written by David.
1 To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul;
2 in you I trust, O my God. Do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me.
3 No one whose hope is in you will ever be put to shame, but they will be put to shame who are treacherous without excuse.
4 Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths;
5 guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.
6 Remember, O LORD, your great mercy and love, for they are from of old.
7 Remember not the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways; according to your love remember me, for you are good, O LORD.
8 Good and upright is the LORD; therefore he instructs sinners in his ways.
9 He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way.
10 All the ways of the LORD are loving and faithful for those who keep the demands of his covenant.
11 For the sake of your name, O LORD, forgive my iniquity, though it is great.
12 Who, then, is the man that fears the LORD? He will instruct him in the way chosen for him.
13 He will spend his days in prosperity, and his descendants will inherit the land.
14 The LORD confides in those who fear him; he makes his covenant known to them.
15 My eyes are ever on the LORD, for only he will release my feet from the snare.
16 Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted.
17 The troubles of my heart have multiplied; free me from my anguish.
18 Look upon my affliction and my distress and take away all my sins.
19 See how my enemies have increased and how fiercely they hate me!
20 Guard my life and rescue me; let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in you.
21 May integrity and uprightness protect me, because my hope is in you.
22 Redeem Israel, O God, from all their troubles!
When I was in the third grade, I had a teacher who share his belief about God with the entire class. He told us we needed to grow up and take control of our life and leave the notion that we are special before God behind. God gave us a brain and we should rely on thinking abilities to make our decisions since the notion of a personal God was a myth. However, my fourth-grade teacher believed in a personal God in which you could have a personal relationship with and her life reflected that relationship. As I look back to these two teachers I realize that one of the first steps in understanding the book of Psalms is knowing that the loving God of the universe has not only reached out to mankind; but he has reached out to each individual to have this personal relationship that was reflected in Mrs. Wilson’s life. So, as we study this psalm we need to focus on David’s actions and the request that he is requesting from his personal Lord.
- I lift up my soul
- I trust in God
- I desire honor not shame
- I desire victory over my enemies
- I hope in the Lord
- I desire to be a student of the Lord’s ways
- I desire to be guided into truth by the Lord
- I desire redemption from my rebellious ways
- I desire to keep our ways
- I take refuge in the Lord
We can also see some of God’s attributes in this psalm:
- God honors those who hope in him
- The Lord has great mercy and love
- The Lord is good and upright
- The Lord guides and instruct the humble
- All the Lord’s ways are loving and faithful for those who keeps the demand of his covenant
- The Lord confides in those who fear him
- The Lord makes known his covenant to those who know him
- Only the Lord can release me from the snares of the wicked
Now the real focus of this psalm “David’s request before the Lord”
- Do not let me be put to shame
- Do not let my enemies triumph over me
- Show me your ways
- Teach me your paths
- Guide me in your truth and teach me
- Remember not the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways
- Forgive me my iniquities
- Release me from the snares of the wicked
- Lord turn to me and be gracious to me
- Free me from the anguish of my troubles
- Guard my life and rescue me
- May your integrity and uprightness protect me, since my hope is in you.
- Redeem Israel (USA) from all their troubles
Is your God a God that just lives way up there and looks down at the world and treats each of us as if we were but ants on an anthill; or is your God a God that knows your name and knows the count of every hair on your head?
As I read Psalms twenty-one through twenty-five today and relate it to the events happening in our nation today, I gain a new apprehension for President Bush. Stephen Mansfield wrote in his book The Faith of George W. Bush:
“The great undeniable change in George W. Bush is revealed in his total commitment to help his country preserve freedom’s blessing, to feel compassion for those who suffer, his love for God, his faith, and his desire for peace around the world.” (page 163)
“George W. Bush shared his belief that Jesus Christ is the greatest example of principled living and the person he most admires.” (page 164)
I am afraid that is not the position that our current President Obama has in his running of our nation. In a recent article I read by Senator Jim DeMint titled We the People vs I Won he wrote:
It is too early to draw conclusions about President Obama and his administration. But so far, nothing so encapsulates the president’s approach to executive leadership than his famous rebuke to stimulus critics: “I won.”
In a press conference in Turkey (April 6 2009) President Obama remarked:
“I think that where — where there’s the most promise of building stronger U.S.-Turkish relations is in the recognition that Turkey and the United States can build a model partnership in which a predominantly Christian nation and a predominantly Muslim nation, a Western nation and a nation that straddles two continents — that we can create a modern international community that is respectful, that is secure, that is prosperous; that there are not tensions, inevitable tensions, between cultures, which I think is extraordinarily important.
That’s something that’s very important to me. And I’ve said before that one of the great strengths of the United States is — although as I mentioned, we have a very large Christian population, we do not consider ourselves a Christian nation or a Jewish nation or a Muslim nation; we consider ourselves a nation of citizens who are bound by ideals and a set of values.
I think Turkey was — modern Turkey was founded with a similar set of principles, and yet what we’re seeing is in both countries that promise of a secular country that is respectful of religious freedom, respectful of rule of law, respectful of freedom, upholding these values and being willing to stand up for them in the international stage. If we are joined together in delivering that message, East and West, to — to the world, then I think that we can have an extraordinary impact. And I’m very much looking forward to that partnership in the days to come.”
President Bush like David shared his personal faith in God and Christ the King of Kings and Lord of Lords; however, President Obama like Saul look to himself as the chief administration who does not have to answer to God. I pray that he realizes that there is a warning in Psalm 2:10-12 for all rulers:
“Therefore, you kings, be wise; be warned, you rulers of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you be destroyed in your way, for his wrath can flare up in a moment. Blessed are all who take refuge in him.”
As I observe the events around me, I must realize that all things are in the Lord’s hands. Even when the rulers of this earth do not realize the Lord we can be like the seven thousand who have not bowed down to the gods of this world, but who remain faithful to God. So, as I read Psalms twenty-one through twenty-five today I will chose to make my God a personal God and follow after Mrs. Wilson’s example instead of a third grade teacher’s example who by the way his name I have long forgotten.