Daily Update #230

Today’s Readings:  Daniel 2:2,20-23.   Psalm 25:3-10.  Matt. 18:21-35.

‘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 Saviour, 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. All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful for those who keep the demands of his covenant’ (Psalm 25:3-10).

This is a psalm for troubled and troublesome times. It is typical of King David’s psalms in that he is really troubled by his enemies. As ever, he is humble before God. He knows from experience that God’s love and help are always available to those who trust in Him. The lectionary gives us 8 of the 22 verses in Psalm 25 to reflect on today. We will look at them in 2 parts, to see what they teach us about God and the way He treats those who seek His protection and guidance.

1. verses 3-5 – the biblical idea of being shamed (‘reaping shame’) is more about being disappointed or let down than merely being embarrassed. King David’s prayerful listening to the Lord shows his awareness that if he is to serve Him well he needs to be still and learn from God about His paths and His truth (v4-5). So do we!

2. verses 6-10 – Now David asks God to remember His great compassion, mercy and love but not to remember the sins of his rebellious younger days (v6-7). As always, I will quote the late Dr Alec Motyer on these verses. No groans please because, as we all know, he explains things so much better than I ever could: “The holy God who insists on His holiness as the standard, is also the forgiving God. This means that He has other things on his mind than just our sinfulness and unworthiness. According to verses 6 and 7 He can look back over our sin-stained pass and forget what He has seen! But compared with what He banishes from mind and memory, three things are permanent: ‘compassion’ (His ‘passionate love’), His solemnly ‘committed love’ and His goodness.” Dr Motyer describes verse 8 as ‘remarkable’ since here David emphasises that “it is actually because God is good and upright that He bothers with sinners so as to lead and teach us. How good is that! We can say that it is because God is holy that He bothers.” Thank you yet again Alec for these great insights…… 

Our enjoyment of God’s holy character (and of His perfect plans for us) is conditional. We are to live in accordance with His ways, His teachings and His promises. Then in our difficult, but vaccine – improving, times we can remember and joyfully experience:

* God’s goodness and holiness (v8). 

* His wish to guide believers about “what is right and to teach them His way” (v9).     * that “All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful” (v10).

What should we do in response to these lovely truths for difficult times? It has been written of this psalm that “The first step in seeking the Lord during your hard times is to examine your heart and confess your sins, relying on His grace through the shed blood of Jesus Christ” (Steven J Cole). So when you feel far from God and life is a big struggle, try waiting on the Lord like David. Then follow His lead. I will too.  (Mike W)

Today’s Prayer:Thank you Father that everything about you is good and that you love to bother even with us. We know that your love for us is so merciful that you sent Jesus to deal with our sins. Please teach us and guide us in your perfect ways. Amen.