by M. Todaro
In Knowing Christ we offer what are commonly called “devotions”, though we think it is more helpful to call these posts by their purpose—Knowing Christ. The name also serves as a reminder to all of us to stay focused on the Lord Jesus Christ whether reading the Bible or praying or eating a sandwich (1 Cor. 10:31)… He is the Author and Finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:1-2). All things are through Him and for Him (Colossians 1:9-20). Jesus explains the Scriptures and makes our hearts burn within us (Luke 24). Compared to knowing Christ Jesus our Lord, everything else is garbage (Philippians 3:7-4:1)… We pray these posts are used to stir our affections for Him by His word and His grace.
I LIFT UP MY SOUL
Is everything in me “lifted up” to Yahweh?
Is God the place where my trust rests?
Can I sing this with David?
Psalm 25:1-3a, 5b
To You, O *Yahweh, I lift up my soul.
O my God, in You I trust,
Do not let me be ashamed;
Do not let my enemies exult over me.
Indeed, none of those who wait for You
will be ashamed…
For You I wait all the day.
*Yahweh: this Hebrew word (YHWH) is God’s name. “I am who I am” (Exodus 3:14). Also tranlsated as “the LORD” (notice the all caps) in most Bibles.
David is praying to not be “put to shame” or “ashamed”. He is praying that his enemies will not win. And David is waiting. He is waiting all the day. Every day it seems. He is still waiting at the end of this prayer.
Don’t we wait?
And isn’t God in control of this waiting?
And what is the waiting all about?
Make me to know Your ways, O Yahweh;
Teach me Your paths.
Lead me in Your truth and teach me,
For You are the God of my salvation;
For You I wait all the day.
We can only trust what we know.
David is praying to know God’s character and ways.
We are waiting on Yahweh—the God we know and trust.
Remember your mercy, O Yahweh, and Your *hesed
For they have been from of old.
Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions;
According to Your *hesed remember me,
For the sake of You goodness, O Yahweh!
*hesed: The Hebrew word for God’s steadfast love, faithful lovingkindness, His love for His covenant people.
YOUR MERCY IS OLDER THAN MY SIN
David is asking God to remember who He [God] is. Isn’t that strange?
Has God ever forgotten anything? Does God forget His own character?
David is also asking God to not remember what he [David] has done.
The plea seems to be—”God, Your mercy is who You are, Your attributes are eternal. They are ‘older’ than the sins of my youth.” This is expressing David’s humility. David is not minimizing his sin, he is minimizing himself. David is humbling himself before the eternal God of the universe.
Do it for Your sake, God. Remember me, but forget my sin!
Remember who you are, by forgetting what I have done.
This prayer is only answered in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Jesus is the Redeemer of Israel.
This is exactly what this prayer is all about.
Redeem Israel, O God,
Out of all his troubles.
Redeem me. Rescue me. Save me.
AFFLICTION IS WHERE WE WAIT
Turn to me and be gracious to me,
For I am lonely and afflicted.
The troubles of my heart are enlarged;
Bring me out of my distresses.
Look upon my affliction and my toil,
And forgive all my sins.
Beloved, loneliness and troubles are the state in which the normal Christian finds themselves. It has been said, “Life stinks”. But that stink is the place of faith. We trust God, and that is why we wait.
The same Jesus that said, “In this world you will have trouble” (John 16:33), also prayed to the Father, “I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one” (John 17:15).
So, Jesus’ prayer is not that we be removed from affliction just yet.
Rather, He calls His us, all of His beloved disciples to have faith in what He has done—”Take heart, I have overcome the world!” (John 16:33).
NONE OF THOSE WHO WAIT FOR JESUS WILL BE ASHAMED
So run, dear one, and know you will never be put to shame.
Know Christ. By knowing Him, trust Him. In trusting Him, wait.
You will be afflicted, but never ashamed.
Jesus took that shame and crushed it.
In your affliction, consider Him, and take heart.
“…fixing our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart” (Hebrews 12:2-3).
God has both remembered his “hesed” and not remembered our sin.
In Christ, Israel is redeemed.
This promise, this prayer, this psalm, is yours in Christ.