I invite you to take a few moments with me to reflect on today’s Upper Room Devotional below.
Thank you for sharing this early moment of your day with me, with God, and with the thoughts and words of this reading that I hope you will carry with you throughout the coming day and night.
Psalm 25:4-15 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)
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.
11 For your name’s sake, O Lord,
pardon my guilt, for it is great.
12 Who are they that fear the Lord?
He will teach them the way that they should choose.
13 They will abide in prosperity,
and their children shall possess the land.
14 The friendship of the Lord is for those who fear him,
and he makes his covenant known to them.
15 My eyes are ever toward the Lord,
for he will pluck my feet out of the net.
Tim’s Devotional Reflection for Today
Many of the Psalms are prayers. Our reading for today from Psalm 25 is a prayer appropriate in any season, but even more so during Lent. It is a prayer for wisdom and guidance for living and forgiveness for past wrongs.
In Hebrew, this Psalm is an acrostic. In other words, the verses in the psalm are arranged according to the Hebrew alphabet. Not only did this serve as a memory aid, but perhaps was also a reminder of the fullness of God in one’s life—from A to Z. Taken as a whole, Psalm 25 is a prayer for help. The verses that follow today’s reading are intense:
Turn to me and be gracious to me,
for I am lonely and afflicted.
Relieve the troubles of my heart,
and bring me[a] out of my distress.
Consider my affliction and my trouble,
and forgive all my sins.
Consider how many are my foes,
and with what violent hatred they hate me.
O guard my life, and deliver me;
do not let me be put to shame, for I take refuge in you. (verses 16-20).
Through it all, Psalm 25 speaks of God’s nature: “All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep his covenant and his decrees” (25:10). This is really the heart of the Psalm.
Repeatedly the Psalmist asks to be taught God’s ways. “Make me to know your ways, O Lord, teach me your paths” (verse 4). “Lead me in your truth, and teach me” (verse 5). “God instructs sinners in the way…and teaches the humble” (verses 5-6). To know about God is a starting point, but the Psalmist wants something more. The Psalmist wants to be with God, to walk in God’s path.
Perhaps a good spiritual exercise for this season is to pray this prayer for wisdom, forgiveness, comfort, and thanksgiving—remembering that all the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness.
There is a lot of theology woven in to hymns. To enhance today’s reading, I recommend listening to “O God, Our Help in Ages Past” by Author: Isaac Watts (1719). I hope you will take a few moments to let the words of this message and the emotion that always connects us to music connect with your soul. Listen to this hymn on SoundCloud.
Thank you for sharing this early moment of your day with me, with God, and with the words and music that I hope you will carry with you throughout the coming day and night.
I am so grateful for you, for our church, and for the Love that will see us all through this very difficult time. Please stay safe and well and we’ll be together again in spirit tomorrow morning!
Grace and Peace,
Dr. Tim Bruster