READ PSALM TWENTY-FIVE
Yesterday, we considered David’s request in verses 1-2 for salvation from the enemies that threatened to put him to shame because he staked his reputation on God’s character. And, in verses 3-5 we read of his humble submission to God’s character and leadership.
Read Psalm 25:6-7. What is David asking God to remember? What is he asking God to forget?
David is earnestly asking God to remember His steadfast love, and to forget David’s sin. David, reflecting on his own sinfulness and recalling the days of his past and youth, knows that he is, by nature, sinful. He has failed to live up to God’s holy and perfect standard laid out in God’s Word. David has not lived the life of Psalm One, and he is well aware that he cannot.
And so, David asks God to remember His “steadfast love.” These two English words actually come from a single Hebrew word: חָ֫סֶד (“kheh’-sed”). This is one of my very favorite Hebrew words because it is so rich in meaning, going far beyond our English understanding of love or affection. Let’s do a word study to understand the fuller picture of David’s reference to God’s “steadfast love.”
Look up the following verses. Identify how the word חָ֫סֶד is being used in each and what it means in its context:
David is not just praising God for being kind, but also for being faithful to His covenant promises! Directly translated, חָ֫סֶד means “covenant loyalty” and it speaks of the ongoing, never-ending, everlasting faithfulness of God to keep His promises to His people.
How does this help you understand David’s request for God to forget his sin and subsequent request for God to remember His חָ֫סֶד?
David knows that He is sinful, but He also knows that God is faithful. God initiated a relationship with His people in which He promised to bring them into right relationship with Himself. He did this of His own initiative and out of His own goodness. God, in His love and kindness, established a covenant relationship with His people in which He promised to forgive their sins and lead them as their God. When David calls to God to forgive his sins, He is appealing to God’s covenant! He is saying, “Don’t forget the love that caused you to establish a covenant with Your people! Don’t forget your covenant loyalty! Remember your חָ֫סֶד!”
If David’s supplication is for God to remember His covenant and forget David’s sin, what is His subsequent submission? (see verses 8-10).
David is reminding Himself in prayer of God’s unchanging character. He is telling God about His goodness and His dealings with sinners. He is repeating back to God His ways of dealing with those who have sinned – in His covenant loyalty! God approaches the sin of His people in one way: with חָ֫סֶד.
Consider the sin of your youth. How do you need God to be faithful in light of those sins?
Consider the sin patterns in your own life today. How do you need God to be faithful in light of those patterns?
If you are in Christ, you are in the covenant promises of God! You can look back on your sin and look at the sin squarely before you and know this: God will deal with you in His חָ֫סֶד. He will keep His promises to you. And, as you submit to Him, He will instruct you, like David, “in the way … [for] all the paths of the Lord are חָ֫סֶד and faithfulness for those who keep His covenant and His testimonies.”
Pray & Reflect:
Supplication: Confess your sins to God. Ask Him to forget your sins and to remember His promise to forgive the sins of those who are in Christ.
Submission: Recite back to God His faithful character. Tell Him how faithful He is, and ask Him to lead you in the way you should go.