My problems go from bad to worse.Oh, save me from them all!8Feel my pain and see my trouble.Forgive all my sins.-Psalm 25.17-18
Psalm 25 is one of the messier poems by David; the theme is hard to distill.
The proceeding Psalm (26) trumpets one clarion note, David’s “blameless life.” The boast of righteousness is so blatant that many interpret this as one of those Messianic Psalms. Christ’s prayer through David’s lip/pen because David can’t be so haughty as to make such claim. But we don’t need to take such theological leap. The two Psalms contrast inasmuch as our lives contrast from day to day. Some days we feel victorious and fully justified before God (Psalm 26). Other days, we feel our personal sin is the root of all evil and suffering around us (Psalm 25).
I want talk about this latter feeling, because I know it better. David pleads for Israel’s redemption (v22) and confesses that his personal integrity has a role in it. Social ethic is jumbled with personal holiness. David blames the enemies for all the suffering but admits that his sin is the main culprit. The disavowing dualism of victicm and perpetrator comes tumbling down. The devil without is not a separate entity from the devil within. Some reduce this tension to the use of personification. I think it is the messiness of life, that everything is interconnected, even evil, perhaps even more so.
Sometimes, I wake up in the morning and I am certain of my call and that my work with the church is right, that God has been rewarding me for my services. I would not be too surprised when I wake those morning to see my face glow in the bathroom mirror.
Sometimes I am sorry for everything not going right and wonder how God can put up with me and throw myself at His mercy, that I might survive the day.
And the difference between the two can be just few lines of space, a small event or two, one sickness, one setback, one sleepless night, one sin. But God accepts both prayers, the abject and the haughty. Both Psalms, God hears; the rash one and the brash one, the one spoken on our jumping two feet or the one mumbled with our face flat on the carpet.