Ps 25:1 To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul;
Lifting up the soul, positively (here), and negatively, Ps 24:4b.
To you – this defines the difference between prayer and mystical contemplation.
Ps 25:2 in you I trust, O my God. Do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me.
See in this verse ‘the soul at anchor, and the two rocks from which it would be delivered’.
Faith sees in God its only strength, comfort and hope. What do I trust in?
We sometimes need to be reminded that faith in God is not a mirage: so utterly opposed is it to the thought and action of the world.
The Christian will be reluctant to defend himself: therefore he must pray to God to defend him.
Ps 25:3 No one whose hope is in you will ever be put to shame, but they will be put to shame who are treacherous without excuse.
Sin is doubly sinful when it is without excuse, or without purpose.
Christians are vulnerable: they can expect sometimes to be sinned against without excuse – they are ‘easy targets’.
Ps 25:4 Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths;
We are always learning. No-one can say, ‘I know enough; I do not need anyone to teach me.’
Note the reason God guides: not to satisfy our curiosity, but to teach us how to behave – his ‘paths’.
v4f – For the Christian, Christ is ‘way, the truth, and the life’, Jn 14:6.
Right behaviour (‘your ways’) and right doctrine (‘your truth’) are inseparably linked together.
Psa 25:5 guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.
Ps 25:6 Remember, O LORD, your great mercy and love, for they are from of old.
The fact that God has helped us in the past is our assurance that he will help us now.
We do well to learn from the history of God’s dealings with his people. See Ps 85:1-4.
Our plea is not our own character, but God’s.
Ps 25:7 Remember not the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways; according to your love remember me, for you are good, O LORD.
What are the special sins of the young?
Time does not lessen the guilt of sin.
God’s grace is perfect – he forgives and forgets.
Psa 25:8 Good and upright is the LORD; therefore he instructs sinners in his ways.
Ps 25:9 he guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way.
‘An unsurrending will is the most serious of all obstacles to discovery of God’s will. If God does not reveal his truth to those who are not willing to believe it, nether does he reveal his will to those unwilling to do it. No, ‘he guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way’.’ (Ps 25:9) (John Stott, The Contemporary Christian)
Ps 25:10 All the ways of the LORD are loving and faithful for those who keep the demands of his covenant.
Psa 25:11 For the sake of your name, O LORD, forgive my iniquity, though it is great.
Psa 25:12 Who, then, is the man that fears the LORD? He will instruct him in the way chosen for him.
Psa 25:13 He will spend his days in prosperity, and his descendants will inherit the land.
Psa 25:14 The LORD confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them.
Ps 25:15 my eyes are ever on the LORD, for only he will release my feet from the snare.
Psa 25:16 Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted.
Psa 25:17 The troubles of my heart have multiplied; free me from my anguish.
Psa 25:18 Look upon my affliction and my distress and take away all my sins.
Psa 25:19 See how my enemies have increased and how fiercely they hate me!
Psa 25:20 Guard my life and rescue me; let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in you.
Psa 25:21 May integrity and uprightness protect me, because my hope is in you.
Psa 25:22 Redeem Israel, O God, from all their troubles!