Psalms – Chapter 25

Ain't That A Shame? (We Hope Not!)

By Rabbi Jack Abramowitz

David says that he lifts his soul up to G-d in prayer. He places his trust in G-d and prays that his enemies will not have the opportunity to rejoice in his downfall. David wishes that not only he, but all who rely upon G-d not be shamed. Rather, those who are faithless with G-d and their fellow man are the ones who deserve to be shamed.

David asks that G-d make His ways known so that he may learn them and have them become second nature to him. Just as G-d takes care of our physical needs, so may He provide our spiritual needs. May He recall the kindnesses He has performed for us since conception, as He has done from the beginning of the world. David asks that G-d not hold against him his youthful indiscretions, but remember all of his merits. G-d should do this not because David “deserves” it, but because of His own kindness and mercy.

G-d is “upright” in that He allows us to repent our sins and return to Him. He takes good care of those who humble themselves before Him. His paths are kindness and truth for those who embrace His Torah. G-d forgives guilt – even large guilt – because He is inherently forgiving and able to do so. (Human beings? Not so much. Our ability to forgive has limits.)

Who is a “G-d-fearing” person, whom G-d will show the way? Such a person will rest in peace, enjoying his reward, and his descendants will be blessed because of him. G-d reserves His secrets for those who study and guard His Torah. David always looks to G-d to keep him from stepping into traps, both physical and spiritual.

David asks G-d to favor him, as he is alone and lowly. Won’t G-d please relieve him of all his troubles and burdens? Won’t He see how David has suffered and wipe his slate clean of sins? David’s many enemies have no real complaints against him, so won’t G-d rescue him and not let him fall to them? David is letting his innocence and his trust in G-d be his defense. As he trusts G-d to save him, so may He save the entire nation from their ills.

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