READ PSALM TWENTY-FIVE
On the heels of a pattern of bringing his sin and guilt to God and submitting to God’s covenantal faithfulness to forgive, David concludes Psalm 25 with a seemingly out-of-place request.
Read Psalm 25:16-18. Does anything about this request strike you as odd in contrast to the verses immediately preceding this passage?
I don’t know about you, but it initially seems odd to me that David would turn from recounting God’s leading, instruction, friendship, and freedom with a request to be saved from his private afflictions. It is as if David is turning from rejoicing in his salvation to grieving over a God who has forgotten him.
To understand this request, we need to understand it in context – both its immediate context of the surrounding verses, and in the context of the chapter as a whole.
Read Psalm 25:6-21. What patterns do you see emerge? Are there any repeated words or phrases?
What do these repeated words and phrases make you think David’s “afflictions” are?
Throughout our immediate context (6-21) we see one predominant theme emerge: sin and guilt and the faithfulness of God. These themes run throughout the chapter like veins, giving life and meaning to each and every phrase. These themes of David’s sin and God’s covenant loyalty illuminate what David means when he says “remember your mercy and your steadfast love,” “for your names’s sake, O Lord,” or “pluck my feet out of the net.”
Now, read Psalm 25 as a whole. What words are repeated throughout the entirety of the chapter?
Recall Day X of our study (in which we studied Psalm 25:1-2). In what way was David at risk of being put to shame? What had he staked his reputation on?
Though it may initially seem odd that David is asking for salvation from the troubles of his heart, when we consider the context of the whole chapter, David’s request comes into focus. David has confessed His sin to God and asked for God’s pardon, but David knows the affliction in his own chest. He knows the guilt he bears in his heart. And he knows how the enemies of God would delight in causing him great distress over his past sins. Even as he is confident in the character of God, he hears the voice of his accusers, reminding him of their hatred and his shame. And so, David brings all of these internal concerns to God – any ongoing guilt he bears, and the accusations of every enemy – and asks God a third time to “forgive all my sins.”
How does David conclude this Psalm in verses 21 and 22?
David rests himself, ultimately and finally, on God. In his simple conclusion David says, “for I wait for you …” and, in doing so, he submits to the ongoing activity of his God. For all the defense David could ever need, he waits on God. For all the forgiveness he needs, he waits on God. For the pardon from guilt he needs, he waits on God. For the deliverance from his accusers that he needs, he waits on God. This, my friends, is submission.
Pray & Reflect:
Supplication: Confess to God the places where you experience guilt in your own life. Tell him where the accuser, God’s ultimate enemy, reminds you of your sin. Ask God to save you from your sin and accusations from the enemy.
Submission: Tell the Lord that you will wait on Him. Confess to Him that HE is your only hope of salvation. Recite His character back to Him, thanking Him for who He is. And tell Him, in conclusion, that you will wait on Him.