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Psalm 25

25:0We do not know when David wrote Psalm 25. In it he writes about his enemies (Psalm 25:2 and 19). But David always had enemies. This means that he might have written Psalm 25 at any time in his life.

The Psalm is in 3 parts, with an extra verse at the end.

Part 1 – Psalm 25:1-7 David prays that God will not remember his sins and that God will be his guide. David also asks God for help against his enemies.

Part 2 – Psalm 25:8-14 David tells us about God. Because God is like this, he will answer David, and give him help.

Part 3 – Psalm 25:15-21 David tells God that his enemies have hurt him and made him unhappy. Again he asks God for help.

Somebody else probably wrote verse 22.

Psalm 25 is an alphabet psalm, like Psalms 9 and 10. So, verse 1 begins with the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Verse 2 begins with the second letter and so on. There are 22 letters in the Hebrew alphabet. One is missing in this psalm, the letter q. So, Psalm 25:21 begins with the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Psalm 25:22 does not begin with the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet. This is another reason why we think that David did not write it. Alphabet psalms were hard to write. They were special psalms to show people how much the writer loved God. Other alphabet psalms are 9 and 10, 34, 37, 111, 112, 119 and 145.

In Psalm 1, we learn that there are two roads, or ways. One is right and leads to God. The other is wrong and does not lead to God. Psalm 25 is about the right road. It tells us that it is not easy. The enemies of God are also the enemies of the people that believe in God. Psalm 25 teaches us not to stop believing in God just because life becomes hard. We must not do things in our own way. We must do things God's way. He will always send us help.

I did it God's Way

This is a psalm of David.

1 LORD, I lift myself up to you.

25:1Verse 1 'I lift myself to you' means 'I pray to you'. The word 'myself' is the Hebrew word that we sometimes translate 'soul'. We cannot see our souls. Our soul is the part of us that lives on when our body dies. Paul wrote to the Church in Ephesus: 'God has made us to sit in heaven in Christ Jesus'. (Ephesians 2:6) When we pray it is as though we are in heaven with God. Heaven is the home of God. Christians will go to heaven when they die. They also lift up part of themselves to heaven when they pray.

2 My God, I will trust in you.

Do not let me be ashamed.

Do not let my enemies triumph over me.

3 No! Do not let anyone that hopes in you be ashamed.

Let the people that say false things without a reason be ashamed.

25:3Verses 2-3 David asks for help so that he will not be ashamed. Here, 'ashamed' means being hurt and feeling pain. It is more than feeling sorry. David does not want his enemies to triumph over him. When you triumph, you say how great and good you are and how weak your enemies are. David says that the people that say what is not true should be ashamed. He means his enemies. They are also the enemies of God. They say things about God that are not true.

4 LORD, show me your ways.

Teach me your paths.

5 Lead me in your truth.

Teach me, because you are the God that saves me.

I hope in you all the day long.

25:5Verses 4 and 5 There is a lot in this psalm about 'the way'. What way is this? We understand it best when we read John 14:6. John was a friend of Jesus. After Jesus had gone back to heaven, John wrote the story of Jesus. We call it the Gospel of John. In John 14:6 Jesus says, ‘I am the way. I am the truth. I am the life. Nobody comes to the Father except by knowing me.’ The Father is God. This tells us that we learn the way to God from Jesus. We also learn from Jesus what is true about life. We must do what Jesus tells us to do in the 4 Gospels in the Bible. If we do not have a Bible we can still pray to God the words of Psalm 25:4. God will find a way to answer us.

6 LORD, remember your love and your kindness.

They have always been, from long ago.

7 Do not remember my sins when I was young,

or the wrong things I did when I was older.

LORD, remember your kindness to me,

because you are good.

25:7Verses 6 and 7 Here we learn that God has always been loving and kind. That is why he will not remember the bad things we do. But we must tell God we are sorry about them and ask him to forgive us. We must also ask for help not to do them again.

8 The LORD is good and always right,

so he will teach sinners in the way.

9 He will lead the meek in judgement,

he will teach the meek his way.

10 All the ways of the LORD are kindness and truth

to the people that keep his covenant.

11 LORD, because of your name

forgive my sin, though it is great.

12 Who is the man that is afraid of the LORD?

The LORD will show him the way

that the LORD will choose for him.

13 He will have a good life.

His children will inherit the earth

14 People like this will be the friends of the LORD,

as long as they worship him.

The LORD will show them his covenant.

15 My eyes are always looking towards the LORD,

so that he can bring my feet out from the net.

25:15Verse 15 A net is something that we catch animals or fish in. Here, David feels that his enemies have caught him in a net like an animal, or a fish. How can he become free? There is only one answer. Only God can make him free. So he says, ‘My eyes are always looking towards the LORD.’ This means that David is always hoping that God will make him free from the net. It is another way of saying, ‘I am always praying to the LORD.’

16 Turn yourself to me and be kind to me,

because I am lonely and hurt.

17 The troubles in my life just get more and more.

Oh, take away from me the things that make me unhappy.

18 Look at my trouble and pain

and forgive all my sins.

25:18Verses 16-18 David is in trouble. He is:

– Lonely: he thinks that he is on his own. Elijah also felt like this, but God said, ‘There are lots of people like you.’ When we are lonely, we must remember the words of Jesus: ‘I am always with you.’ (Matthew 28: 20)

– Hurt: perhaps in body, perhaps in mind. Again, when we are hurt, we must remember the words of Jesus: 'God has sent me to give health to people'. (Luke 4:18)

– Unhappy: things are getting worse and worse. His enemies seem to be winning. This often happens to Christians. They think bad people are triumphing over them. (Look at Psalm 25:2). But again, we must remember the words of Jesus: ‘Be happy, I have won the fight for the world.’ (John 16:33) Then David says, ‘Forgive all my sins.’ Why? Is he lonely, hurt and unhappy because he is a sinner? He may be, but that is not the reason he says it here. He says it because God can only hear him pray after God forgives his sin. When God forgives us, the wall of sin between us and God falls down. God can hear and answer when we pray.

19 Look at my enemies,

they keep getting more and more.

They hate me very much.

20 Protect my life and make me safe.

Do not let me be ashamed,

because I am hiding in you.

21 Protect my life because I am honest and good

and I hope in you.

22 God, give to Israel help in all its trouble.

25:22Verses 19-21 'Being ashamed' means more than feeling sorry. If the enemies triumph over David, they also triumph over God. So, David prays for God to protect him, or make him safe. He gives two reasons why God will do this:

– David is honest and good. This means that God has forgiven David's sins. God can now hear when David prays.

– David says, ‘I am hiding in you.’ (Psalm 25:20) This means that David is trusting in God. This means that David believes that God will take care of him.