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25. Psalm 25

Unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul.

2O my God, I trust in thee: let me not be ashamed, let not mine enemies triumph over me.

3Yea, let none that wait on thee be ashamed: let them be ashamed which transgress without cause.

4Shew me thy ways, O Lord; teach me thy paths.

5Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.

6Remember, O Lord, thy tender mercies and thy lovingkindnesses; for they have been ever of old.

7Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions: according to thy mercy remember thou me for thy goodness’ sake, O Lord.

8Good and upright is the Lord: therefore will he teach sinners in the way.

9The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way.

10All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.

11For thy name’s sake, O Lord, pardon mine iniquity; for it is great.

12What man is he that feareth the Lord? him shall he teach in the way that he shall choose.

13His soul shall dwell at ease; and his seed shall inherit the earth.

14The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him; and he will shew them his covenant.

15Mine eyes are ever toward the Lord; for he shall pluck my feet out of the net.

16Turn thee unto me, and have mercy upon me; for I am desolate and afflicted.

17The troubles of my heart are enlarged: O bring thou me out of my distresses.

18Look upon mine affliction and my pain; and forgive all my sins.

19Consider mine enemies; for they are many; and they hate me with cruel hatred.

20O keep my soul, and deliver me: let me not be ashamed; for I put my trust in thee.

21Let integrity and uprightness preserve me; for I wait on thee.

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

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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