not that God needs reminding of these things, but it makes these Godly men feel better about themselves when they do.
The reason David wants God to remember how merciful and loving He is because he knows that he had committed sins in his youth, and he was not perfect now, and he did not want God to give him what he deserved. Instead, he wants God to forget about those past sins and wants Him to remember him in the sense of receiving His blessings.
I donít know about you, but I am glad that God is not like me or you because none of us could put up with the junk that God has put up with, and we certainly are not very good and letting the past go. If we were God, we might tell David, I am sorry, I cannot help you because you have burned me to many times. You are on your own buddy!
Thankfully, our God is not like that. He loves us and is so merciful and full of grace that He continues to forgive us when ask for it. Unlike us, once we repent of our sin and it is forgiven, God forgets it, and will continue to bless us. What a wonderful God we have!
Let us learn from David that if we want to have a close relationship with God, then we must be willing to acknowledge our sins and repent of them knowing that God will forgive them and forget them.
Next David starts praising God.
Psalm 25:8 Good and upright is the LORD; Therefore He teaches sinners in the way.† 9 The humble He guides in justice, And the humble He teaches His way.† 10 All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth, To such as keep His covenant and His testimonies.† 11 For Your name's sake, O LORD, Pardon my iniquity, for it is great.
As we think about God Almighty and what He means to us, He is certainly worth praising. Do you find yourself always asking for things from God and not praising Him for what He has done? If this describes you, I hope you learn to more like David and realize how important it is for us to praise God; not that He needs it, but He deserves it because He is good and upright.
Without God, we would be nothing, and we do not deserve love and mercy, but He gives it to us anyway. The sinner who stands in awe of Godís truth and His ability to forgive can be taught to find forgiveness from God. But the sinner must be humble and realize that he has sinned. He should not make excuses for his sins or blame them on someone else. Instead, he should take full responsibility for what he has done and then go to the only source that can forgive him of that sin, which is God.
A great example of a humble sinner versus a prideful sinner can be seen in:
Luke 18:10 "Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.† 11 "The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, 'God, I thank You that I am not like other men -- extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector.† 12 'I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess.'† 13 "And the tax collector, standing afar off, would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, 'God, be merciful to me a sinner!'† 14 "I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted." †
Some Christians are like this Pharisee. They think they are so holy that they think they have no sin in their life, and so that might say to God they are glad they are not like other men, but the humble sinner has the attitude that all Christians should have, and this can be seen by the example of the tax collector. He knew he was a sinner, and he was ashamed of his sin. If he wanted to, I am sure he knew people that had sinned more times than he did, but he wasnít worried about their sinfulness, he was concerned about his sin because he knew that he had broken the law of God.
We can see how humble he was because, he couldnít even look up toward God and he beat his chest asking for the mercy of God. Let us never try justify our sins by comparing them to the sins of our neighbor. Instead, lets come before Lord as a humble sinner when we ask forgiveness for our sin.
As James said:
James 4:6 †"God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble."
When we learn to be humble like this before the Lord, we will receive Godís mercy and His grace. As David was praising God for His goodness and justice, it reminded him of his sin again and so he asked God to forgive him of his iniquity again.
When we think about our sin, it should cause us shame as well, and we should have strong desire to take care of that sin. We should never stop or hesitate to ask for Godís forgiveness no matter how big we think our sin is because God will forgive it and forget it, but the hard part is for us to forgive ourselves and move on. As Paul said:
Philippians 3:13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead,† 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Donít allow your forgiven sins to become a stumbling block that keeps you from moving forward to your goal of heaven.
Psalm 25:12 Who is the man that fears the LORD? Him shall He teach in the way He chooses.† 13 He himself shall dwell in prosperity, And his descendants shall inherit the earth.† 14 The secret of the LORD is with those who fear Him, And He will show them His covenant.† 15 My eyes are ever toward the LORD, For He shall pluck my feet out of the net
David is talking about showing reverence to God; that is what it means to fear God in this context. Some get confused and think that fear of God means you are so afraid of Him that you will do His will. While we should have a healthy fear of God, He doesnít want us to obey His commands because we are scared of Him, He wants us to obey His commands because we love and respect Him.
Those who fear God in this way, will be taught by Him. Sometimes we might learn a great lesson through the providence of God as He works in our life, but many times we can learn great lesson by simply putting Godís truth into our life by reading and studying His Word.
During Davidís time, if they kept their reverence for God, they prospered because God would allow them expand their kingdom their enemies and this prosperity would be passed down to their children. The same thing holds true today. If our nation respects God and governs itself based on the principles of God it will prosper, but if our nation continues to move away from God and making laws that making sinful practices a everyday occurrence, then God will remove that prosperity and then our children and grandchildren will also experience the downfall that comes from a nation that no longer fears God.
If we every hope to remain a prosperous nation, then we must move closer to God instead of further away. Only those that honor God will be able reap the benefits of the covenant that we have Him. David understood that the fear of God was essential. He knew that if he gave reverence to God and trusted in Him by always looking toward Him that his enemy would never be able to ensnare him.
The same thing is true with us in a spiritual sense. The devil will never be able to ensnare us in his trap as long we keep looking toward God with respect and we continue to honor Him by trusting in Him and His Word.
David concludes his Psalm by petitioning God once again:
Psalm 25:16 Turn Yourself to me, and have mercy on me, For I am desolate and afflicted.† 17 The troubles of my heart have enlarged; Bring me out of my distresses!† 18 Look on my affliction and my pain, And forgive all my sins.† 19 Consider my enemies, for they are many; And they hate me with cruel hatred.† 20 Keep my soul, and deliver me; Let me not be ashamed, for I put my trust in You.† 21 Let integrity and uprightness preserve me, For I wait for You
In the last part of the Psalm, we can see that Davidís only has one source of hope and that is God. He wants God to turn to him and have mercy on his soul. Davidís enemies were numerous and they all wanted a piece of him, this constant hatred from his enemies made him feel desolate and afflicted.
As David thought about his enemies and thought about his sin, it was causing him great distress, and he knew that the only way he could deal with all of this pressure was by turning his problems over to God and trusting in His timing, which is why you see him saying he will wait on the Lord. The only way David could wait on the Lord was because He trusted in Him, and He knew that God would come through for him.
For a third time, David asked God to forgive him of sins because he did not want his sins to come between him and His God, and he did not want his sin to allow his enemies to win.
While David had trouble with sin just like you and I do, overall he was an upright man and was walking in the light much more than he was walking in darkness, and when he messed up, he was willing to admit to his sin and repent of it. Since he was upright most of the time, he could let that part of his life be his anchor in righteousness that would preserve him from affliction as he waited on God.
Like David, we must realize that our only hope we have to overcome our sins and our enemy the devil is through God. Without Him, we are defenseless and without hope, but thankfully, we can have hope through our faith in God as Paul said:
Romans 5:1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,† 2 through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.† 3 And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance;† 4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope.† 5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
No matter how many problems you face or much you are afflicted never forget the hope that you have in God thanks to what Jesus did for us on the cross. David finishes his prayer by praying for his nation:
In a similar manner, we should pray for our nation that it will be redeemed, and that our leaders will start looking to Godís wisdom to make their decisions and refuse to allow a few to cause God to be kicked to curb. We are also commanded to pray for our nation and our leadership in:
1 Timothy 2:1 Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men,† 2 for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.† 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,
So, donít forget to pray for our nation, pray for each other, and pray for ourselves.
In conclusion, we have learned a great lesson about prayer from this Psalm. We have learned that God is worthy of our praise and that He will hear our prayers and answer them, but we must learn to trust in God 100%, and when we sin and come before God in a humble manner showing Him the respect He deserve, we can know that He will forgive us of our sins, forget them, and continue to bless us. We must never stop praying for our nation and our fellowman. The way that learn how to do all of this is by letting God guide our lives through His Word and His providence.