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Bible Commentaries

Spurgeon's Verse Expositions of the Bible

Psalms 25

Verses 1-22

Psalms 25:1. Unto thee, O LORD, do I lift up my soul.

It is down; and I would fain lift it up; yet I am powerless to do so if I am left to myself. When the soul cleaves to the earth, who but God can lift it up? Yet it must be our desire and object to seek to lift up our soul unto God.

Psalms 25:2. O my God, I trust in thee: let me not be ashamed, let not mine enemies triumph over me.

Whatever happens to me, I trust in thee. Down goes the anchor; that ship will never drift far out to sea. “O my God, I trust in thee.” Can you say that, dear friends? Then, if you are in the dark, you are as safe as if you were in the light, for still this anchor holds: “O my God, I trust in thee.” “Let not mine enemies triumph over me.” They will do so, if they can get me back into the world. If they can seduce me from the paths of holiness, what shouts of joy there will be in the camp of the enemy! “Hold thou me up, and I shall be safe.”

Psalms 25:3. Yea, let none that wait on thee be ashamed: let them be ashamed which transgress without cause.

When good men are in earnest on their own account, they soon begin to pray for others; and the evil which they dread for themselves, they are sure to dread for their brethren. David first prayed, “Let me not be ashamed;” and then he added, “Let none that wait on thee be ashamed.” The only shame that is worth having is a blessed shame,— the shame of true repentance, which sorrows over past sin, of which it is ashamed. Alas!

there will be an eternal shame, which shall cover those who choose the ways of sin.

Psalms 25:4. Shew me thy ways, O LORD teach me thy paths.

That is the prayer of one who is tight of the Spirit, for, by nature, our desire is to have our own way; and if we can have our own way, we are satisfied. But when the Lord has taught us better, our prayer is, “Shew me thy ways, O Lord; teach me thy paths.”

Psalms 25:5. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.

We need not only to have the path shown to us, but to be led into it, for we are like babes just learning to walk, we must have a finger that we may hold, or a hand that we may lean upon: “Lead me in thy truth, and teach me.” That is the second time that David has prayed for the Lord to teach him; and as long as we are here, we also shall each one need to pray, Teach me. What is a disciple but as learner? His daily cry must be, “Teach me: for thou art the God. of my salvation.” There is another grip of the hand of faith. I have taken thee to be my salvation, O my God! I trust nowhere else, “On thee do I wait all the day,” expecting everything from thee,—tarrying thy leisure, but tarrying hopefully, expecting to be blessed.

Psalms 25:6. Remember, O LORD, thy tender mercies and thy lovingkindnesses; for they have been ever of old.

Thy saints knew them before I was born, and I have known them since I have been born again. By the constancy of thy kindness to me hitherto, continue still to bless me, for art thou not an unchanging God?

Psalms 25:7. Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions: according to thy mercy remember thou me for thy goodness’ sake, O LORD.

In this verse and the preceding one, there are three “remembers”— erst, that God would remember his tender mercies and his lovingkindnesses; next, that he would not remember our sins and our transgressions; and, then, that he would remember us according to his mercy and goodness.

This last request may remind us of the prayer of the dying thief, “Lord, remember me;” and it may serve for us as a repenting prayer: “According to thy mercy remember thou me for thy goodness’ sake, O Lord.”

Psalms 25:8. Good and upright is the LORD: therefore will he teach sinners in the way.

If good men endeavor to make others good, much more will the good God do so. A good man will seek to lead sinners in the right way; and. much more will our good Saviour, and God, and Helper do so. Only let us be willing to be taught, and come to him confessing our ignorance, and.

asking to be led and instructed. This Psalm, you see, dear friends, is all about teaching; and as David needed instruction, so also do we. The next verse deals with the same subject:

Psalms 25:9. The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way.

Not the proud man, but the meek,— the learners,— the teachable ones; those who, like little children, are willing to believe what they are told upon true authority. Oh, that we all may be among the meek! The tender-mouthed horse is easy to drive; but some people are so stubborn and obstinate that they are “as the horse, or as the mule, which have no understanding: whose mouth must be held in with bit and bridle.” Oh, that we were sensitive to the slightest touch of the divine hand, and always ready and anxious to be instructed by the Lord.

Psalms 25:10. All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.

Do you believe that, you who have been sorely tried? If you are resting in covenant love, and find your hope in covenant blood and covenant promises, you must believe that everything God does to you is done in mercy and truth. Ay, though he strikes till every blow of the rod leaves a blue wound behind, yet we rejoice in these tokens of his fatherly love and desire for our highest good, for he has said, “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten.” The word “love” in that passage conveys the idea of a very tender and ardent auction.

Psalms 25:11. For thy name’s sake, O LORD, pardon mine iniquity; for it is great.

Those who are not taught of God pray very differently from that, for their prayer is, “O Lord, pardon mine iniquity, for it is little;” but he who is graciously instructed confesses the greatness of his guilt, and out of that he draws a plea for mercy, for is not God a great God, and is it not greatly to his glory to pardon great sinners; and when they are pardoned, are they not filled with a great love, and a great zeal, so that they are greatly serviceable to their Lord and toaster?

Psalms 25:12. What man is he that feareth the LORD? him shall he teach in the way that he shall choose.

True reverence for God, a holy fear of him, is a quality that God delights to see; and wherever he finds it, there he gives further instruction.

Psalms 25:13. His soul shall dwell at ease; and his seed shall inherit the earth.

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

Are you one of those trembling ones who fear to offend God? Well, I daresay that you sometimes envy those who are very boisterous in their joy. Do not envy them; you have something better in having that holy, filial fear that trembles at God’s Word; and you shall have the secret of the Lord with you, and he will show you his covenant.

Psalms 25:14-15 The secret of the LORD is with them that fear him; and he will shew them his covenant. ine eyes are eyes toward the LORD for he shall pluck my feet out of the net.

When they get into it, he will pluck them out of it. When Satan seems to cast a net over me, God will come and pull me out. There is force in that word “pluck”— denoting swiftness and energy; perhaps, also, there is a little idea of roughness, but God’s roughness is true tenderness.

Psalms 25:16. Turn thee unto me, and have mercy upon me; for I am desolate and afflicted.

If you pass that dish round, there are some who will not help themselves from it, for they are not “desolate and afflicted.” But I know that there are some, even here, who are both “desolate and afflicted.” Be sure, dear friends, that you make this prier your own: “Turn thee unto me, and have mercy upon me; for I am desolate and afflicted.”

Psalms 25:17-18. The troubles of my heart are enlarged: O bring thou me out of any distresses. Look upon mine affliction and my pain;

And what follows? “Take the affliction and the pain away”? No.

Psalms 25:18. And forgive all my sins.

David will be quite content if God will but look with pitying eyes upon his sufferings; but, as for his sins, he must be clean rid of them, he cannot be happy until he has the answer to this petition, “Forgive all my sins.”

Psalms 25:19. Consider mine enemies; for they are many; and they hate me with cruel hatred.

The better the man, the more bitterly is he hated by the ungodly. It is not by holiness that you will escape the hatred of the world, it is by that very thing that you will arouse its malice. Do not wish to have it otherwise; but remember your Lord’s own words, “Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you! for so did their fathers to the false prophets.” But, “Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.” If we live near to God, and are truly the seed of the woman, the seed of the serpent will be constantly nibbling at our heel; some little viper or other will be sure to be there. As the great serpent seeks to do us injury, so will his seed.

Psalms 25:20. O keep my soul, and deliver me: let me not be ashamed; for I put my trust in thee.

Do you notice how David gets back to his key-note? Almost at the beginning of the Psalm, he said, “O my God, I trust in thee;” now he says “I put my trust in thee.” Let faith in God be the key-note of your life-psalm.

At another time, David wrote, “Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.” That is the motto for all Christians,—“Trust, trust, TRUST.” When there is nothing to be seen, when you are in thick Egyptian darkness, let Job’s confident declaration be the resolve of your spirit, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him.”

Psalms 25:21. Let integrity and uprightness preserve me; for I wait on thee.

The child of God cannot hope to pass through the world safely unless he is careful to keep his integrity and his uprightness. There are some who profess to be Christians, who try to get on in trade by various tricks, and they hope to win the favor of men by just bending a little to their ways. Never do so, beloved; if you give way an inch, you will have to give way a yard or a mile before long.

Psalms 25:22. Redeem Israel, O God, out of all his troubles.

God did so to Israel himself. Jacob, whose name was also Israel, said, “All these things are against me;” yet God redeemed him out of his troubles; and so will the Lord do for all his people in due time, glory be unto his name, world without end! Amen.

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Bibliographical Information
Spurgeon, Charle Haddon. "Commentary on Psalms 25". "Spurgeon's Verse Expositions of the Bible". 2011.