Let me never be confounded

Psalm 25

‘I can’t wait to get there,’ says the impatient teenager in the back seat, as we travel to visit relatives in a province over.  ‘I can’t wait for the deal to close,’ says the impatient house-seller.  ‘I can’t wait for exams to be done,’ says the college student.  ‘I can’t wait for covid to be done with,’ says, well…almost everyone!

In the Psalms (and much of scripture) thinking about the future is important, and so is waiting.  In Psalm 25 there are three references to waiting. 

The Hebrew term “wait” here means both to “wait” and to “hope.”  But the waiting described here isn’t just waiting, like one waits for a meeting to start. It means more to wait in expectancy, like the sort of waiting one does in a hospital waiting room while a loved one is undergoing surgery, or awaiting the birth of a child.   

The poet waits but she waits in the midst of trouble, conflict, and the pressure-cooker of everyday life.  She tries to wait confidently, faithfully, but this is grounded not in self-confidence (self-reliance) but in her confidence in who God is: the God who delivers, who is characterized by compassion, commitment, and truthfulness. 

The section from verses 6-10 says something about the goodness and faithfulness of God, which is the basis for the psalmist’s trust and hope. Three times there is reference to God’s steadfast love (verses 6, 7, 10), a translation of the Hebrew word hesed, one of the great OT words for God’s character. That word refers to the Lord’s enduring love for the Lord’s people.  For example,  “For his steadfast love endures forever” occurs as the refrain in each verse of Psalm 136. There are given examples of God’s steadfast love, including God’s work in creation, in delivering the people from        bondage in Egypt, and in guiding them through the wilderness.

An old Gregorian chant sums up our need and the character of God  beautifully:

O Lord, save Thy people: and bless Thine heritage.
Govern them and lift them up for ever.
Day by day we magnify Thee; and we worship Thy Name, ever world without end.
Vouchsafe, O Lord, to keep us this day without sin.
O Lord, have mercy upon us.
O Lord, let Thy mercy lighten upon us: as our trust is in Thee.
O Lord, in Thee have I trusted: let me never be confounded.  


https://youtu.be/sqwV9l-U8ds  - Te Deum