Lead Me in Your Faithfulness

5 Lead me in your truth and teach me,
for you are the God of my salvation;
for you I wait all the day long.
6 Remember your mercy, O Lord, and your steadfast love,
for they have been from of old.
Psalm 25: 5-6 ESV

Tracing the Ways of God

I just picked up and started reading this book (free until end of the month). It walks through Psalm 25 to 37. I think we tend to struggle with the Psalms—whether it's figuring out how to pray (and not to) the "imprecatory psalms" (calling down judgment) or trying to find the rhyme, Psalms can be hard. We could use all the help we can get, I'd say. Here's a snippet that encouraged me: 
"His second petition is for the enjoyment of God’s ways (vv. 4–5): ‘Make me to know your ways, Yahweh, teach me your paths.’ And then, ‘Lead me in your faithfulness.’ What are we to make of these ‘ways’ and ‘paths’? We usually think of them, I suppose, as the ways of God’s commandments, the ways He requires of us. And sometimes that is clearly the sense (e.g., Exod. 32:8; Ps. 119:32, 33).

But the more I ponder this text the more I lean to J. A. Alexander’s position that here the ‘ways’ and ‘paths’ are not referring to the ways God commands but to the ways He operates, not to the ways of precepts but of providence, not what He demands but how He deals with His people. Verse 5a seems to support this, since the traditional ‘lead me in your truth’ is better translated ‘in your faithfulness’.

Moreover, verse 10 seems to carry the same sense: ‘All the paths of Yahweh are unfailing love and faithfulness to those who keep his covenant and testimonies.’ So he seems to be praying that Yahweh will teach him how He is working in his case (v. 4) and to let him experience His faithfulness (v. 5) as he goes on. Isn’t this what so thrills a Christian believer? He or she can look back and sometimes trace those ‘ways’ of the saving God. Ways and paths that sometimes seemed twisted, looking as if they operated by hook or by crook, and yet we found that disappointments led to deliverances, frustrations to escapes from temptations, and difficulties strangely prevented disaster. And when the Lord gives us a glimpse of those ways, we know why we long for Him all day long (v. 5b)."

 Dale Ralph Davis, In the Presence of My Enemies: Psalms 25–37 (Ross-shire, Scotland: Christian Focus, 2020), 16–17.

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