Tuesday, March 2, 2017
Daily reading assignment: Psalms 24-26
Our scripture reading today is Psalms 24, 25, and 26 for those continuing the discipline of reading through the Bible in a year. For today’s devotional commentary, my focus is Psalm 25. David writes:
Psalm 25:1-2 – “Unto thee, O LORD [Jehovah; Eternal God], do I lift up [remove; take away] my soul [life; person]. 2 O my God [Almighty God], I trust [trust; confident; bold] in thee: let me not be ashamed [confounded; disappointed; put to shame], let not mine enemies [foes; adversary] triumph [rejoice; exult] over me.”
Many believe David wrote Psalm 25 in the last years of his life. Though a man after God’s own heart, the king struggled with sorrows and the reality that his enemies relished the opportunity of reveling in trials troubled his soul. David cried out to God, “Unto thee, O Lord” [I might add, and “thee alone”] “do I lift up my soul” (25:1). Though he was physically frail and emotionally fragile, David’s trust and confidence in the LORD had not wavered.
Psalm 25:3 – “Yea, let none that wait [look; hope] on thee be ashamed [confounded; disappointed; put to shame]: let them be ashamed [confounded; disappointed; put to shame] which transgress [offend; act deceitfully] without cause.
David pleads for the LORD to save him from his enemies, not only for his sake, but also for the sake of all who call upon the name of the God of Israel (25:3a). Indeed, if someone should bear shame, let it be those who have sinned and transgressed against the LORD and His law (25:3b).
Psalm 25:4-5 – “Shew me thy ways [road; path], O LORD [Jehovah; Eternal God]; teach [instruct; accept] me thy paths [way; conduct; manner]. 5 Lead [bend; guide; aim] me in thy truth [right; faithfulness], and teach [instruct; accept] me: for thou art the God [Almighty God] of my salvation [liberty; deliverance]; on thee do I wait [look; behold; hope] all the day [time].”
We have seen in earlier devotionals that there are two ways, two paths in life—the way of man that denies God and leads to death (Proverbs 14:12) and the way of the LORD that is straight and narrow and begins at the cross (Matthew 7:14). David’s prayer should be the prayer of all saints. Like David, we have the Word of God, but we need the LORD to give us insight, discernment and understanding. If you will allow an amplification of Psalm 24:4-5, we need to pray, “LORD, show me the path you would have me take; teach me how to conduct myself in a manner that pleases You; bend my will in accord with Your Truth; and teach me!” (John 17:17) Confessing that salvation, safety, and deliverance from a troubled soul come from God (25:5a); David committed himself to “wait” on the Lord (25:5b).
Let’s be honest, impatience is a struggle when we are in the midst of trials, and fear and flight are a natural reaction when we reject God’s refining fire.
Psalm 25:6 – “Remember, O LORD [Jehovah; Eternal God], thy tender mercies [compassion] and thy lovingkindnesses [mercy; kindness; goodness]; for they have been ever of old [eternity; everlasting; perpetual].”
In the midst of his sorrows, David reflected on God’s compassion and mercy (25:6a) and remembered that the mercy and grace of the LORD will never be exhausted (25:6b).
Psalm 25:7 – “Remember not the sins of my youth [childhood], nor my transgressions [sin; trespass; guilt]: according to thy mercy remember thou me for thy goodness’ [welfare] sake, O LORD [Jehovah; Eternal God].”
Finally, David calls upon the LORD to forget, “remember not”, the sins and transgressions of his youth (25:7a). Knowing the LORD is merciful, David cast the burden of his sorrows and regret on the LORD and prays that he would be the object of His grace and mercy (25:7b).
Believer, what have you done with your regrets, sorrows and disappointments? Some believers live in what John Bunyan described as the “slough of despondency” in his classic novel, The Pilgrim’s Progress. Bearing the burden of sins and regret, they wrestle in the mire of despair and, rather than repent of their sin and turn to Christ, turn back to the very sins that pierced their despairing soul with sorrow.
Others amuse their thoughts with sinful distractions hoping the salve of temporal pleasures will desensitize the emotions that cloud their hearts. Some dissuade regret by falling into a sinful pattern of “blame shifting” and impugning loved ones with the consequences of their own sinful choices. Finally, some turn to alcohol and drugs attempting to dull the piercing sorrow of guilt and regret.
Pressed upon with sorrows and regret? Take a page out of David’s life and lift up your heart and thoughts to the LORD! (Psalm 25:1-2)
In the words of the great 19th century Baptist preacher Charles Spurgeon: “It is the mark of a true saint that his sorrows remind him of his sins, and his sorrow for sin drives him to his God.” [Treasury of David]
Copyright 2017 – Travis D. Smith