Bible Commentaries
Psalms 25

Smith's WritingsSmith's Writings

Verses 1-22


The confidence of the godly remnant is the goodness and righteousness of the Lord, manifested by the confession of sins, and the unburdening of the heart before God.

In former groups of psalms there had been set forth the experiences of the godly in circumstances of trial, and in the presence of their enemies, in the coming day of antichrist. In this and the following psalms, the experiences of the godly remnant are again presented, but with a difference. Between these psalms and the former, Christ has been presented in Psalms 20 to 24, and therefore the exercises of soul depicted in this fresh series of psalms are the outcome of the knowledge of the grace of God acting in righteousness on the ground of the work of Christ. Thus the exercises take a more spiritual form, and for the first time there is the confession of sins.

(vv. 1-3) The psalm opens with the expression of subjection to the Lord - “Unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul;” confidence in the Lord - “I trust in thee;” and dependence upon the Lord - “wait on thee.” There is the assurance that such will never be ashamed.

(vv. 4-7) This expression of confidence in the Lord is followed by the prayer that the soul may be guided and led in a way that is in accordance with God's own nature. Thus it is the soul speaks of “thy ways;” “thy paths;” “thy truth;” “thy tender mercies;” “thy loving kindnesses;” “thy mercy” and “thy goodness.”

(vv. 8-10) In verses 8 to 10 the soul recognizes that all God's dealings with sinners are according to His own nature, and therefore will be in goodness combined with uprightness: as we should say in the clear light of Christianity, grace reigns through righteousness. Those who receive the blessing are the meek and the obedient.

(v. 11) On the ground of these ways of God with sinners, the soul confesses its sins, and appeals to God for pardon on the ground of all that God is - “thy name's sake.”

(vv. 12-15) Led by the Spirit the godly soul anticipates the answer to the confession of sins. He who owns his sin is one that fears God, and will be led in the way of God's choice. He will enjoy soul prosperity; inherit earthly blessing; know the secret of the Lord and escape the snares of the enemy.

(vv. 16-22) In the closing verses there is the unburdening of the heart before the Lord. Desolate, heart burdened, and in deep soul exercise; afflicted, pained and conscious of failure; surrounded by enemies that hate with cruel hatred, the soul, as in the beginning of the psalm, again expresses its confidence in God - “I put my trust in thee”; and its dependence upon God - “I wait on thee”; and again looks to God that it may not be ashamed while waiting for God to redeem Israel and end all his troubles.

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Hamilton. "Commentary on Psalms 25". "Smith's Writings". 1832.