Lectionary Year B
March 9, 2003
Psalm 25:1-10

Step V: Distillation

A. Summary of Salient Features

(JFC) The theological focal point seems to be God's remembering the lamenter rather than his sinfulness, the God whom he trusts, to whom he lifts up his soul, the God whom he asks to teach him the Divine paths/ways to go/grow/live, the God of his salvation and the God whom he recognizes teaches the meek/humble those ways, too. Other notable items in this lection include the Psalmist's treacherous/deceitful enemies, the shame they deserve to suffer and God's covenants and decrees.

B. Smoother Translation

(JFC) 1 Unto You Yahweh my soul I lift up. 2 My Elohim, in You I am trust and not shall I be ashamed nor let to rejoice/exult the one being hostile over/against me. 3 Also all waiting on You not shall they/we be ashamed are (to be) ashamed the ones acting treacherously/deceitfully in vain. 4 Teach me Your ways Yahweh Your paths, also, teach me. 5 Lead me furthermore in Your faithfulness and teach me for You are indeed Elohim of my salvation/deliverance for You I am wait all the day long. 6 And remember Your compassion Yahweh and Your loving kindness/faithfulness for they are from everlasting. 7 The sins of my youth and my transgressions do not do remember according to Your loving kindness/faithfulness do remember me for the sake of Your loving kindness Yahweh. 8 Good and upright (is) Yahweh upon the heights therefore He will show/direct/teach sinners in His way. 9 He will lead the meek/poor/afflicted/humble ones in His judgment/justice and teach the meek/humble ones in His way. 10 All the ways/paths/roads of Yahweh (are) loving kindness and faithfulness/true for those keeping His covenant and testimonies.

C. Hermeneutical Bridge

(JFC) In his novel, Remembering, Wendell Berry writes of a man who lost his right hand from a farm machine accident back home in Kentucky. He left there, trying to find himself, and went to California where he began recalling his family of origin, his friends of younger days and others back home living and dead. His remembering enabled him to rediscover his own identity. It was a process of faith development, as well. The Psalmist of the 25th remembers the sinfulness of his youth and transgressions, too, presumably of later years. He admits them and turns to God for redemption and relief from their guilt. He asks to learn from God's teachings the ways he could more at peace go through the rest of his days. Reginald Fuller, in Preaching the New Lectionary, sees this Psalmist's "life as bisected into past and future by the present moment. The past is characterized by sin, the future is filled with hope for righteousness. In the present moment man is thrown utterly upon the mercies of God . . ." There the Psalmist rests in God's providence, see verse 21. Furthermore, he prays (in the last verse - 22) for God's redemption for all.

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