Online Bible Commentary
God is Faithful
Psalm 25:1 To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul; 2 in you I trust, O my God. Do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me. 3 No one whose hope is in you will ever be put to shame, but they will be put to shame who are treacherous without excuse. 4 Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths; 5 guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long. 6 Remember, O LORD, your great mercy and love, for they are from of old. 7 Remember not the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways; according to your love remember me, for you are good, O LORD. 8 Good and upright is the LORD; therefore he instructs sinners in his ways. 9 He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way. 10 All the ways of the LORD are loving and faithful for those who keep the demands of his covenant. (NIV)
This psalm is an acrostic poem. Each verse begins with a successive verse of the Hebrew alphabet. It is a psalm of David written to the “LORD”, Yahweh. Yahweh is the covenant God of the Torah, that part of the Hebrew Bible consisting of the first five books of the Old Testament. “Yahweh” is a sacred name that Jews were never allowed to speak.
Instead they commonly used Adonai or Elohiym to refer to God. Elohiym was most commonly used in the Old Testament. In this passage, David uses both Yahweh and Elohiym. He refers to Yahweh six times, and another two times to “God”, Elohiym. These are all references to the One who came and fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies of the Jewish Messiah, Jesus Christ.
David is praying to his God in this passage. He begins his prayer by praising God. He “lifts up” his “soul” to God in worship (v.1), and further praises Him for being trustworthy (v. 2a). David then presents his petitions, prayer requests, to God.
First he asks that he not be “put to shame” (v. 2b). This means that he will never have to regret putting his trust in God. He requests that his enemies will not “triumph” over him (v. 2c). He then claims the victory, praying confidently that God will grant what he has requested. He will not be put to shame because he has put his “hope” in God (v. 3a). Only those who are “treacherous without excuse” will be put to shame (v.3b).
The word translated “treacherous” is the Hebrew word “bagad” which means to be unfaithful. This is a person who believes in God, but does not live a life of obedience to God. On the other hand, David is faithful. He has put his hope in God. He tries to live a life that is pleasing to God. This also is his claim for his second request. His enemies will not triumph over him because they are not in right relationship with God, and he is.
David then prays for guidance. He asks God to “guide me in your truth” (v. 5a). David wishes to follow the Lord in all his comings and goings. For this he needs guidance. God guides us in many different ways. One way is through opening and shutting doors as we walk though life. Next, David asks God to “teach me” (v. 5b). He wants to know God better. He is thirsty for God’s wisdom. He wants God to teach him about the ways of God.
David asks for God’s “mercy” and “love” (v. 6). He asks God to forget his sins (v. 7a). When God forgives, He forgets. Once our sins are forgiven He never wants us to be under condemnation from Him, or from ourselves. He asks to be remembered with God’s goodness, a request for His blessings (v. 7b). He asks the “good and upright”, the just, God to correct him when he sins (v. 8). He asks to be guided in “what is right” and to be taught the ways of God (v.9). David concludes this prayer, as he began it, with praise. He praises God for His loving ways and His faithfulness, which are given to those who remain obedient to Him (v. 10b).
God is faithful to those who remain obedient to Him. David’s first request is for the Lord to “not let me be put to shame”. As Christians, we want to know that we will never regret putting our faith and hope in the Lord. We have that promise from the Lord. The truth that we will never regret putting our faith and hope in the Lord is a common theme, which runs throughout the Bible. The Lord wants us to know that He is faithful. His word tells us that over and over again. We can rely on that. It is set in stone. We need never worry about that. God is faithful. Praise the Lord!