Text – Psalm 25:1-10:
1 To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
2 O my God, in you I trust;
do not let me be put to shame;
do not let my enemies exult over me.
3 Do not let those who wait for you be put to shame;
let them be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.
4 Make me to know your ways, O Lord;
teach me your paths.
5 Lead me in your truth, and teach me,
for you are the God of my salvation;
for you I wait all day long.
6 Be mindful of your mercy, O Lord, and of your steadfast love,
for they have been from of old.
7 Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions;
according to your steadfast love remember me,
for your goodness’ sake, O Lord!
8 Good and upright is the Lord;
therefore he instructs sinners in the way.
9 He leads the humble in what is right,
and teaches the humble his way.
10 All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness,
for those who keep his covenant and his decrees.
This text has three factors which are pertinent to the season of Lent. The first is the honest expression of failure and sin. “Do not remember the rebellious sins of my youth.” There is also the factor of waiting on God. Waiting for his forgiveness. Waiting to see what God has in store for us. Waiting to be taught the right way. And third, there is the resulting expectation of a better future which God is preparing for us.
Psalm 25 is written as an acrostic, each verse beginning with the next letter of the alphabet, perhaps as a memory aid. to bring to mind the reminders of this Psalm. The Psalm also moves back and forth between pray and proclamation, the one addressed to God alone and the second addressed to his audience.
In Lent, this Psalm brings to mind the attitudes that should characterize a God worshiper: trust, steadfast faith, and a desire to learn what God has to teach. In spite of the humility and penitence of Lent, this Psalm reminds us of being trustful that the future brings God’s promises to fulfillment. Indeed a great thought to embrace this Lent.
Our Lord God, please help us to listen to your words, always accepting advice and discipline so that we may be people prepared for your future. May we recognize our shortcomings and sin so that we will not be haughty and stubborn. In the end of time we want to be counted among your wise followers. Remember us in your steadfast love, O God. In Jesus’ name we pray this. Amen.