Teach me Your paths...
Psalm 25 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
Prayer for Protection, Guidance and Pardon. A Psalm of David.
To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul. 2 O my God, in You
Do not let me be ashamed; Do not let my enemies exult over me.
3 Indeed, none of those who wait for You will be ashamed; Those who deal treacherously without cause will be ashamed.
4 Make me know
Your ways, O Lord; Teach me Your paths.
5 Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For You are the God of my salvation;
For You I wait all the day. 6 Remember, O Lord, Your compassion and Your lovingkindnesses,
For they have been from of old. 7 Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions;
According to Your lovingkindness remember me, For Your goodness’ sake, O Lord.
8 Good and upright is the Lord; Therefore
He instructs sinners in the way.
9 He leads the humble in justice, And He teaches the humble His way. 10 All the paths of the Lord are lovingkindness and truth To those who keep His covenant and His testimonies.
11 For Your name’s sake, O Lord, Pardon my iniquity, for it is great.
12 Who is the man who fears the Lord? He will instruct him in the way he should choose.
13 His soul will abide in prosperity, And his descendants will inherit the land.
14 The secret of the Lord is for those who fear Him, And He will make them know His covenant.
15 My eyes are continually toward the Lord, For He will pluck my feet out of the net.
16 Turn to me and be gracious to me, For I am lonely and afflicted.
17The troubles of my heart are enlarged; Bring me out of my distresses.
18 Look upon my affliction and my trouble, And forgive all my sins.
19 Look upon my enemies, for they are many, And they hate me with violent hatred.
20 Guard my soul and deliver me; Do not let me be ashamed, for I take refuge in You.
21 Let integrity and uprightness preserve me, For I wait for You. 22 Redeem Israel, O God,
Out of all his troubles.
David, the psalmist even though he lived under the old covenant, before Jesus covenant of grace through the cross, had an intimate and balanced understanding and relationship with God. He says: You are the God of my salvation. David recognizes that knowing the way and the will of the Lord is an ongoing even a daily exercise. He says: Make me know Your ways, O Lord; Teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me. Being well acquainted with, knowing God’s word was not enough for David, he knew that he needed God to reveal His way, the right path each day, in every situation. We too, although we may know very well what the word says, what God’s overall will for us is, need to know each day and each moment of each day how to follow God’s way, what path to take. That knowledge, the daily, moment by moment knowledge of God’s way cannot come from reading and knowing His word, it comes only from intimately knowing Him. Jesus says: I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.(John 14:16-17) In John 16:13, Jesus says of the Holy Spirit: But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. It is only through yielding and submitting to the indwelling Holy Spirit that we can truly know God’s way.
If you have ever driven with a good, up to date GPS, you know how quickly it can respond and recalculate a route if you go a different way. The Holy Spirit works like that for our journey, both our life long and daily journeys. To take the illustration farther, we can know God’s word, but we still need to be able to respond and apply it in real time. Similarly, there are detailed maps available which we can study and know to plan a route, but if the course changes, if either by accident or intention we wander from that route it can be difficult to get back on the right path. Using a map still depends on our own application, responding to what is in front of us based on what we know. Following the GPS requires that we have faith and trust beyond what we can see or know. We’ve all heard stories of GPS’s that didn’t work out, but the Holy Spirit will never lead us on a wrong path or take us to a wrong destination. The Holy Spirit is God, He will always teach us God’s way and lead us on God’s path.
David says: For Your name’s sake, O Lord, Pardon my iniquity, for it is great. He acknowledges that he is in need of pardon of his sin. He says: Good and upright is the Lord; Therefore He instructs sinners in the way. He leads the humble in justice, And He teaches the humble His way. All the paths of the Lord are lovingkindness and truth To those who keep His covenant and His testimonies. Under the old covenant not only was the knowing of the Lord’s way a daily need, but also the pardoning of sin. Under the old covenant sins were forgiven or pardoned because of God’s loving kindness, but each day led to new sin and a new need for God’s forgiveness and pardon of sin. Here, we who live under the new covenant of grace through the cross of Christ, have an advantage. For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit; (1 Peter 3:18) Jesus paid the price for sin, once for all. We are not simply pardoned from our past sin, we are redeemed from our very sin nature. So it is not that we daily need to be pardoned, but rather that again we need daily to live in the Spirit. We don’t need to ask God for His forgiveness, rather we need to thank Him for it. To daily thank Him for the grace and mercy of the cross of Christ which has redeemed us from our sins.
Finally, David says: I take refuge in You. Let integrity and uprightness preserve me, For I wait for You. David understood that all hope, all deliverance is in God. The uprightness and integrity that he based his claim on was in making the Lord his refuge, not upon his own ability or accomplishments. It is from that place, from his refuge in the Lord, that David makes his claim against his enemies. He says: I am lonely and afflicted. The troubles of my heart are enlarged; Bring me out of my distresses. Look upon my affliction and my trouble… Look upon my enemies, for they are many, And they hate me with violent hatred. Guard my soul and deliver me; Do not let me be ashamed. In Psalm 91, Davis declare many things from which the Lord will protect and deliver His people. He begins by saying: “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust!” It is abiding in and in dwelling in and with God that we have our confidence, that we make our stand against our enemies. Jesus says: Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it… I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you. “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. After a little while the world will no longer see Me, but you will see Me; because I live, you will live also. In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. (John 14:12-17) If we will abide and dwell, yield to the Holy Spirit, God the Father and Jesus Christ, we will do the works of Jesus, actually He will do it for us and through us. If we will, like David, put all our hope and trust, all of our faith in Christ, then Jesus says: “if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible to you.” (Matthew 17:20)
Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ; precious Holy Spirit, thank You for being with me to guide me and direct me each moment of every day. Thank You for Your loving kindness, Your mercy and grace, that through the cross, once for all You redeemed me from sin. Thank You that as I dwell and abide with You, as I make You my refuge, I can stand against my enemies and even more I can do the works that You did Jesus. Thank You that in You and through You, nothing is impossible. Amen