August 19: Psalm 25

Nathan Shurden
"Make me to know your ways, O Lord; 
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 day long." 

Kind David tells us in Psalm 23 that the Lord is our Shepherd. This is a deeply comforting image for us, because a true shepherd always cares for his sheep. The life and health of the sheep are his chief concern. All of his energy is poured into watching over the sheep, keeping them safe from danger, and leading them to fields where life can flourish. 

Sheep need direct instruction, because sheep are prone to wander. David knows this about himself, and the people of Israel, and so he takes up this theme once again in Psalm 25. As one of the sheep, David calls to his Shepherd God for help. He wants to know the way of his Shepherd, and so he asks to be taught and led in the paths of his Shepherd. 

Such is the longing of every true sheep. We want to be in the presence of our Shepherd and enrolled in his school; that we might know how to walk, and be led by His love and wisdom. 

In Psalm 1, we learn that such direct instruction from our Shepherd is necessary, because there are many false shepherds who would give wicked counsel. They teach a way that may seems right, but its end is the way of death (Prov.14:12). The blessed sheep, however, do not walk in wicked counsel, or stand in the sinner's way, or sit in the scoffer's seat (Ps.1:1). The blessed sheep delight in the law of the Lord (i.e. in the words of their Shepherd God), and meditate upon them day and night. 

We enter the path of righteousness through the words of the Good Shepherd. We are in his school, when give attention to and chew upon His words. Through his words, we open ourselves to the blessedness that is promised, to the riches produced on the path of righteousness.