Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Portrait of a Believer (Psalm 25)

"Show me Your ways, O LORD; teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; on You I wait all the day" (Psalm 25:4–5).

In Psalm 24, we learned how God has separated His people from the world and has elected them to live in holiness and purity. Psalm 25 continues this theme by showing how believers should portray that holiness in their lives. In the context of a prayer, David paints the characteristics of a true believer: devotion to the Lord, trust in Him alone, hope in His faithfulness and promises, desire for God’s truth and His ways of obedience, confession of sin, and a longing for forgiveness.

From the outset of this psalm, we observe David’s single-minded devotion to God. He directs his desires and prayers to Him alone, putting his trust and hope in God, not in the world. Taking David’s lead, Calvin exhorts, “In order, therefore, that we may pray aright to God, let us be directed by this rule—not to distract our minds by various and uncertain hopes, nor to depend on worldly aid, but to yield to God the honor of lifting up our hearts to Him in sincere and earnest prayer.”

This prayer and communion with God reveals our trust in Him. Because He promises His people salvation and perseverance, we trust in His faithfulness even when days seem most dark. David fastened himself to the promises of God when things were difficult, knowing that not one of God’s children will be put to shame. One day we will dwell in His holy presence for eternity.

As we travel through this life in anticipation of our future abode in heaven, we walk not by the ways of the world, but by the ways and truth of God as He has revealed in Scripture. The rule of life and godliness believers must follow is found in the Word of God. The child of God does not live according to His own desires but according to the will of the Lord.

This submission to God stems from a humble heart that knows its own sin and the weakness of the flesh. David recognized his total dependence on God because He knew the depth of His sin. In light of this, he asked God to remove his iniquity and remember it no more. God is faithful to forgive those who humble themselves before Him; He makes us clean, then He directs and guides us as a loving and faithful Father.

Make a list of the qualities of a believer. Read 1 John 2:3–6. What are the characteristics outlined in this passage? How is it different from your list? How is it different from the views in various churches and the world? Thank God for giving us His Word, which directs us in how to live to glorify Him.