Psalm 25:11-18 (ESV)
11 For your name’s sake, O Lord,
pardon my guilt, for it is great.
12 Who is the man who fears the Lord?
Him will he instruct in the way that he should choose.
13 His soul shall abide in well-being,
and his offspring shall inherit the land.
14 The friendship of the Lord is for those who fear him,
and he makes known to them his covenant.
15 My eyes are ever toward the Lord,
for he will pluck my feet out of the net.
16 Turn to me and be gracious to me,
for I am lonely and afflicted.
17 The troubles of my heart are enlarged;
bring me out of my distresses.
18 Consider my affliction and my trouble,
and forgive all my sins.
“…he will pluck my feet out of the net.” (verse 15)
David here seeks pardon for his sins. Psalm 25 underscores that the humble possess fear of the Lord, and thus put themselves in the way of understanding their transgressions and repenting them so as to turn Godward.
At the minimal, the fear of God means that if you and I must offend someone today, let it not be Him. Let us take care not to be at odds with the Great I Am, author of our being and donor of his Only Begotten to recreate us into the Christ life, the real and true life. With Paul, believers must accept that only in and through Jesus may we hope to live and move and exist in truth.
Perhaps the most radical truth of faith is that humility is reality for Christians. We would prefer to pluck our own feet out of the sundry snares laid for us all. This attitude is all too human because it is founded on pride. And proud self-reliance, like a naive reliance on government to straighten out our lives, proves time and again an ineffectual remedy for our troubles, not so?
The Psalm reassures us that with friendship and instruction, God will preserve the penitent through exercises of the divine mercy.
Note just here that our heavenly Father elects to do this in the context of a covenantal community, His Son’s body extended through time, the Church. So… remember in your prayers the mission of the Ark of Salvation!
Lord of truth, refuge and strength, turn our eyes away from worthless things and preserve our lives according to thy holy will. Fulfill thy promises to thy servants that you might be alike feared and praised inside the consecrated walls erected to bring men unto thee who know you not. May thy Word so dwell within them that lips may boldly declare thy love and mercy towards sinners. In the name of Jesus, Amen.