A Prayer for Merciful Protection and Guidance.
A psalm of David. V. 1. Unto thee, O Lord, in an emphatic singling out of Jehovah as the one true God, do I lift up my soul, withdrawn from all earthly desires, with a fervent longing for Jehovah's salvation. V. 2. 0 my God, I trust in Thee, abiding firmly in this confidence; let me not be ashamed, become an object of mockery; let not mine enemies triumph over me, with exulting jeers over the foolishness of his trust. V. 3. Yea, let none that wait on Thee be ashamed, their hope coming to naught; let them be ashamed, all their vain hopes being dashed to the ground, which transgress without cause, becoming traitors, perfidious, to the cause of the Lord and of righteousness without provocation, out of pure wickedness. V. 4. Show me Thy ways, 0 Lord, so that he might know and understand them properly; teach me Thy paths, God's gracious ways of dealing with His children on earth. V. 5. Lead me in Thy truth, that of His eternal Word, and teach me, that being the only true source of knowledge; for Thou art the God of my salvation, the true and only Deliverer from every form of danger, sin, and death; on Thee do I wait all the day, looking to Him alone for guidance. V. 6. Remember, 0 Lord, Thy tender mercies and Thy loving kindnesses, the many instances in which He had shown His kindness and mercy; for they have been ever of old, they are the attributes of the eternal God and heavenly Father. V. 7. Remember not the sins of my youth nor my transgressions, those committed in youthful folly often resting heavily upon the conscience throughout all the years of maturity, and the assurance of their being forgiven yielding great comfort to a harassed heart; according to Thy mercy, His unmerited favor in Christ Jesus, the Messiah, remember Thou me for Thy goodness' sake, O Lord, that being the only hope of a poor sinner. And this hope has the soundest basis. V. 8. Good and upright is the Lord, faithful, acting in accordance with His promises; therefore will He teach sinners in the way, instructing them which is the right way to go. V. 9. The meek, the humble in heart, will He guide in judgment, guiding them in the knowledge of what is right; and the meek, the real poor sinners, will He teach His way, which is the only right way. V. 10. All the paths of the Lord, His modes of dealing with His children, are mercy and truth, grace in promising and faithfulness in performing, unto such as keep His covenant and His testimonies, letting the Word of God be their only guide in all the vicissitudes of their lives. All this being true with regard to Jehovah, the petition of the poor sinner will surely be heard. V. 11. For Thy name's sake, 0 Lord, in order to bring honor and glory upon Himself, pardon mine iniquity, the guilt which he had loaded upon himself by his transgressions; for it is great, a confession to which all true children of God will agree as they realize their sinfulness more and more. V. 12. What man is he that feareth the Lord, after having seen such manifestations of God's pardoning love as here set forth? Him shall He teach in the way that he shall choose, so that the sinner, assured of the pardon of the Lord, will be eager to choose the right, the best way. V. 13. His soul shall dwell at ease, enjoying good fortune and prosperity under the blessing of God; and his seed shall inherit the earth, the promise of the possession of Canaan having been given to Israel and that of a happy life on earth being held out to all believers. V. 14. The secret of the Lord, the intimate association of His friendship, is with them that fear Him, so that He makes known to them things which are hidden to others; and He will show them His covenant, making known to them the gracious terms of His pardon in the Gospel message. V. 15. Mine eyes are ever toward the Lord, fixed upon Him in hope and trust; for He shall pluck my feet out of the net, delivering him from all the dangers arising from the craft and guile of the enemies. V. 16. Turn Thee unto me, in compassionate attention, and have mercy upon me; for I am desolate and afflicted, it being the lot of the true believers to be isolated and ostracized by the children of the world. v. 17. The troubles of my heart are enlarged, distresses had extended themselves and spread out over his heart, engulfing it beneath their flood. O bring Thou me out of my distresses! leading him out of all narrow and oppressive circumstances. V. 18. Look upon mine affliction and my pain, his dejection due to his misery and hardship, and forgive all my sins, this pardon being the greatest spiritual gift. V. 19. Consider mine enemies, looking upon them; for they are many, that being the experience of all believers; and they hate me with cruel hatred, their hatred being unreasonable and contemplating injury and violence. V. 20. O keep my soul and deliver me, this being an easy matter for the almighty power of Jehovah; let me not be ashamed, for I put my trust in Thee, and therefore any mockery on the part of the enemies would reflect dishonor on the Lord as well. V. 21. Let integrity and uprightness, true piety and honesty, which despises hypocrisy and every form of crookedness, preserve me, being his companions on the way of righteousness; for I wait on Thee, Jehovah being the foundation of his hope. V. 22. Redeem Israel, O God, not only David, but the entire congregation of believers of all times and in all circumstances, out of all his troubles. May God deliver the entire Christian Church from all evils of body and soul, property and honor, and finally take all His children from this vale of tears to Himself in heaven!