Psalm 25 is a prayer for defense, guidance, and pardon. As we trust in Adonai, my Lord, he grants these same requests for us.
Psalm 25:1-2 CJB
I lift my inner being to you, Adonai; I trust you, my God. Don’t let me be disgraced, don’t let my enemies gloat over me.
Almost half of the psalms—72 of them—speak about enemies. Enemies are those who oppose not only us but also God’s way of living. We can view temptations—money, success, prestige, and lust—as our enemies. And our greatest enemy is Satan.
David asked God to keep his enemies from overcoming him because they opposed what God stood for. If his enemies succeeded, David feared that many would think that living for God was futile. David did not question his faith—he knew that God would triumph. But he didn’t want his enemies’ success to be an obstacle to the faith of others.
Psalm 25:3-4 CJB
No one waiting for you will be disgraced; disgrace awaits those who break faith for no reason. Make me know your ways, Adonai, teach me your paths.
David expressed his desire for guidance. How do we receive God’s guidance? The first step is to want to be guided and to realize that God’s primary guidance system is in his Word, the Bible.
Psalm 119 tells of the endless knowledge found in God’s Word. By reading the Bible and continually learning from it, we will gain the wisdom to perceive God’s direction for our lives. We may be tempted to demand answers from God, but David asked for direction. When we are willing to seek God, learn from his Word, and obey his commands, then we will receive his specific guidance.
Psalm 25:5-12 CJB
Guide me in your truth, and teach me; for you are the God who saves me, my hope is in you all day long. Remember your compassion and grace, Adonai; for these are ages old. Don’t remember my youthful sins or transgressions; but remember me according to your grace for the sake of your goodness, Adonai. Adonai is good, and he is fair; this is why he teaches sinners the way [to live], leads the humble to do what is right and teaches the humble [to live] his way. All Adonai’s paths are grace and truth to those who keep his covenant and instructions. For the sake of your name, Adonai, forgive my wickedness, great though it is. Who is the person who fears Adonai? He will teach him the way to choose.
To “fear the LORD” is to recognize God’s attributes: He is holy, almighty, righteous, pure, all knowing, all-powerful, and all wise. When we regard God correctly, we gain a clearer picture of ourselves: sinful, weak, frail, and needy. When we recognize who God is and who we are, we will fall at his feet in humble respect. Only then will he show us how to choose his way.
Psalm 25:13-14 CJB
He will remain prosperous, and his descendants will inherit the land. Adonai relates intimately with those who fear him; he makes them know his covenant.
“Adonai relates intimately with those who fear him.” God offers intimate and lasting friendship to those who revere him, who hold him in highest honor. What relationship could ever compare with having the Lord of all creation for a friend? Your everlasting friendship with God will grow as you respect and honor him.
Psalm 25:15-17 CJB
My eyes are always directed toward Adonai, for he will free my feet from the net. Turn to me, and show me your favor; for I am alone and oppressed. The troubles of my heart are growing and growing; bring me out of my distress.
Do life’s problems always seem to go from bad to worse? God is the only one who can reverse this downward spiral. He can take our challenges and turn them into glorious victories. The first and most important step is that we, like David, must cry out, “Turn to me and show me your favor.” When we are willing to do that, God will do his work in us and in our situation. The next step is yours—God has already made his offer.
Psalm 25:18-21 CJB
See my affliction and suffering, and take all my sins away. Consider my enemies, how many there are and how cruelly they hate me. Protect me and rescue me; don’t let me be disgraced, for I take refuge in you. Let integrity and uprightness preserve me because my hope is in you.
We need integrity and honesty to preserve us along life’s way. The psalm writer asks for these to protect him step by step. Honesty says, “This is the Shepherd’s way,” and integrity says, “I will walk consistently in it.”
Psalm 25:22 CJB
God! Redeem Israel from all their troubles!
David ended the psalm by asking God to redeem Israel … from all their troubles.
Strength In Weakness
Whether he realizes it or not, every Christian lives in a state of dependency on the Lord. Jesus himself said,
John 15:5 CJB
“Apart from me, you can’t do a thing.”
A person can accomplish nothing of any eternal, lasting value unless he depends on the Lord. In his strength, a person is not able to do anything of any real value for God. But this is a hard lesson to remember and apply. Most believers tend to be self-sufficient and to rely on their strength when pursuing the Christian life.
This was the sin of David in this psalm—the sin of self-sufficiency—and it is the downfall of many modern believers as well.
There is no one too weak for God to use—only people who are too strong in themselves. May believers recognize their human inadequacies and frailties and rest in his infinite strength, knowing that when they are weak, they are truly strong?
God, teach us to trust you, even though our enemies surround us. Allow us to see your ways, O Lord; teach us your paths and guide us in your truth. For the sake of your name, for your glory, forgive our iniquities and turn to us in mercy that you alone can demonstrate. We reverence you and admit that you are our only refuge from our sins and from those who seek to destroy us. We confide in you alone for our rescue because you alone are gracious. In Jesus’ name! Amen.