Reflection on the Word
Psalm 25 is part of what is known as Book One of the Psalms (# 1-41). These are Psalms of David and have a very personal nature to them. Psalm 25 actually begins a set of 4 Psalms that are classified as “lament” psalms. They express a concern or point of view that troubles, puzzles or is simply challenging to the writer. He is not always expressing dissatisfaction so much as lack of understanding and an awareness of just how hard it is to trust and follow all that God says and asks of us. See what you think as you read it.
This psalm is an acrostic psalm where each verse begins with the letters (in order of the Hebrew alphabet).
That is hard for us to follow in English since the first Hebrew word is not necessarily the first one when translated into another language. The format for this psalm by David is as follows:
Verses 1-3 – a prayer for victory Note that David is aware that he may have to wait for God to give victory.
Verses 4-5 – a prayer for teaching David wants to follow and know God’s purpose and His plan
Verses 6-7 – an appeal to God’s memory David does not excuse past sins, he recognizes that he needs for God to forget them and forgive them in His great mercy. We may not be able to do that – but God can.
Verses 8-10 – the Lord instructs sinners We must be willing to learn however. Humbleness is important in receiving the blessings of God’s love and faithfulness. We need to understand they cannot be earned.
Verses 11-15 – those who fear the Lord Remember that to “fear” God means to have a holy respect and awe at His great power and love. If we truly fear God we will share that knowledge, teaching our children.
Verses 16-18 – prayer for forgiveness Like us, not all David’s problems are external. He needs forgiveness.
Verses 19-21 – prayer for deliverance Confident in God’s ability to help David prays about his integrity
Verse 22 – prayer for redemption David does not just plea for himself but the whole nation.
1 In you, LORD my God, I put my trust.
2 I trust in you; do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me.
3 No one who hopes in you will be put to shame, shame will come on those who are treacherous without cause.
4 Show me your ways, LORD, teach me your paths.
5 Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.
6 Remember, LORD, your great mercy and love, for they are from of old.
7 Do not remember the sins of my youth, and my rebellious ways; according to your love remember me, for you,
LORD, are good.
8 Good and upright is the LORD; therefore he instructs sinners in his ways.
9 He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way.
10 All the ways of the LORD are loving and faithful toward those who keep the demands of his covenant.
11 For the sake of your name, LORD, forgive my iniquity, though it is great.
12 Who, then, are those who fear the LORD? He will instruct them in the ways they should choose.[b]
13 They will spend their days in prosperity, and their descendants will inherit the land.
14 The LORD confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them.
15 My eyes are ever on the LORD, for only he will release my feet from the snare.
16 Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted.
17 Relieve the troubles of my heart and free me from my anguish.
18 Look on my affliction and my distress and take away all my sins.
19 See how numerous are my enemies and how fiercely they hate me!
20 Guard my life and rescue me; do not let me be put to shame, for I take refuge in you.
21 May integrity and uprightness protect me, because my hope, LORD,[c] is in you.
22 Deliver Israel, O God, from all their troubles!
a. Psalm 25:1 This psalm is an acrostic poem, the verses of which begin with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet.
b. Psalm 25:12 Or ways he chooses c. Psalm 25:21 Septuagint; Hebrew does not have Lord.