Year B – Lent 1 – Psalm 25:1-10

To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul. 25:2 O my God, in you I trust; do not let me be put to shame; do not let my enemies exult over me. 25:3 Do not let those who wait for you be put to shame; let them be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.   25:4 Make me to know your ways, O LORD; teach me your paths. 25:5 Lead me in your truth, and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all day long.   25:6 Be mindful of your mercy, O LORD, and of your steadfast love, for they have been from of old. 25:7 Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to your steadfast love remember me, for your goodness’ sake, O LORD!   25:8 Good and upright is the LORD; therefore he instructs sinners in the way. 25:9 He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way. 25:10 All the paths of the LORD are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep his covenant and his decrees.

Summary – This portion of Psalm 25 points out an important characteristic of God.  The outline of the Psalm is in a parallel structure (a chiasm):

Trusting in God’s Faithfulness (1-3)

Learning God’s Ways (4-5)

God’s Covenant Mercy (6-7)

Learning God’s Ways (8-9)

Trusting in God’s Faithfulness (10)

Verses 1-3 and verse 10 focus on God’s faithfulness, and verses 4-5 and 8-9 point out God’s nature in teaching His ways, the center is found in verses 6-7 where David enjoins God to remember His mercy and His Covenant Love.  David begins by lifting his soul up to God and he sees that those who would remain in covenant with the Lord must learn God’s ways.  He seeks forgiveness of sins (vs 7). God’s remembrance of His mercy and of His promise is at the center of this Psalm.

Insight – We have all been let down at some point in our life.  People have told you they will do something, and then they don’t do it.  Maybe you have let others down as well!  Have you ever told your parents, “Sure, I’ll clean my room” or told your brother or sister, “Sure, I’ll play a game with you” and then didn’t do it?  When David was King of Israel, the same thing was happening.  The people told God, “You will be our one and only God,” but then they turned around and followed false gods.  David realized that the only way the people would remain faithful to God was if God was faithful to them.  David remembered that God is the only one who fully keeps His promises, so he prayed that God would do so.  His prayers were answered when God sent His Son to the Earth for us.  Now that Jesus has accepted us into His family, we begin to become more like Him and can learn to keep our promises too.

Child Catechism – Who always keeps His promises?  God is the only one who keeps His promises.

Discussion – What does it mean to “wait for the Lord?”  What did it mean to David in this Psalm?  On what basis does David ask God to remember him (vs 7)?

Prayer – (adapted from Ps. 25:1-10)  Lord, we lift up our hearts to you.  Since we trust in you, we ask you to teach us your ways.  You have loved your people steadfastly throughout history, and now we ask that you remember your love and your promise to us now, for you alone are good.  We know that those who keep covenant with you remain in your love, so we ask for your help that we may walk in your ways.  This is only possible through Jesus, so we ask these things in His name.  Amen.

-JHerr

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