Book 1 – Psalm 25 of 41: Christ the gracious

Writers have speculated that the psalms were originally used together to bring out their meaning.  For example, R.H. Ryland in “The psalms Restored to Messiah” (1853) makes the comment:

When the Jewish church wished to celebrate the great act of Messiah the High Priest making a sacrifice for the people on the day of atonement, as represented in the twenty-second psalm… we are to suppose… that the series of psalms, from the 20th to the 24th inclusive, was used as a service or office in the public worship of the Jewish church.

Paul Blackham, in his Psalms (20-29) commentary, states that on the Day of Atonement, these psalms may have been used to provide the structure for the whole day of worship – beginning with the prayers for the Messiah in Psalm 20, through the confidence that the Messiah would be heard in Psalm 21, the thoughts of the Suffering Messiah on the Cross in Psalm 22, His Resurrection hope in Psalm 23 and His glorious Ascension in Psalm 24.  However – he asks – could it be that the series also included Psalm 25 as the conclusion and application of the set?

Psalm 25 seems to follow on naturally from Psalm 24 – David lifting up his soul (as we do) to the One who went up to the City of God.  Christ is the One who ascends the Holy Hill – because we have a Redeemer who is righteous, who is good and upright, who fears the Father.  He is the One who is instructed in that way that the Father chooses (v.12; John 10:37, 12:49).  Therefore, to you, O LORD, I lift up my soul! (v.1)  It is in the Righteous One, in the Holy Name (v.11),  that I shall not be put to shame, for those who are against Christ are themselves wantonly treacherous (v.3) and ashamed.  You are my Saviour (v.5) of mercy and of steadfast love (v.6); in your mercy you forgive me of my sins as I am justified by faith (Habakkuk 2:4).  Let me humble myself so that you may lead me in what is right, and teach me your way (v.9).

The Humble One is your Son, Jesus Christ – His soul shall abide in well-being, and his offspring shall inherit the land (v.13; John 8:37-58; just as the meek will inherit the land / the earth – Psalm 37:9, 11, 22, 29, 34 and Matthew 5:5).  The friendship of the Father is for those who fear the Son, and the Son makes known to the people His covenant (John 1:18; 14:6).  He is the One who will pluck my feet out of the net (v.15), who will be gracious to me (v.16) in my loneliness and affliction.  This is a grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before the ages began (2 Timothy 1:9-10).  Guard me, Messiah, as I hide in you my Rock and my Redeemer (v.19-20).  Redeem your bride, Israel, the Ancient Church (v.22).

Book 1 – Psalm 25 of 41: Christ the gracious