Scripture reading – 1 Chronicles 17; Psalm 25

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Continuing our chronological reading of the Scriptures, we return to the Book of 1 Chronicles, chapter 17. You will recognize it is a parallel of events recorded in 2 Samuel 7. We cannot state the author’s identity with certainty; however, Ezra, the author of the book that bears his name, is generally cited as the writer of 1 Chronicles. 1 Chronicles is the historical record of Israel and Judah before the Babylonian captivity. For further commentary on the events recorded in 1 Chronicles 17, I invite you to refer to my prior devotion in 2 Samuel 7.

Today’s Bible study is taken from Psalms 25.

Psalm 25 – A Song of Praise, Faith, and Entreaty

With only one or two exceptions, the verses recorded in Psalm 25 follow the pattern of the Hebrew alphabet, with the first word of each verse beginning with a letter of the Hebrew alphabet (comparable to an English author writing a poem with each verse of prose beginning with the letters A to Z).

The psalm’s title indicated it was “A Psalm of David,” but the occasion of the writing was not identified. Some believe Psalm 25 was written when the king enjoyed a season of ease (as noted in 2 Samuel 7:1). Others suggest it was written near the end of David’s life. (Once again. I have taken the liberty to amplify word definitions and meanings in brackets.)

Trust in God (Psalm 25:1-3)

David was a man after God’s heart (1 Samuel 13:14); however, there were seasons in his life when he struggled with sorrows, and his enemies relished the opportunity to revel in his afflictions. Facing the pressures of governing and the threat of enemies from within and without, David prayed:

Psalm 25:1-2 – “Unto thee, O LORD [Jehovah; Eternal God], do I lift up my soul [life; person]. 2 O my God [Almighty God], I trust in thee: let me not be ashamed [confounded; disappointed; put to shame], let not mine enemies [foes; adversaries] triumph [rejoice; exult] over me.”

David pled for the LORD to save him from his enemies, not only for his sake but also as a testimony to all who call upon the name of the LORD (Psalm 25:2-3).

A Passion for the LORD’s Leading (Psalm 25:4-5)

Psalm 25:4-5 – “Shew me thy ways [road; path], O LORD [Jehovah; Eternal God]; teach [instruct] me thy paths [way; conduct; manner]. 5 Lead [bend; guide; aim] me in thy truth, and teach [instruct] 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].”

David’s prayer should be the prayer and longing of all saints. The king yearned for the LORD to give him insight, discernment, understanding, and direction. After praying, David committed himself to “wait all the day” on the Lord (Psalm 25:5b). 

A Petition: LORD, Remember Your Merciful Character (Psalm 25:6-11)

Amid his sorrows, David reflected on God’s compassion and mercy (Psalm 25:6a). He was reminded that the mercy and grace of the LORD would never be exhausted (Psalm 25:6b).

Psalm 25:6-7 – “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]. 7Remember 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].”

How many of us have shared David’s petition for the LORD’s mercy? David understood God is omniscient, and he was not asking God to “forget,” but to forgive and not hold his sins and transgressions against him (Psalm 25:7). David cast the burden of his sorrows and regret on the LORD. He prayed he would be the object of God’s grace and mercy (Psalm 25:7b). Knowing the magnitude of his sin, the king sought God’s forgiveness and prayed, “For thy name’s sake, O Lord, Pardon mine iniquity; for it is great” (Psalm 25:11).

The LORD Guides the Way of Those Who Fear Him (Psalm 25:12-14)

David asked, “What man is he that feareth [reveres] the Lord? Him shall he [the LORD] teach [instruct] in the way that he [the LORD] shall choose” (Psalm 25:12).

Solomon, David’s son who inherited his father’s throne, gleaned from his father’s wisdom. He later wrote to his son and David’s grandson, “The fear [lit. reverence] of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom: And the knowledge of the holy is understanding” (Proverbs 9:10).

A Prayer for Deliverance (Psalm 25:15-21)

The final verses of Psalm 25 expressed the increasing sorrows of the king (Psalm 25:17). Therefore, David pleaded for the LORD to pity him with His compassion (Psalm 25:18-19). Then, trusting the LORD had heard and would answer his cry, David prayed, “Keep my soul, and deliver me… preserve me; For I wait on thee” (Psalm 25:20-21).

Closing thoughts –

Where do you turn when are troubled and overwhelmed? What do you do with regrets, sorrows, and disappointments? 

I fear some believers thrash about in what author John Bunyan called the slough of despondency (The Pilgrim’s Progress).Christian,” the main character in Bunyan’s novel, was portrayed as laboring under the heavy burden of sins and regret. Bunyan portrayed Christian as a man weighed down by sins and mired in despair.

Some sinners refuse to confess and repent and instead return to the sins that pierce their souls with sorrow. Others amuse themselves with sinful distractions, trying to salve their conscience with pleasures. Some “blame shift” and impugn loved ones with the consequences of their sinful choices. Others turn to vices, alcohol, drugs, and sex to dull the pains of guilt 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.”

Copyright © 2023 – Travis D. Smith 

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