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Summary: The underlying theme of this psalm is guidance. David’s circumstances are dire, he hardly knows which way to turn, so he turns to God.

May 28, 2014

Tom Lowe

Psalm 25 (KJV)

Title: The Way, the Truth and the Life

A psalm of David.

Psalm 25 (KJV)

1 Unto thee, O LORD, do I lift up my soul.

2 O my God, I trust in thee: let me not be ashamed, let not mine enemies triumph over me.

3 Yea, let none that wait on thee be ashamed: let them be ashamed which transgress without cause.

4 Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths.

5 Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.

6 Remember, O LORD, thy tender mercies and thy lovingkindnesses; for they have been ever of old.

7 Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions: according to thy mercy remember thou me for thy goodness' sake, O LORD.

8 Good and upright is the LORD: therefore will he teach sinners in the way.

9 The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way.

10 All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.

11 For thy name's sake, O LORD, pardon mine iniquity; for it is great.

12 What man is he that feareth the LORD? him shall he teach in the way that he shall choose .

13 His soul shall dwell at ease; and his seed shall inherit the earth.

14 The secret of the LORD is with them that fear him; and he will shew them his covenant.

15 Mine eyes are ever toward the LORD; for he shall pluck my feet out of the net.

16 Turn thee unto me, and have mercy upon me; for I am desolate and afflicted.

17 The troubles of my heart are enlarged: O bring thou me out of my distresses.

18 Look upon mine affliction and my pain; and forgive all my sins.

19 Consider mine enemies; for they are many; and they hate me with cruel hatred.

20 O keep my soul, and deliver me: let me not be ashamed; for I put my trust in thee.

21 Let integrity and uprightness preserve me; for I wait on thee.

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

Introduction

This psalm brings us to a new section. It begins a new series of fifteen psalms—25-39—which primarily record David’s personal experience, but look also to the future when the godly remnant of Israel is in trouble. These psalms are more personal, quiet, and intimate. They have a wonderful message and impact on our lives today. They are applicable to the past, the present, and the future. Some of these psalms may not be familiar, but they have much to say to us.

Psalm 25 is similar to Psalm 34, therefore it may be assumed that they have the same author; Israel’s great king, David. The psalm contains a short fervent prayer for the liberation of his people Israel from its distress.

We do not know when this psalm was written, but the best conjecture is that it was written sometime during the Absalom rebellion. It is a psalm which belongs as much in the prayer book as in the hymnal.

The underlying theme of this psalm is guidance. David’s circumstances are dire, he hardly knows which way to turn, so he turns to God. Was it not Abraham Lincoln who said, “I have often been driven to God by the overwhelming sense that I had nowhere else to go.”

Commentary

1 Unto thee, O LORD, do I lift up my soul.

“Unto thee, O LORD!”—Lift up your soul, so that its darkness can be penetrated by His light, its disorders healed by His saving health.

In verses 1-3, the psalmist appeals to Jehovah and to Elohim—to the God of covenant and to the God of creation. He wants to make sure that the God of promise and of power is on his side. This reminds me of Martin Luther’s clash with the Roman church. While on his way to the city of Worms where the great debate was to take place, his friends feared for his life because all the power of the holy Roman emperor was arrayed against him. He was condemned already, if he entered the city he would never leave it alive. “I trust in God Almighty!” was the bold warrior’s reply. Thus David prayed: “I want you to protect me! Never let me or any of your friends be ashamed.”

2 O my God, I trust in thee: let me not be ashamed, let not mine enemies triumph over me.

This is a psalm that reveals David’s great dependence upon God. One day Israel will also reveal this. The time will come when that remnant of Israel will find themselves in a position where there is no one upon whom they can depend but God. And it is good for us to come to that place also.

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