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Psalm 25

Prayer for Guidance and for Deliverance

Of David.


To you, O L ord, I lift up my soul.


O my God, in you I trust;

do not let me be put to shame;

do not let my enemies exult over me.


Do not let those who wait for you be put to shame;

let them be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.



Make me to know your ways, O L ord;

teach me your paths.


Lead me in your truth, and teach me,

for you are the God of my salvation;

for you I wait all day long.



Be mindful of your mercy, O L ord, and of your steadfast love,

for they have been from of old.


Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions;

according to your steadfast love remember me,

for your goodness’ sake, O L ord!



Good and upright is the L ord;

therefore he instructs sinners in the way.


He leads the humble in what is right,

and teaches the humble his way.


All the paths of the L ord are steadfast love and faithfulness,

for those who keep his covenant and his decrees.



For your name’s sake, O L ord,

pardon my guilt, for it is great.


Who are they that fear the L ord?

He will teach them the way that they should choose.



They will abide in prosperity,

and their children shall possess the land.


The friendship of the L ord is for those who fear him,

and he makes his covenant known to them.


My eyes are ever toward the L ord,

for he will pluck my feet out of the net.



Turn to me and be gracious to me,

for I am lonely and afflicted.


Relieve the troubles of my heart,

and bring me out of my distress.


Consider my affliction and my trouble,

and forgive all my sins.



Consider how many are my foes,

and with what violent hatred they hate me.


O guard my life, and deliver me;

do not let me be put to shame, for I take refuge in you.


May integrity and uprightness preserve me,

for I wait for you.



Redeem Israel, O God,

out of all its troubles.

19. Behold mine enemies. In this verse David complains of the number and cruelty of his enemies, because the more the people of God are oppressed, the more is he inclined to aid them; and in proportion to the magnitude of the danger by which they are surrounded, he assists them the more powerfully. The words, hatred of violence, 566566     The Hebrew words literally rendered are, “With hatred of violence.” are here to be understood of a cruel and sanguinary hatred. Now, as the rage of David’s enemies was so great, that nothing short of his death would satisfy them, he calls upon God to become the guardian and protector of his life; and from this it may be inferred, as I have already said, that he was now placed in extreme danger. The clause which immediately follows, That I may not be ashamed, may be understood in two ways. Some retain the future tense, I shall not be ashamed, as if David felt assured that he was already heard by God, and as the reward of his hope promised himself a gracious answer to his prayers. I am rather inclined to the opposite opinion — to consider these words as still forming a part of his prayer. The amount of what is stated therefore is, that as he trusts in God, he prays that the hope of salvation which he had formed might not be disappointed. There is nothing better fitted to impart a holy ardor to our prayers, than when we are able to testify with sincerity of heart that we confide in God. And, therefore, it behoves us to ask with so much the greater care, that he would increase our hope when it is small, awaken it when it is dormant, confirm it when it is wavering, strengthen it when it is weak, and that he would even raise it up when it is overthrown.

21. Let integrity and uprightness preserve me. Some are of opinion, that in these words David simply prays that he may be preserved from all mischief, on the ground that he had conducted himself inoffensively towards others, and had abstained from all deceit and violence. Others make the words to contain a twofold subject of prayer, and understand them as including at the same time a desire that God would bestow upon him a sincere and upright purpose of heart; and all this lest he should break forth into revenge, and other unlawful means of preserving his life. Thus the meaning would be: Lord, although my flesh may urge me to seek relief from whatever quarter it may appear, and mine enemies also may constrain me to it by their importunity, yet do thou subdue within me every sinful passion, and every perverse desire, so that I may always exercise over my mind a pure and entire control; and let integrity and uprightness suffice as two powerful means of preserving me. We prefer the first interpretation, because he immediately subjoins a proof of his integrity. Whosoever waits upon God with a meek and quiet spirit, will rather suffer any thing which men can inflict, than allow himself to contend unrighteously with his enemies. In my opinion, therefore, David protests that such was the rectitude of his behavior amongst men, that the persecution of his enemies was wholly unmerited and unjust; and being conscious of having given no offense to any, he calls upon God as the protector of his innocence. But as he has already, in three different places, acknowledged that he was justly visited with affliction, it may seem strange that he should now glory in his integrity. This apparent inconsistency has already been explained in another place, where we have shown that the saints, in respect of themselves, always come into the presence of God with humility, imploring his forgiveness: and yet this does not prevent them from setting forth before him the goodness of their cause, and the justice of their claims. At the same time, in saying that he trusted in God, he only states what indeed is essentially necessary; for, in undertaking our defense, it is not enough that we have justice on our side, unless depending upon his promises, we rely with confidence upon his protection. It often happens, that men of firmness and prudence, even when their cause is good, do not always succeed in its defense, because they confide in their own understanding, or rely upon fortune. In order, therefore, that God may become the protector and defender of our innocence, let us first conduct ourselves uprightly and innocently towards our enemies, and then commit ourselves entirely to his protection.

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