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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 25

Dr. Constable's Expository NotesConstable's Expository Notes

Verses 1-3

David lifted up his soul to Yahweh in trust, confident that God would not let him down or let his enemies overcome him. He believed no one who put his hope in God would suffer disappointment, though the treacherously wicked would.

"The mood changes from confidence in God’s justice to submission to God’s guidance. The heart of the believer is never confident without also being submissive to his God." [Note: VanGemeren, p. 228.]

Verses 1-7

1. Requests for guidance and pardon 25:1-7

Verses 1-22

Psalms 25

David appealed to God for wisdom and forgiveness because of His goodness to Israel. This is one of the acrostic psalms in which each verse in the Hebrew Bible begins with the succeeding letter of the Hebrew alphabet, here with an occasional irregularity. Two verses begin with the letter resh, the letters waw and qof are absent, and the last verse begins with the letter pe, which is out of normal alphabetical order. The psalm is an individual lament that transforms at the end into a communal lament (cf. Psalms 34). It pictures life as a difficult journey that we cannot make successfully by ourselves. [Note: Wiersbe, The . . . Wisdom . . ., p. 140.]

Verses 4-7

The psalmist sensed his need for divine guidance and instruction. He wanted to walk in the Lord’s righteous ways but needed help in discerning them. He also requested forgiveness for the sins of his youth, asking God to remember His compassion and loyal love, but not to remember his transgressions.

Verses 8-10

God is good, upright, loving, and faithful. Because He is this way, He teaches sinners and guides the humble, those who sense their need for His help. He does so through His covenant (the Mosaic Law) and testimonies.

Verses 8-22

2. Repetition of the request 25:8-22

The same petitions for guidance and pardon recur, but this time the basis of David’s request is the character of God. Psalms 25:8-10 develop the psalmist’s prayer for instruction and guidance in Psalms 25:4-5, and Psalms 25:11 develops his prayer for forgiveness in Psalms 25:6-7.

Verse 11

For the sake of the good reputation of Yahweh, David asked that God pardon his sins, which he viewed as great. God had promised to pardon the sins of His people who acknowledged them, so God pardoning David’s sins would show Him faithful to His Word.

Verses 12-14

According to Proverbs 1:7 the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. That is, to become wise, a person must first submit to God and what He has revealed as he or she lives life. Fearing the Lord will result in listening to His Word. The person who listens to the Lord’s Word will prosper, as will his or her descendants (cf. Deuteronomy 6).

Verses 15-22

The psalmist proceeded to ask the Lord to deliver him out of his distress. He was trusting in God’s deliverance (Psalms 25:15). Evidently David regarded his present sufferings and the affliction of the nation he led, whatever those troubles may have been, as due to his own sins in some measure.

To experience God’s guidance and deliverance, God’s people must confess their sins and appeal to Him to be faithful to His promises to forgive. They will find direction in His revealed Word, and will experience deliverance in His appointed time. Therefore, we who are believers can take courage while repenting.

"This whole approach to divine guidance is personal and mature, unlike the basically pagan search for irrational pointers and omens (cf. Isaiah 47:13)." [Note: Kidner, p. 116.]

Bibliographical Information
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Psalms 25". "Dr. Constable's Expository Notes". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/dcc/psalms-25.html. 2012.
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