PSALM 25#A lament. Each verse begins with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Such acrostic Psalms are often a series of statements only loosely connected. The psalmist mixes ardent pleas (Ps 25:1–2, 16–22) with expressions of confidence in God who forgives and guides.
Confident Prayer for Forgiveness and Guidance
To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul,
2#a. [25:2] Ps 86:4; 143:8.my God, in you I trust;
do not let me be disgraced;#b. [25:2] Ps 71:1.
do not let my enemies gloat over me.
3No one is disgraced who waits for you,#c. [25:3] Ps 22:6; Is 49:23; Dn 3:40.
but only those who are treacherous without cause.
4Make known to me your ways, Lord;
teach me your paths.#d. [25:4] Ps 27:11; 86:11; 119:12, 35; 143:8, 10.
5Guide me by your fidelity and teach me,
for you are God my savior,
for you I wait all the day long.
6Remember your compassion and your mercy, O Lord,
for they are ages old.#e. [25:6] Sir 51:8.
7Remember no more the sins of my youth;#f. [25:7] Jb 13:26; Is 64:8.
remember me according to your mercy,
because of your goodness, Lord.
8Good and upright is the Lord,
therefore he shows sinners the way,
9 He guides the humble in righteousness,
and teaches the humble his way.
10All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth
toward those who honor his covenant and decrees.
11For the sake of your name, Lord,
pardon my guilt, though it is great.
12Who is the one who fears the Lord?
God shows him the way he should choose.#g. [25:12] Prv 19:23.
13 He will abide in prosperity,
and his descendants will inherit the land.#h. [25:13] Ps 37:9, 29.
14The counsel of the Lord belongs to those who fear him;
and his covenant instructs them.
15My eyes are ever upon the Lord,
who frees my feet from the snare.#i. [25:15] Ps 123:1, 2; 141:8.
16Look upon me, have pity on me,
for I am alone and afflicted.#j. [25:16] Ps 86:16; 119:132.
17Relieve the troubles of my heart;
bring me out of my distress.
18 Look upon my affliction and suffering;
take away all my sins.
19See how many are my enemies,
see how fiercely they hate me.
20Preserve my soul and rescue me;
do not let me be disgraced, for in you I seek refuge.
21Let integrity and uprightness preserve me;
I wait for you, O Lord.
22#A final verse beginning with the Hebrew letter pe is added to the normal 22-letter alphabet. Thus the letters aleph, lamed, and pe open the first, middle (Ps 25:11), and last lines of the Psalm. Together, they spell aleph, the first letter of the alphabet, from a Hebrew root that means “to learn.”Redeem Israel, O God,
from all its distress!