Daily Fiber
for the soul

by Edward E. Thomason

PSALM 25
SLICE ONE: LEARNING
(feed your head)

The "crust" of the matter:
This Psalm is a prayer that was worthy not only of the individual but also of the nation (v-22). The Psalmist seeks vindication from his enemies, instruction and guidance from God and he is penitent as he patiently waits on God to answer his prayers.

Ingredients this serving:
Ps 25:1-5 Davidís patient petitions
Ps 25:6-11 Davidís penitent petitions
Ps 25:12-22 Davidís pertinent petitions

Patient petitions

Lesson: There is a contemporary song that incorporates the words of this Psalm (highlighted by bold print in the text.) This is a Psalm worth singing and praying many times during our own lives. A significant component of this prayer is the attitude of "patient trust." In our world where we have become accustomed to fast and instant service, waiting upon God often requires a virtue that many fail to acquire.

Ps 25:1-4 "Unto thee, O LORD, do I lift up my soul. O my God, I trust in thee: let me not be ashamed, let not mine enemies triumph over me. Yea, let none that wait on thee be ashamed: let them be ashamed which transgress without cause. Shew me 

thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day."
Comments to munch on:
The Psalmist comes to God and offers Him his most precious possession - his "soul." With total trust he committed his soul to Godís care. (Cf., 2 Timothy 1:12.) David felt that he was troubled
on all sides. At such times, it is easy to say, "I will trust in God." But the test of our trust comes when we must wait. We may expect that God will make all things right, but often his time table is not in sync with our own. Patience shows that we trust Godís wisdom. David believed that his trust in God would not go unrewarded. He did not expect to be left unvindicated and shamed before his enemies. Hope was always in his heart.

1. Discuss the trust that it takes to commit your soul to God and follow his ways when it seems that trouble rather than blessings seem to be coming your way. (James 1:3.)
2. What does patience or the lack of it, say about a personís faith?
3. In addition to patience being a proof of our faith, so also is our unwillingness not to be ashamed of God or his truth. What kind of circumstances might occur in our lives that would tempt us to be ashamed of God?
4. Why would David ask God to teach him his paths and lead him in truth? Was there a desire within David to obey God?
5. Did David understand that obedience to God was also a way of confirming his trust? Discuss times when you or others you know might have patiently kept on obeying God when it was difficult to do so.

Penitent petitions

Ps 25:6-11 "Remember, O LORD, thy tender mercies and thy loving kindnesses; for they have been ever of old. Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions: according to thy mercy remember thou me for thy goodness' sake, O LORD. Good and upright is the LORD: therefore will he 

 



teach sinners in the way. The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way. All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies. For thy name's sake, O LORD, pardon mine iniquity; for it is great."
Comments to munch on: 

Davidís trust rested on the foundation of Godís mercy, love, forgiveness and goodness. David could reflect back upon Godís mercy and goodness in the past and know with confidence that God would continue to be the same. Of all the requests that he made of God, forgiveness was the most important and took priority with David. While David was not ashamed of God, he was ashamed of himself. He lived with the guilt of youthful mistakes and indiscretion. Many older people worry that God will remember the sins of their youth. Often their fears sound very much like that of Davidís in this psalm. David lived under the old covenant where there was a remembrance of sins year after year. (Hebrews 10:1-3.) But we live under the new covenant in which sins once forgiven are remembered no more. (Hebrews 10:17.) We have an assurance today that was not available to David.

1. Do we today need to repeatedly seek forgiveness for the same sins over and over again? Why?
2. Who does David say the Lord will guide in judgment and teach his way? Does this suggest that oneís attitude and humility has much to do with oneís teachability?
3. No matter what pathway in life that following God would take him on, as long as he kept the covenant and testimonies of God, David was confident that mercy and truth would prevail. We may find ourselves on a pathway that is strewn with

problems and heartaches as we attempt to follow God or we may find ourselves on a course that constantly collides with the things of this world. But if we are patient and trust in God and keep doing his will what will be the outcome for us? Do we really believe this?

Pertinent petitions

Lesson: In addition to being meek, David also recognized the need to be reverent toward God. The idea of "fearing the Lord" conveys the idea of walking upright before him with integrity and righteousness out of reverence for God. He believed that the Lord would teach those who fear him and give them an abundance of blessings. Most importantly, to David, he trusted that the man who feared God would be delivered when afflicted or persecuted.

Ps 25:12-21 What man is he that feareth the LORD? him shall he teach in the way that he shall choose. His soul shall dwell at ease; and his seed shall inherit the earth. The secret of the LORD is with them that fear him; and he will shew them his covenant. Mine eyes are ever toward the LORD; for he shall pluck my feet out of the net. Turn thee unto me, and have mercy upon me; for I am desolate and afflicted. The troubles of my heart are enlarged: O bring thou me out of my distresses. Look upon mine affliction and my pain; and forgive all my sins. Consider mine enemies; for they are many; and they hate me with cruel hatred. O keep my soul, and deliver me: let me not be ashamed; for I put my trust in thee."

 

 



Comments to munch on:
At times we also might feel trapped or ensnared "in a net." Our net could be sickness, distress, family troubles or personal sins. At such times we too may turn to God seeking deliverance as we patiently put our trust in his wisdom.

1. Does God always deliver us from every trouble or affliction? Did he always deliver the apostles from every physical trouble or affliction? (Cf. 2 Corinthians 12:7-9) What if God does not deliver us from some affliction or trouble in life, are we able to accept that Godís grace is sufficient? Should we?
2. While God may not always deliver us from physical trouble can our souls still "dwell in ease" as David suggests? (Cf., 2 Corinthians 4:8-9.)

SLICE TWO: LIVING
(nourish your soul)

In this world we may not always see the final outcome nor the wisdom of Godís dealings with his people. Faith does not walk by sight. True faith is a patient faith that waits with expectation that all things will work for good (Romans 8:28) and that God in his mercy will bring honor and victory to those who wait.

A FEW MORE CRUMBS
(fragments overlooked)

Ps 25:22 "Let integrity and uprightness preserve me; for I wait on thee. Redeem Israel, O God, out of all his troubles."

The Psalm ends without an answer to Davidís prayer. It does not end with shouts of triumph but quietly ends with the Psalmist resolving to live with integrity and uprightness no matter what happens as he patiently waits on Godís wise and gracious response. Such it is with us perhaps most of our lives. We keep on keeping on. We keep showing the world something about integrity and righteousness in the face of troubles and difficulties. And perhaps life will end with us still waiting - but waiting with confidence that in the end we will by the grace of God triumph over all enemies including death itself.

Edward Thomason - copyright © 2000