Psalms 25

Psalm 25

Teach Me Your Paths

Of David.

25   To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul.
  O my God, in you I trust;
    let me not be put to shame;
    let not my enemies exult over me.
  Indeed, none who wait for you shall be put to shame;
    they shall be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.
  Make me to know your ways, O LORD;
    teach me your paths.
  Lead me in your truth and teach me,
    for you are the God of my salvation;
    for you I wait all the day long.
  Remember your mercy, O LORD, and your steadfast love,
    for they have been from of old.
  Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions;
    according to your steadfast love remember me,
    for the sake of your goodness, O LORD!
  Good and upright is the LORD;
    therefore he instructs sinners in the way.
  He leads the humble in what is right,
    and teaches the humble his way.
  All the paths of the LORD are steadfast love and faithfulness,
    for those who keep his covenant and his testimonies.
  For your name’s sake, O LORD,
    pardon my guilt, for it is great.
  Who is the man who fears the LORD?
    Him will he instruct in the way that he should choose.
  His soul shall abide in well-being,
    and his offspring shall inherit the land.
  The friendship of the LORD is for those who fear him,
    and he makes known to them his covenant.
  My eyes are ever toward the LORD,
    for he will pluck my feet out of the net.
  Turn to me and be gracious to me,
    for I am lonely and afflicted.
  The troubles of my heart are enlarged;
    bring me out of my distresses.
  Consider my affliction and my trouble,
    and forgive all my sins.
  Consider how many are my foes,
    and with what violent hatred they hate me.
  Oh, guard my soul, and deliver me!
    Let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in you.
  May integrity and uprightness preserve me,
    for I wait for you.
  Redeem Israel, O God,
    out of all his troubles.


Psalm 25 Commentary

by Brad Boyles

Have you ever wondered why David prayed so regularly for his enemies to be routed? So far, he has appealed to God on this matter in Psalm 3, 6, 9, 17, 18, 21, 23, and now we read it again here in Psalm 25.

David was a paradox. On one hand, he was a famous, rugged warrior who slew many men during his life. He was a powerful military leader and near-absolute monarch. He lived during a dog-eat-dog era of extremes. He had to eat or be eaten. On the other hand, he was a lover. Being a songwriter and musician, he had a soft, sensive side to him. He loved God and made it clear that he would follow Him with all his heart. This doesn’t mean he was perfect (far from it). His sins were known by the public and brought great humiliation. But, he learned from his struggles.

One of the ongoing themes we see in David’s life is the issue of vengeance. King David was wronged by many in his life, and being the most powerful man in the ancient world, he could have killed (or had them killed) whenever he wanted. At least one time he exercised this power just because he wanted a woman. As far as Saul was concerned, this happened on several occasions. Not only was David justified with Saul, he had the capability of taking matters into his own hands. Vengeance was his… or was it?

We read that, although David was wronged (by Saul and many others), and could have taken matters into his own hands (being the most powerful man during that time), he mostly chose to let God deal with situations. Think about that for a second. David was fully capable of handling these matters in his own strength. He could exterminate an individual (or an entire nation for that matter) with one simple order. But time and time again we read that David appealed to God for justice to be served to his enemies. He laid down his sword to seek wisdom from above.

O my God, in You I trust, Do not let me be ashamed; Do not let my enemies exult over me.  3  Indeed, none of those who wait for You will be ashamed; Those who deal treacherously without cause will be ashamed.  4  Make me know Your ways, O LORD; Teach me Your paths.

Psalms 25:2-4 NASB

None of those who wait for You will be ashamed. Wow, what a statement. Waiting can be trecherous. This is especially true of situations where someone is completely in the wrong and continuing to cause turmoil and destruction. Righteous anger rises inside of us and our immediate response is to take control.

Don’t let my enemies exult over me. It’s almost as if he’s saying, “God, I am angry with this person. They have wronged me and wronged You. They deserve to be punished. But God, I trust You, so I’m going to leave the execution of judgment to You. Please just kill them or make sure that they at least suffer from some horrible disease for the rest of their lives…”

OK, maybe not that last line. But seriously, David made it a habit of trusting God for wrongs to be made right even though he was fully capable of doing so himself. He repeatedly humbled himself before the Lord with faith, not allowing his pride to take control and react recklessly to a situation or individual. Gosh… how badly does the church need to take this message to heart?

I am personally in a situation like this right now. Believe me, it’s one of the most difficult struggles I’ve faced. Some days, it eats me alive. Others, I am able to wrestle my emotions down in confession as I plead with God to bring conviction and truth to the situation. I believe with all my heart He will be faithful and just in His timing. It’s not easy, but it’s right. Where do you need to let go of your need for control in order for God to bring truth?

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