“The Lord is good and right;
he points sinners to the right way.
9 He shows those who are humble how to do right,
and he teaches them his ways.
10 All the Lord’s ways are loving and true
for those who follow the demands of his agreement.
11 For the sake of your name, Lord,
forgive my many sins.
12 Are there those who respect the Lord?
He will point them to the best way.
13 They will enjoy a good life,
and their children will inherit the land.
14 The Lord tells his secrets to those who respect him;
he tells them about his agreement.”
Psalm 25:8-14, NCV
Our views of God shape our daily living. If God is nothing more than a celestial judge, we will be shaped by that personal theology, and be angry and rigid people. (Often, we won’t even realize it. But others will.) And if our theology says that God really does love me, I will become a person of kindness. What we decide about the Lord, and ourselves, is incredibly significant.
This psalm has the power to come alongside and “sculpt” our faith. Often I think of God as impassive or neutral when it comes to me. It’s like He’s this evaluator or auditor. He is inspecting me to see if I measure up. He is cold-blooded, and emotionless as He monitors what I do with my faith in His Son.
V. 8, ”Good and right” are actually pretty rare qualities. But if your God possesses them, you should be in pretty fine shape. God excels in goodness, and He outshines everyone in doing things right.
And v. 8 continues, “he points sinners to the right way. “ This is an active, roll up your sleeves kind of commitment. He isn’t confined to the sidelines, or the judge’s table. “What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us?” Romans 8:31, (NLT) . Two words, two very different positions, now linked by an “is for”:
- God, creator and sustainer of everything. Completely full of compassion, power, goodness and justice.
- Us. Sinful, and depraved. “Missing the mark.”
We are now irrevocably linked. God and us. God and us, now forever connected.
V. 9, Note the phrases- “He shows” and “He teaches.” Will we let Him do what He wants? After all, He is a passionate teacher that loves to illustrate and instruct in His ways. But the word “humble” declares the status that is prerequisite or mandatory. God loves humble people (I mean He really, really loves them!)
V. 10, the NCV uses the word, “agreement.” Most versions use the better word, “covenant”. It does have the idea of agreement, or a contract, but one much more formal. It is between two parties instilling a permanent relationship. It was serious enough that blood had to be shed to validate it.
This is exactly what Jesus did. His sacrifice has the power to bring us into a covenant. Those of us who come to Him through this covenant will find an exclusive source of love and truth.
V. 11, This is an direct appeal to God’s honor and reputation. Father, “forgive my many, many sins.” We maybe tempted to hide some of them. But only full disclosure will bring full deliverance. Whatever is not brought into the light will go on to infest your life. Trust me, you will regret it.
V.12, to respect or to fear the Lord entails an active action or response. But there is another dimension. Celebrities will often hire a “life coach,” or someone to come alongside to guide them in their decisions and choices.
V. 13, what an incentive! It is a tangible and significant pursuit. Godliness is always profitable, and not just materially. Its essence is the blessing of the Lord, and an intimacy with Him. Also, there is an idea here, of my own obedience effecting my children’s future and destiny.
V. 14, “The LORD is a friend to those who fear him. He teaches them his covenant” (NLT). To have the Almighty as a personal friend is an amazing thing, it sets you apart from any other claim or status. God choose to become your personal tutor, teaching you of such things that thinkers and philosophers have wanted to see into throughout the history of the world.