Today’s passage: Psalm 25
Today’s chocolate: Justin’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
Ever been ashamed? I remember in seventh grade, on the bus back from an end-of-semester reward trip, I had terrible adolescent B.O. and some kid very publicly dumped half a bottle of cologne on my shirt to cover the stench. It was hugely embarrassing, and after that, I started using deodorant regularly.
But you know what’s really embarrassing? When the troubles of your heart are enlarged, and your enemies, who are many, hate you with violent hatred. Just super-embarrassing.
That’s what jumped out at me from this passage: how David bookends it with prayers to be spared the shame of being overcome by his foes. His opening and closing to the psalm include the plea “Do not let me be ashamed” (2, 20). Each time, he grounds the plea in God and in his trust in God. He writes, “O my God, in You I trust” (2), and “Do not let me be ashamed, for I take refuge in You” (20). And despite the trouble he’s in, he expects God will prove that his trust is merited. He says to God: “Indeed, none of those who wait for You will be ashamed; those who deal treacherously without cause will be ashamed” (3). But God, being God, knows this already; in the long game, this is how the universe he made works. I expect David includes it in the psalm in order to remind himself that his trust will be repaid with deliverance, not shame. Or perhaps he’s saying it for those who will listen to the psalm or sing it in a group setting.
In the interim, between the two pleas to be kept from shame before his enemies, David seeks guidance and forgiveness. He’s got plenty of requests; for example,
- “Make me know Your ways, O Lord; teach me Your paths” (4)
- “For Your name’s sake, O Lord, pardon my iniquity, for it is great” (11)
But he’s got just as many, if not more, statements of God’s character. Such as:
- “Good and upright is the Lord; therefore He instructs sinners in the way” (8)
- “My eyes are continually toward the Lord, for He will pluck my feet out of the net” (15)
He can reasonably ask God to instruct him in lovingkindness and truth, because God’s got that stuff in spades.
I gotta wrap this post up, because I still need to eat lunch and get some cartooning done before I go to my evening job, but rest assured there’s more to dig up in this psalm than my blog post could even begin to touch on. See you guys tomorrow with probably more psalms.