Psalm 25:1-22 Expository Devotional

v1 A Psalm of David.  Unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul.

  Men believe that God will find pleasure in whatever they "lift up" to God, whether good works, "churchianity," and/or religious activity, but David knew that God would only accept the "lifting up" of the totality of his soul ("breath of life") or inner man.  God deals in the internals, not the externals.  David "lifted up" the essence of his life to the God of his life.

v2 O my God, I trust in Thee: let me not be ashamed, let not mine enemies triumph over me.  

  David could give God all he was, because God was a trustworthy repository.  You cannot go wrong by giving back your life to the God who gave you that life.   You can trust ("feel safe, be confident") in God.  Though enemies might triumph over our flesh, our God keeps our souls safe and secure.  When the final day dawns and we know as we are known, we will see that our trust in God was well placed, despite present circumstances.

v3 Yea, let none that wait on Thee be ashamed: let them be ashamed which transgress without cause. 

  Those that wait ("look for with eager expectation") on the Lord, will not be ashamed ("dismayed, disgraced, disappointed") either by trusting God or waiting upon God.  In fact, the very opposite is true (Isa. 40:31).   

v4 Shew me Thy ways, O Lord; teach me Thy paths. 

  You cannot trust God without learning His ways ("standard of actions, behavior"), and follow His paths ("road that leads to life").  The more we know of God, the easier it is to obey His requirements, and to, therefore, follow His path.  That path is clearly revealed in the Bible.

v5 Lead me in Thy Truth (Christ), and teach me: for Thou art the God of my salvation (Christ); on Thee do I wait all the day. 

  Here is David's testimony that God was the provider of his deliverance, that David knew that there was a standard of absolute truth (Christ/the Word) to be lead in and taught, and that a day was coming which would reveal the fullness of what David believed.

v6 Remember, O Lord, Thy tender mercies and Thy lovingkindnesses; for they have been ever of old. 

  God never forgets, but man forgets that God remembers.  David sought a fresh reassurance of God's tender mercies (acts of grace), and love worked out in acts of kindness.

v7 Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions: according to Thy mercy remember Thou me for Thy goodness' sake, O Lord.

  David desires God to remember His mercies, but forget the sins (missing God's standard of right) of David's youth, and the transgressions (breaking God's law).  Sadly, the sins of youth are often transformed into the transgressions of old age.   David implores God to remember him based on God's goodness according to His mercy.

v8 Good and upright is the Lord: therefore will He teach sinners in the way.

  God does not owe a sinner anything, yet because of His goodness and uprightness (the perfect standard of "right"), God will teach sinners how to find forgiveness in Christ ("the way").  

v9 The meek will He guide in judgment: and the meek will He teach His way.  

  God guides and teaches the meek ("humbled through affliction") of the judgment to come and the path of inner joy and peace ("His way").

v10 All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth unto such as keep His covenant and His testimonies.  

  The "ways" of the Lord are based upon mercy and truth, but these "ways" are only revealed to the obedient. 

v11 For Thy Name's (totality of the Godhead) sake, O Lord, pardon mine iniquity; for it is great. 

  When we begin to consider the holy and righteous ways of God, we begin to see our sin in its true perspective ("great" as to quantity).  But pardon can be found in the Name of the Lord. God's name identifies all He is, including the Trinity, and all their attributes.  Note it takes the full force of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit to forgive sins, for sin is a great and powerful force to overcome.

v12 What man is he that feareth the Lord? him shall He teach in the way that He shall choose.  

  A believer should fear (reverence) the Lord for His holiness.  A lost person should fear the Lord for His judgment on sin.  Fear for God makes men teachable by God, and God uses different "ways" for different folks.

v13 His soul shall dwell at ease; and his seed shall inherit the earth. 

  The fear of the Lord, and the instruction of the Lord brings peace to the soul and an earthly inheritance of spiritual blessings. 

The secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him; and He will shew them His covenant.

  The secret ("council/advice/direction") of the Lord attends those that fear Him.  From this "council" comes the knowledge of God's plan and purpose (covenant).  Note the progression: 1) Fear God. 2) Learn wisdom (v12). 3) Get peace. 4) Be blessed (v13).  5) Be counseled.  6) Understand God's purpose (v14).

v15 Mine eyes are ever toward the Lord; for He shall pluck my feet out of the net.  

  Therefore, our eyes should be on God and not on this world (who lays the snare ("net")).  God promises us that if our vision is right, we will not be taken captive by this world's system.  And even if we find ourselves taken captive, our God is faithful to restore us ("pluck out of the net").

v16 Turn Thee unto me, and have mercy upon me; for I am desolate and afflicted.

v17 The troubles of my heart are enlarged: O bring Thou me out of my distresses. 

v18 Look upon mine affliction and my pain; and forgive all my sins.  

v19 Consider mine enemies; for they are many; and they hate me with cruel hatred.  

  The physical life of a believer is often characterized by worldly loneliness, persecution, heartache, distress, pain, battles with sin, enemies and hatred.  But the spiritual life of a believer is based on the promises of God despite the circumstances of life.  God promises His individual presence and mercy, deliverance from distress, forgiveness (cleansing) of sins, and remembrance of our enemies, now and in the day of judgment.

v20 O keep my soul, and deliver me: let me not be ashamed (see v3); for I put my trust in Thee.

  The "soul" is the living part of man.  It is either entrusted to God's care or forfeited to Satan's dominion.  Trusting God brings deliverance by God, because only God is trustworthy.  You can put your trust in Him!

v21 Let integrity and uprightness preserve me; for I wait on Thee.  

  Integrity ("honesty, completeness, unity"), and uprightness ("straight, lawful, just") are attributes of God.  Add to these that God never changes, and we are assured that He will preserve us despite our circumstances.   Since God does all things well, and in His own time, we are to be content to wait on Him.

v22 Redeem Israel, O God, out of all his troubles.

  What do we wait for?   Redemption ("the transfer of ownership from one to another through the payment of a price or an equivalent substitute").   God may "deliver" us from our present problems, as He often did for Israel, but full redemption is dependent upon our relationship with Jesus Christ, who redeemed us, eternally, from our sins.  Sin is our trouble, Christ is our Redeemer.