“To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul. O my God, in you I trust; do not let me be put to shame; do not let my enemies exult over me. Do not let those who wait for you be put to shame; let them be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.” (Psalms 25:1-3)
The Book of Psalms is often attributed to King David. Many times the psalms seem to reflect times and events of King David’s life. As a sometime biblical scholar, I find it interesting to try to match some of the themes of the psalms to specific events in the life and rule of King David. But often the psalms could be written by “ordinary folk” in our current times. “Do not let me be put to shame – don’t make be a loser!” “Let bad things happen to people who do bad things – even the score Lord!”
But the psalms also ask the Lord for spiritual things.
“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.” (Verses 4-5)
King David lived in a time when God was known only at a distance – that is, people lived on earth and looked to the heavens to worship God and pray; God spoke through prophets but nothing direct and clear like conversation and discussion face to face using human senses. The coming of Jesus changed all that.
Granted, the devout seemed to know in broader and deeper ways what God meant and wanted. The prophets called by God seemed to have a special relationship with the Divine; but it was not something available to all. Many times prayers offered asked for understanding and mercy on behalf of the prayer because they understood and knew God in such incomplete ways.
“Be mindful of your mercy, O Lord, and of your steadfast love, for they have been from of old.
Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to your steadfast love remember me, for your goodness’ sake, O Lord!” (Verses 6-7)
So the followers of God waited, and hoped that a time would come when the Divine would be closer and more imminent. They trusted in God and what they knew about God. And the more they knew, the more they wanted to know God and know about God.
Good and upright is the Lord; therefore he instructs sinners in the way.
He leads the humble in what is right,and teaches the humble his way.
All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep his covenant and his decrees. (Verses 8 -10)
If only there was a way to get closer to God, and to understand God in a more complete way that would be accessible for all the people. So they waited for that way to come about.
May you, beloved reader, seek our Lord during this Advent season. Selah!