Reading: PSALMS 25-27
Click on the link for the reading to read the Psalms for this week. As we read, let us not do so in haste. Take time to read each Psalm at least three times: once to understand the content, once as a poem or song to feel the meaning, and once as a prayer to appropriate the Psalm into your life. There will often be a hymn attached at the bottom of the page that helps bring meaning to one of the Psalms for the week.
PSALM 25: To You, O Lord, I Offer My Life
This psalm begins with a profound description of prayer: To you, LORD, I lift up my soul.” The statement portrays prayer as an act in which individuals hold their conscious identity, their life, in hands stretched out to God as a way of saying that their life depends completely and only on the help of God. The psalm is a prayer that says, “In the midst of all the troubles of life I place my hope in you, and you alone, O God.” Psalm 25 implies that the steadfast love and faithfulness of God are reserved for those who obey God, but the psalmist has not obeyed (v.11). The psalmist’s ultimate appeal is to God’s character which the psalmist trusts will ultimately manifest itself in forgiveness. Instead of depending on self and personal resources, the psalmist depends on God in trust, finding security or refuge in God. Instead of seeking instant gratification, the psalmist is content to wait for God in the confidence that being related to God is the essence of the fullness of life.
PSALM 26: Judge Me, O Lord
At first reading, this psalm sounds theologically wrong. To pray for vindication on the basis of one’s own righteousness contradicts the New Testament doctrine that “all have sinned” (Rom. 3:23). “Vindicate” in Hebrew says literally, “judge me” or “uphold my cause.” It is a plea you would say to a judge as an innocent party. The prayer turns to God as the supremely authoritative judge of nations and individuals because he is the arbiter who knows not only the facts but what lies in one’s heart and mind. The prayer asks God to work things out so the person praying lives rather than dies because of their innocence. Times do come when we need the help of remembering that God knows the mind and heart, even if others don’t, and of believing that God will vindicate faithfulness even if the world does not.
PSALM 27: Your Face, Lord, Do I Seek
Psalm 27 is a favorite of many because it expresses the central impulse of biblical religion, trust in the Lord, in such eloquent and poignant words. It teaches what real trust is like, and it leads those who follow its lines in liturgy or meditation toward that trust. When Jesus overheard people tell Jairus that his daughter was dead, Jesus exhorted Jairus: “Do not fear, only believe.” (Mark 5:36). Jesus’ words summarize the message of Psalm 27. The opposite of faith is not so much doubt as it is fear. For the psalmist to say “My heart shall not fear” is to say, “I believe.” Our era has been called the Age of Anxiety, which makes the psalmist’s example of faith all the more important. Anxiety has often been called a failure of nerve, but the psalmist suggests it is a failure to trust. Left to depend on ourselves instead of on God, we fail to experience joy and life in all its fullness.
This is the Psalm in hymn form. Read or sing it through with melody to give the Psalm another dimension.
We’ve attached a video clip for a different version of a musical adaptation of Psalm 25 below.
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