In you I trust; let me not be put to shame,
let not my enemies exult over me.
No one who waits for you shall be put to shame;
those shall be put to shame who heedlessly break faith.
Your ways, O LORD, make known to me;
teach me your paths,
Guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my savior.
Remember that your compassion, O LORD,
and your kindness are from of old.
In your kindness remember me,
because of your goodness, O LORD.
Good and upright is the LORD;
thus he shows sinners the way.
He guides the humble to justice,
he teaches the humble his way.
The laments of the individual were most likely prayerful responses to personal misfortunes such as illness or persecution. They were an integral part of personal liturgical devotion. Frequently, people who were suffering went to the Temple or to some shrine for the purpose of making a formal request to God for deliverance. Laments, with their declaration of trust in God, were simultaneously prayers to God and testimonies of hope for the benefit of the community gathered around the one suffering.
The main thought of Psalm 25 is contrition and forgiveness of sins. Trusting in God, the psalmist prays that he may not be put to shame before his enemies (1–3). He asks for instruction, guidance and mercy (4–5). May the sins of his youth not be remembered by God, who is always ready to teach and guide the meek in the right way of life (6–10).
Learning is the subject of prayer. The knowledge gained through the act of prayer is not to be gained from human teachers and sources. It does not come from the work of reason, the compiling of information, the distillation of general experience. It must come from God, because what this instruction does to and for human life only God can do. The need of it is part of our dependence on God, so it must be the subject of prayer, as it is in the psalm. The life of prayer is incomplete unless there are supplications that say, “Teach me, instruct me, guide me, let me know.”
This is one of the psalms that sees clearly how scripture is the instructions from the LORD, and this instruction of those who fear him, is part of God’s saving work and completes the salvation of liberation and justification with sanctification. Those who are freed from affliction and pardoned of their sin need guidance for life. The psalm taught Israel to seek the grace and salvation given in the torah. It teaches the Church today, to pray for the Spirit to bring into our lives not only the power and mercy of God but as well a being-taught the way we are to live through the knowledge of God’s ways with us.
– James Mays
May the virtues of faith, hope, and love go with you today – DV.