Psalm 25 - Unto Thee O Lord do I lift up my soul
This wonderful psalm teaches us to lift up our soul to the Lord. When I am far from the Lord, which is most times, singing this psalm brings me close to the Lord. It is one of my favorites.
From my experience, I believe that if you memorize this Psalm and sing it each morning on your way to work, it will change you. It will deal with your pride, bring you closer to the Lord, and bring you into the real experiences of the Lord in this Psalm.
This is the 1st acrostic, or alphabetic psalm. The purpose, I believe, for a psalm to be acrostic, is to make it easy to memorize. I've included the Hebrew letter for each verse and have bolded the word that starts with it.
I have somewhat used the tune of the popular KJV Psalm 25 song, but it doesn't fit exactly, so here is an mp3 of my poor voice singing it on the way to work.
The popular KJV Psalm 25 song is very good, but I feel it doesn't compare to the whole Psalm. It misses too much of the truth.
Here is the KJV tune. It will autorepeat after you click play:
v2. 1st lift our soul up to the Lord. Next trust in the Lord.
v3. Pray not only for ourselves, but also for all those who wait on the Lord. Lift up our soul to the Lord -> Trust in the Lord -> Wait on the Lord.
v4. In David's prayer for him not to be ashamed, he prays to know the Lord's ways and for the Lord to teach him His paths. The Lord's ways are his principles. His paths are the directions David should go at each step. This is to know the Lord. Our prayer not to be ashamed turns into a prayer to know the Lord practically and experientially.
v5. Lead me in Your truth. It is not enough just to know the truth by study. We need the Lord to lead us in His truth. The Holy Spirit does this (John 16:13). The Holy Spirit does not lead us into an understanding of all the truth but into living all the truth (3John 3-4; etc).
And finally, Lord, teach me. The Lord will do it. It is wonderful to be taught of the Lord each day.
MT & LXX say "and teach me". DSS omits the "and".
v6. It is so good to tell the Lord to remember His tender mercies and His loving kindnesses. That reminds us how much we need the Lord's tender mercy, and cannot stand without it. This releases us from self-righteousness and pride, which is only natural to rise up.
v7. Tell the Lord not to remember our sins which we committed before we were saved as well as our transgressions (more serious) that we still commit. The Lord must keep His promise not to remember our sins according to His new covenant. Also, tell the Lord to "remember me for the sake of Your good." The Lord is mindful of each one of us for good.
v8. The Lord will teach sinners in the way. We are all qualified for the Lord to teach us. Lord, in the church teach sinners in the way.
v9. The ones the Lord teaches and guides in judgment are the lowly. This also kills our pride.
v10. My favorite verse in this Psalm. All of the Lord's paths are mercy and are truth. If you are on a path that is not both mercy and truth, that is a wrong path.
“All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant." The original Hebrew word that has been translated "paths" means "well-worn roads' or "wheel tracks," such ruts as wagons make when they go down our green roads in wet weather and sink in up to the axles. God's ways are at times like heavy wagon tracks that cut deep into our souls, yet all of them are merciful.” - Charles H. Spurgeon
There is no exception to this rule: "All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant." They say there is no rule without an exception, but there is an exception to that rule. - Charles H. Spurgeon
v.12-14 All the Psalms bring us to fear the Lord.
5 fruits from fearing the Lord:
1. The Lord will teach him, individually, in the way he should choose.
2. His soul shall dwell in good.
3. His children shall inherit the earth.
4. The secret of the Lord is with them, corporately.(Ephesians 3:18-19)
5. The Lord will make the blessings of the new covenant known to them, corporately (Ephesians 1: 3).
v16. The word "desolate" means "childless" (Ps 68:6). We should pray this for the Lord to give us spiritual children.
v17. Troubles cause our heart to be enlarged to not love ourselves so much and to care for others instead. The troubles cause us to lift up our soul to the Lord, trust in Him and wait on Him.
Great hearts can only be made by great troubles. The spade of trouble digs the reservoir of comfort deeper, and makes more room for consolation. - Charles Spurgeon
Let God enlarge you when you are going through distress. He can do it. You can't do it, and others can't do it for you. - Warren W. Wiersbe
Those times when you feel like quitting can be times of great opportunity, for God uses your troubles to help you grow. - Wiersbe
Don't waste your sufferings. - Wiersbe
Life's trials are not easy. But in God's will, each has a purpose. Often He uses them to enlarge you. - Wiersbe
v21. We ask the Lord to help us live a life of integrity and uprightness, which will preserve us while we wait on Him.
v22. The end result of lifting up our soul to the Lord, trusting the Lord, waiting on the Lord, knowing the Lord's ways, the Lord teaching us His paths, the Lord leading us in His truth, the Lord teaching us, the Lord remembering not our sins, the Lord remembering us for good, our praying for the Lord to teach sinners, the Lord guiding us in judgment, our keeping His covenant and testimonies, our fearing the Lord, our soul dwelling in good, the Lord entrusting His secret to us, the Lord making His covenant known to us, our looking toward the Lord, the Lord plucking our feet out of the net, our turning to the Lord, troubles enlarging our heart, our telling our problems to the Lord, the Lord guarding our soul, integrity and uprightness preserving us - is to pray for God's people. v22 is not part of the acrostic, but stands alone.
This acrostic Psalm is missing the 6th letter of the Hebrew alphabet, vav, and the 19th letter, kof. The 20th letter, resh, is repeated twice. This shows that this Psalm is lacking something and is too much in something. The something too much is the repeated resh verses 18-19. It is a bit too much complaining to the Lord to look at all my problems. But that is good. Don't worry about being too much. Tell the Lord all your problems, the first and the last. You will eventually be enlarged.
The 2 things lacking in this Psalm can be seen by comparing it to the next 2 acrostic Psalms. The next acrostic Psalm is Psalm 34. Psalm 34 is in structure very similar to Psalm 25. It also has 22 verses, and the last verse is not part of the acrostic. Psalm 34 is also missing the vav, but it has the letter kof in Psalm 34:18 "The Lord is near to a broken heart." The matter of being close to the Lord is one thing lacking in Psalm 25. This Psalm is a prayer from someone who is somewhat far from the Lord and lifts up his soul to the Lord. That is very good, just not complete.
The next acrostic Psalm is Psalm 37. It is the first perfect acrostic Psalm having all 22 letters. The letter vav, which was missing from Psalms 25 & 34, is in Psalm 37:10 "Yet a little while and the wicked shall not be." The matter of looking for the Lord's coming back and establishing His kingdom is lacking from both Psalms 25 & 34.