Psalm 25:1-9 (NRSV)
1To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
2O my God, in you I trust; do not let me be put to shame; do not let my enemies exult over me.
3Do not let those who wait for you be put to shame; let them be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.
4Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths.
5Lead me in your truth, and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all day long.
6Be mindful of your mercy, O Lord, and of your steadfast love, for they have been from of old.
7Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to your steadfast love remember me, for your goodness' sake, O Lord!
8Good and upright is the Lord; therefore he instructs sinners in the way.
9He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way.
Perhaps you had an invisible sibling in your household named, “not fair.” Whenever one felt slighted or disadvantaged, the guilty party was called out: “That’s not fair!”
In yesterday’s reading, Israel argues with God, accusing God of being “not fair.” But Ezekiel admonishes them, saying the problem is not God’s fairness but their own heart. One cannot learn when one does not take responsibility for choices made or attitudes adopted. Their stubbornness made them unteachable.
Contrarily, in this Psalm, David implores God to teach and instruct him. He tells God what to remember—his steadfast love—and then tells God what to forget—the sins of his youth. Instead of the indignation of the people of Israel, we see the humility of David. He is teachable, and therefore changeable, because he knows his sin is his own. Therefore, instead of demanding answers from God, he asks for guidance from God.
Merciful God, lead us in your truth; instruct us in your ways; remember us according to your steadfast love. In your goodness, give us the patience we need to wait upon you. Amen.