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Bible Commentaries

Gaebelein's Annotated Bible

Psalms 25

Verses 1-22

Psalm 25-39

The fifteen Psalms which follow give the deep soul exercise of the godly. All fifteen, except the thirty-third, are marked as Psalms of David. Much of it expresses undoubtedly his own individual experience during the days of his suffering and at other occasions. Prophetically these Psalms give again the experience of the godly remnant of Israel in the time of trouble, preceding the coming of the King. We also can trace in these experiences much which concerns our Lord in His earthly life, when as the Holy One He lived that perfect life of obedience and trust, suffering too among the ungodly. But great caution is needed in the application of these Psalms to our Lord. Here we find expressions which could never be true of Him, who knew no sin. For instance some have applied Psalms 38:7 : “for my loins are filled with a loathsome disease and there is no soundness in my flesh” to the Lord Jesus, simply to sustain the theory that He carried literally our diseases in His body. This is positively wrong. His body was a holy body. Death had no claim on it nor could disease lay hold on that body. But many of these experiences are unquestionably the experiences of the Perfect and Righteous Man, the second Man, walking in the midst of sinners.

These fifteen Psalms are rich in spiritual food, yet it must always be remembered that strictly speaking it is not Christian experience, but the experience of Jews under the Law dispensation, and it needs spiritual discernment in using these utterances for ourselves with our heavenly calling and spiritual blessings in Christ Jesus. We give but one illustration of what we mean.

The much beloved thirty-seventh Psalm with its blessed promises which we as Christian believers have a right to enjoy and to claim contains the promise, “But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace” (Psalms 37:2 ). This is promised to the godly Jews who will inherit the earth. The Church does not inherit the earth, but hers is a heavenly possession. When our Lord in the kingly proclamation, the sermon on the mount, said, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth,” He quoted from the thirty-seventh Psalm. This promise has therefore nothing whatever to do with the Church, but is a kingdom promise for the godly in Israel.

(It is deplorable that of late not a few of God’s people have been confused by “new light” concerning the kingdom. This theory claims that John the Baptist and the Lord Jesus never offered the promised kingdom to Israel, but that the kingdom of heaven is equivalent with the present dispensation.)

The scope of our work does not permit a detailed exposition of these fifteen beautiful Psalms. We must leave it to the reader to ponder over them prayerfully and to enjoy their blessed comfort, yet always “dividing the Word of Truth rightly.”

Psalms 25:0

Prayer for Mercy and Deliverance

1. Dependence on the Lord (Psalms 25:1-7 )

2. Confidence and assurance (Psalms 25:8-14 )

3. The Lord the refuge in trial and distress (Psalms 25:15-22 )

Psalms 25:1-7 . This is another alphabetical Psalm, though not perfect in structure as two letters of the Hebrew alphabet (v and k) are missing. This great prayer-psalm begins with the expressions of trust in Jehovah. The soul is uplifted and calm in His presence. Depending on the Eternal One, the soul knows that none that wait on Him shall be ashamed. David found this true in his own experience; so have generations upon generations of His people, and the godly of Israel in the future will make the same experience. They will turn to Him and inquire for His ways, His paths and His truth. Here are their prayers: “Show me--lead me--teach me--remember Thy mercies--remember not my sins--remember me.” And He will answer, yea, He will remember their sins and iniquities no more and remember them in mercy. Our prayer as Christian believers is also for guidance, but we know that our sins are put away, that He hath saved us.

Psalms 25:8-14 . Here we find expressions of confidence and assurance. He guides the humble in judgment, He teaches the humble His way, a truth which all His people may well remember. The godly in Israel, fearing the Lord, express their confidence that their seed shall inherit the earth and that “all the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth unto such as keep His covenant and His testimonies.” Yea, they know His secrets through His Word; this godly remnant will see and enjoy His covenant, the new covenant. (See Jeremiah 31:31-34 .)

Psalms 25:15-20 . They are in distress, a net has entangled their feet; they are desolate and afflicted, in affliction and pain, the burden of sin is upon them, enemies hate them with cruel hatred. They look away from self and from man and are turning their eyes only to the Lord. From Him their deliverance must come. “Redeem Israel, O God, out of all his troubles.” And that prayer will be answered.

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Bibliographical Information
Gaebelein, Arno Clemens. "Commentary on Psalms 25". "Gaebelein's Annotated Bible". 1913-1922.