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.
6 Remember, Lord, your great mercy and love,
for they are from of old.
7 Do not remember the sins of my youth
and my rebellious ways;
according to your love remember me,
for you, Lord, are good.
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.
10 All the ways of the Lord are loving and faithful
toward those who keep the demands of his covenant.
11 For the sake of your name, Lord,
forgive my iniquity, though it is great.
12 Who, then, are those who fear the Lord?
He will instruct them in the ways they should choose.
13 They will spend their days in prosperity,
and their descendants will inherit the land.
14 The Lord confides in those who fear him;
he makes his covenant known to them.
15 My eyes are ever on the Lord,
for only he will release my feet from the snare.
In the 24th Psalm we find a most beautiful prayer. It begins by asking the Lord to “Show me your ways… teach me your paths.” The world is always willing and ready to show us its ways and guide us in its paths. we need to turn from the ways of the world and seek instead the ways and paths of the Lord. Who better to teach us the way of the Lord than the Lord himself?
The world has its “truth” and insists that the Word of God is incorrect, myth, and fable. We pray in the Psalm for God to guide us in His truth and for God to teach us from His Word. Guided by our Lord and Savior, our hope is in him all day long. Only in the Lord do we find real Truth.
We pray that God would forget our sins, according to his promise. “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” – Jeremiah 31:34 So in the Psalm we pray that the Lord would remember his great mercy and love, for they are of old. We humbly ask that the Lord would not remember “the sins of my youth, and my rebellious ways, rather according to your love, remember me, for you Lord are good.”
Who doesn’t carry in his memory the sins and rebellions of his younger years? How ashamed we are sometimes when we remember what we said and what we did in our youth. How comforting to know that we have a God who chooses to forget those sins, because of his great mercy and love.
Sometimes sinners think the Lord is harsh with them when he is teaching them right from wrong. But the Psalm teaches us that it is because the Lord is good and upright that the Lord takes the time to instruct sinners. God owes us nothing. He remains righteous in spite of our sin. But He does not want to see sinners lost to hell. Therefore, in his kindness he uses His Word to teach sinners where they are wrong, and how they can turn and live lives that glorify God.
In the Psalm we humbly admit that our iniquity is great. Should we instead try to convince God that our sins are quite small? That is not the confession of the faithful. The faithful know that God guides the humble, and he lets the arrogant go in their prideful ways. The faithful ask God to forgive not “little” sins, but their great iniquity. It is a prayer of confident faith, for the Lord has shown himself to be loving and faithful to those who keep His covenant.
Those who fear the Lord…. That means those who hold him in awe, respect, love, and obedience, God will instruct them in the ways they should choose. Here the Lord says his faithful ones will spend their days in prosperity. The Lord even “confides” in those who fear him, as he makes his covenant known to them.
Therefore we close with the Psalmist, “My eyes are ever on the Lord, for only he will release my feet from the snare.” We live in a dangerous time. A time in which we all the more should pray for guidance from the Lord. We should open our hearts to him in honest, humble repentance. We should accept his discipline as an act of his love for our future. Our world is full of words and orders and guidance and advice pretending to instruct us on how we can survive and live. The truth and guidance we need more than ever is from God’s Word. Keep your eyes on the Lord. He will rescue you from the snare.