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David's confidence in prayer: he prayeth for remission of sins, and for help in affliction.
A Psalm of David.
Title.— לדוד ledavid. This is one of the alphabetical or acrostic psalms, so called because every verse (in the Hebrew) begins with a different letter of the alphabet in their order. But it is to be noted that three of the letters are wanting. The last verse but one begins with ת tau, the last letter of the Hebrew alphabet: whence we may conclude, either that the last verse was added by some other person, or that the two last verses must be read as one. This psalm was written by David in some great distress, after the assassination of Uriah, as it is commonly thought; because, in all his distresses before that event, the Psalmist speaks with great confidence in his innocence; but after it with great humility, contrition, and sometimes with dejection. See Hare and Pilkington.
Psalms 25:3. Which transgress without cause— Who deal perfidiously in vain. Psalms 25:13. His soul shall dwell at ease] Shall abide in good. Or, His own self shall rest quiet in plenty, and his seed shall inherit the land. Mudge.
Psalms 25:15. For he shall pluck my feet, &c.— As the Hebrew grammarians found or made no rule to distinguish the optative, potential, and subjunctive moods, the sense of which is very necessary to be frequently expressed; by a careful attention we may easily discover the characteristics of these moods comprehended in and expressed by the future tense. Thus, instead of for he shall, we may read in this verse, that he may, or because he can, &c. Pilkington, sect. 21.
Psalms 25:18. Forgive all my sins— David joins this petition to the foregoing one, because he considered that, whatever afflictions and crosses were brought upon him, how unjust soever they might be with respect to his enemies, who were the apparent causes of them; yet, according to God's appointment or permission, they might be the effects and punishment of his sins.
Psalms 25:22. Redeem Israel, O God, &c.— "Have mercy, not upon me only, but upon the whole nation; who are miserably distracted by their divisions, and restore them to peace and quietness;" for it is supposed that the psalm was written during the troubles occasioned by Absalom. Mudge apprehends that this is a detached sentence, in which the author shews his zeal for his country; and that it was the usual close of many of their sacred songs.
REFLECTIONS.—1st, David's troubles always brought him to prayer, and therein he ever found a sure relief. We have him here,
1. Approaching God under his afflictions, of whatever sort they were, and casting his care upon him. Unto thee do I lift up my soul in prayer for support, or, as a sacred deposit, commend it to his keeping and care. O my God, I trust in thee, I fix my anchor within the vail, and amidst the storm contentedly wait the issue; since thou art my God, I am safe. Note; (1.) An interest in God's love is a sure protection from every foe. (2.) The more our hearts are lifted up from earth to heaven, and, leaving these vanities, we place our supreme desire on the glories above, the more sure we are that our hope shall not be disappointed.
2. He prays for himself, and all who like him were afflicted, that neither he nor they might be ashamed of their confidence, or disappointed of their hope. Let not mine enemies triumph over me, as they soon would, if God should withdraw his kind support; but let them be ashamed which transgress without cause against me, who have never provoked them, or against thee the God of all mercy. Note; (1.) While we are praying for ourselves, we must not forget our brethren, but be advocates for them, as they are for us. (2.) He that believeth, shall not be ashamed; the God of their confidence never faileth those who seek him. (3.) Though transgressors may appear for a while secure and triumphant in their wickedness, yet their day is coming, when everlasting confusion shall cover them.
3. He begs of God to direct and lead him in the right way of duty, to direct him in his worship and service, to enlighten his mind with all saving truth, and enable him to walk under the influence of it. And for this he pleads, because God is his salvation, on whom his soul depends, and because he waited on him all the day, in consequence of his promise to hear the prayer of his people.
4. He pleads the grace and promises of God in Jesus Christ, (the true Messiah,) which former saints ever experienced in their days of trouble; and he humbly hopes that God will not forget to manifest the same grace, and fulfil the same promises, to him.
5. He begs pardon for transgressions, which from the womb began in a corrupted nature, and appeared from his youth up; for which should God enter into judgment with him, he must be utterly condemned: therefore he cries for mercy, and, disclaiming all merit, pleads only God's unbounded grace and goodness.
2nd, Having asked of God direction and support, he here promises himself that he shall find it.
Good and upright is the Lord, kind and gracious to his people, faithful to his promises, and equitable in his decisions; therefore will he teach sinners in the way; though they have offended and provoked him as I have done, yet, when they return, he will not reject them, he will shew them Christ the living way, who came to save sinners, and minister to them grace, that they may be enabled to walk in him, as souls ransomed by his blood. The meek, the humbled under a sense of sin, he will guide in judgment, giving them an understanding to know him that is true, and teach his way to them of justifying sinners, through the blood and merits of his dear Son. For all the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth, all his promises flow from boundless mercy, and are the dictates of eternal truth; and all his providences are designed, with the most gracious intention, for his faithful people's good; so that they may confidently trust him, while in the way of duty they keep his covenant and his testimonies; hold fast the one as their rock, and follow the other as their holy path of duty, in which they desire to walk and please God: not that anything they can do is worthy of God's regard, seeing in their best estate they have need to cry, For thy name's sake, O Lord, pardon mine iniquity, for it is great. What man is he that feareth the Lord? conscious of his guilt, and humbly confessing it before his offended God, him shall he teach in the way that he shall choose; the Lord shall order his goings and his footsteps shall not slide. His soul shall dwell at ease, relieved from every distressing fear, and enjoying the peace which flows from pardoned sin, or in goodness, as the word בטוב betob may be rendered, in the experience of God's love and favour; and his seed shall inherit the earth, a sufficiency here below, and hereafter the promised land of eternal rest, the heavenly Canaan. The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him, his mysteries of providence and grace are opened to them; they are admitted into that happy communion with him, which is unknown to others, and he will shew them his covenant in Jesus Christ, and they shall fully see the accomplishment of all that is therein contained, when they come to his presence above. Note; (1.) None can come to God for pardon and grace, but those who feel experimentally their guilt and corruption. (2.) It is the same thing with God, to pardon many offences as few; so that the sense of the greatness of our sins should never keep us from him, but drive us to him. (3.) They who find mercy with God in Jesus Christ, are bound by every tie of love and duty to fear offending him, and to delight to please him in his holy ways. (4.) When we are so doing, all things shall work together for good to us, and sweet mercies spring from the most afflictive providences.
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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Psalms 25". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 23 / Ordinary 28