A Psalm of David.
1 Unto thee, O LORD, do I lift up my soul.
2 O my God, in thee have I trusted,
Let me not be ashamed;
Let not mine enemies triumph over me.
3 Yea, none that wait on thee shall be ashamed:
They shall be ashamed that deal treacherously without cause.
4 Shew me thy ways, O LORD;
Teach me thy paths.
5 Guide me in thy truth, and teach me;
For thou art the God of my salvation;
On thee do I wait all the day.
6 Remember, O LORD, thy tender mercies and thy lovingkindnesses;
For they have been ever of old.
7 Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions:
According to thy lovingkindness remember thou me,
For thy goodness’ sake, O LORD.
8 Good and upright is the LORD:
Therefore will he instruct sinners in the way.
9 The meek will he guide in judgement:
And the meek will he teach his way.
10 All the paths of the LORD are lovingkindness and truth
Unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.
11 For thy name’s sake, O LORD,
Pardon mine iniquity, for it is great.
12 What man is he that feareth the LORD?
Him shall he instruct in the way that he shall choose.
13 His soul shall dwell at ease;
And his seed shall inherit the land.
14 The secret of the LORD is with them that fear him;
And he will shew them his covenant.
15 Mine eyes are ever toward the LORD;
For he shall pluck my feet out of the net.
16 Turn thee unto me, and have mercy upon me;
For I am desolate and afflicted.
17 The troubles of my heart are enlarged:
O bring thou me out of my distresses.
18 Consider mine affliction and my travail;
And forgive all my sins.
19 Consider mine enemies, for they are many;
And they hate me with cruel hatred.
20 O keep my soul, and deliver me:
Let me not be ashamed, for I put my trust in thee.
21 Let integrity and uprightness preserve me,
For I wait on thee.
22 Redeem Israel, O God,
Out of all his troubles.
The Lord is not only our creator, he is the designer of our lives, too. He did not only make the world, but the paths our lives should walk. Because of the great knowledge and understanding he has of his creation, he also knows the right courses for our lives. We, too often, have ignored his guidance and instruction, falling into foul problems. This psalm is our desire for God to forgive our foolish ways and for his help to walk in his ways.
“Shew me thy ways, O Lord, Teach. me thy paths”. This is the great drive of the psalm. We ask for guidance from the one who is our salvation. There are some good books out there, but don’t you get the impression that the self-help industry is more of an industry than a help? That’s why we use psalms like this to ask for God’s guidance. We, with our fear of the Lord, find instruction for the way we ought to choose. We find the secret of the Lord when we, in fear, seek him.
It was when we went astray we recognized our shame. The sins of our youth hurt us, and we pray that they will not be remembered by God. As sinners we plead for God’s instruction; in meekness we listen and follow. Our hearts may be filled with trouble and distress, but we trust that God will lead us safely into security. Away from shame and into God’s light, this is the way of every path of God.