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Teach Me Your Paths

11This psalm is an acrostic poem, each verse beginning with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet Of David.

1To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
2O my God, in you I trust;
let me not be put to shame;
let not my enemies exult over me.
3Indeed, none who wait for you shall be put to shame;
they shall be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.

4Make me to know your ways, O Lord;
teach me your paths.
5Lead me in your truth and teach me,
for you are the God of my salvation;
for you I wait all the day long.

6Remember your mercy, O Lord, and your steadfast love,
for they have been from of old.
7Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions;
according to your steadfast love remember me,
for the sake of your goodness, O Lord!

8Good and upright is the Lord;
therefore he instructs sinners in the way.
9He leads the humble in what is right,
and teaches the humble his way.
10All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness,
for those who keep his covenant and his testimonies.

11For your name's sake, O Lord,
pardon my guilt, for it is great.
12Who is the man who fears the Lord?
Him will he instruct in the way that he should choose.
13His soul shall abide in well-being,
and his offspring shall inherit the land.
14The friendship22Or The secret counsel of the Lord is for those who fear him,
and he makes known to them his covenant.
15My eyes are ever toward the Lord,
for he will pluck my feet out of the net.

16Turn to me and be gracious to me,
for I am lonely and afflicted.
17The troubles of my heart are enlarged;
bring me out of my distresses.
18Consider my affliction and my trouble,
and forgive all my sins.

19Consider how many are my foes,
and with what violent hatred they hate me.
20Oh, guard my soul, and deliver me!
Let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in you.
21May integrity and uprightness preserve me,
for I wait for you.

22Redeem Israel, O God,
out of all his troubles.


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Ps 25:1-22. The general tone of this Psalm is that of prayer for help from enemies. Distress, however, exciting a sense of sin, humble confession, supplication for pardon, preservation from sin, and divine guidance, are prominent topics.

1. lift up my soul—(Ps 24:4; 86:4), set my affections (compare Col 3:2).

2. not be ashamed—by disappointment of hopes of relief.

3. The prayer generalized as to all who wait on God—that is, who expect His favor. On the other hand, the disappointment of the perfidious, who, unprovoked, have done evil, is invoked (compare 2Sa 22:9).

4, 5. On the ground of former favor, he invokes divine guidance, according to God's gracious ways of dealing and faithfulness.

6, 7. Confessing past and present sins, he pleads for mercy, not on palliations of sin, but on God's well-known benevolence.

8, 9. upright—acting according to His promise.

sinners—the general term, limited by the

meek—who are penitent.

the way—and his way—God's way of providence.

9. in judgment—rightly.

10. paths—similar sense—His modes of dealing (compare Ps 25:4).

mercy and truth—(Job 14:1-22), God's grace in promising and faithfulness in performing.

11. God's perfections of love, mercy, goodness, and truth are manifested (his name, compare Ps 9:10) in pardoning sin, and the greatness of sin renders pardon more needed.

12, 13. What he asks for himself is the common lot of all the pious.

13. inherit the earth—(compare Mt 5:5). The phrase, alluding to the promise of Canaan, expresses all the blessings included in that promise, temporal as well as spiritual.

14. The reason of the blessing explained—the pious enjoy communion with God (compare Pr 3:21, 12), and, of course, learn His gracious terms of pardon.

15. His trust in God is fixed.

net—is frequently used as a figure for dangers by enemies (Ps 9:15; 10:9).

16-19. A series of earnest appeals for aid because God had seemed to desert him (compare Ps 13:1; 17:13, &c.), his sins oppressed him, his enemies had enlarged his troubles and were multiplied, increasing in hate and violence (Ps 9:8; 18:48).

20. keep my soul—(Ps 16:1).

put my trust—flee for refuge (Ps 2:12).

21. In conscious innocence of the faults charged by his enemies, he confidently commits his cause to God. Some refer—

integrity, &c.—to God, meaning His covenant faithfulness. This sense, though good, is an unusual application of the terms.

22. Extend these blessings to all Thy people in all their distresses.




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