Monday, January 11, 2010

Psalm 25:4-12

In times of confusion and total perplexion we open ourselves to be instructed; we're more likely to listen during these times. Perhaps it's the inability to reach someone, perhaps one of our friends or work colleagues, or even one of our children, and we just want knowledge in how to actually reach that person.

Psalm 25 and verses 4-12 speak to these times when we're desperate to know the right way and we're just more receptive. These are the times when we look to heaven and, at that moment, our hearts and minds are open.

We could easily pray these words:

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 Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.

We'd commence with a request to know more about the ways of life, and most specifically the answers to the particular situation. This might lead us to wonder for a moment about the character of God; his nature and his deeds of past. (And here's one of the valuable things of good, effective prayer--we start with ourselves and end with God.)

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.

Conjuring images of God is likely to bring us to a position of subjection--of being reminded of our frailties and disobedience, though God's not laying on the guilt-trip, we are!
The moment we acknowledge the real truth of God--his all-sufficient grace, no less--we're free again, free to bask in his goodness. It's in imagining and re-imagining God that we find he's utterly incomprehensible; this brings us paradoxically both dis-ease and comfort.

8 Good and upright is the LORD; therefore he instructs sinners in his ways.

God is the light in every situation. His Spirit brings closure to the pensiveness of our hearts. We seek to complete his will by following his instruction and we're saved in the moment.

9 He guides the humble in what is right and teaches them his way.

His ways are only open to the humble at heart--the puffed-up proud know full well God's no fun, yet there are those caught between, trying to be humble; but these carnal Christians are fooled in their pedigree of arrogance.

The humble can learn; they always do. They watch for the Light, always watching; always growing steadily in wisdom. They know, and what's more, accept, that accumulating wisdom means diligently making meaning out of observation and experience. Life is not a dress rehearsal.

10 All the ways of the LORD are loving and faithful for those who keep the demands of his covenant.

11 For the sake of your name, O LORD, forgive my iniquity, though it is great.
The attitude of the penitent is appropriate; it always is and always will be.

12 Who, then, is the man that fears the LORD? He will instruct him in the way chosen for him. -Psalm 25:4-12 (NIV)

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