Word from Scotland
by Sandy Shaw
As we come to what is called the first Sunday in Advent, turn to Psalm 25, where David seeks the Guidance of God - and shows us how to seek the Guidance of God.
David is totally dependent upon God. That is a priority for those seeking guidance.
No matter how serious his situation is, he keeps looking to God and trusting in God. David, a man of God, can go right to breaking point and beyond - without breaking.
This is what Christian living can be like at times. The disciple of Jesus Christ is opposed, attacked, persecuted - until he is almost broken by the enemy - and because the Spirit of God is working away within him, he does not break.
Verses 1,2 - David has an absolute and exclusive trust in God. This is the foundational principle of his life. I trust my life into Your hands and safekeeping.
It is what he has come to know of God that has produced this.
Where we place our confidence is crucial. David knows the character of God. He has sound solid foundation of the knowledge of God – and so can trust God totally.
When he is down, David lifts his soul to God. His only way up is in the direction of God. "I trust YOU - do not let me be put to shame. I come to YOU - do not let my enemies triumph over me." Verse 2 - He is looking to God to protect him.
This is no formal prayer - David's heart is crying out to God. This is real prayer.
Here is a man of God who has a whole host of people against him - and he cries out to God - "Lord, don't let them succeed - don't let them be victorious over me."
Then he remembers - those who trust in You will not be ashamed or disgraced or disappointed. David is troubled and perplexed – under pressure.
Verse 4 - Show me Your ways for me. Teach me what the right road is. Lead me in the truth. David has this continuing desire to walk with God. “Lord, You have saved me and chosen me and called me and appointed me and anointed me - Lord, what have I to fear? And yet, there is a plea here for guidance for his life.
A consecration of ourselves to do the will of God, must always precede a concern to know the will of God. Show me your ways – as long as they do not go in a certain direction – might that be how some do seek the will of God for their lives?
The attitude and spirit of the Psalmist indicates that he wants to be led and guided - by approaching God in prayer.
If you are looking for guidance come before God with a willing and prayerful spirit.
How does God guide us – the Psalmist is basically asking for instruction – for teaching – show me – teach me.
God enables us to understand His purposes and to think things through with the mind of Christ. Many may look for direction and guidance with their feelings, rather than with their minds.
Verse 5 - David was patient and persistent . We submit our wills to God’s Will – and also to God’s timetable. We learn to think biblically.
There are things David wants God to remember and there are things he does not want God to remember. He realises that although he belongs to God - he still needs God's forgiveness.
"Lord, do not remember the sins of my youth - my rebellious ways."
v.5 - David has come to acknowledge God as Saviour.
v.6 – David has experienced God’s mercy and tenderness.
v.7 – David knows the goodness of God.
v.10 – David is aware of God’s faithfulness.
Verse 9 – humble or meek – it is the word used of an animal which is broken in – we looked at that in Psalm 51 . The animal’s strength is now conserved and directed to fulfil his master’s will. Then we can speak of being open to being guided – to receive the guidance of God.
Again, we read something of the honesty of the Scripture. David is not ashamed to open his heart - and God is not ashamed of His servant and He has it written down.
Would it be true to say - in a sense - we know God's People not by the things we hear them say - but by the prayers we hear them pray. Jesus was not ashamed to pour out His heart in prayer - and we learn so much when we read the writings of Peter and Paul when they are praying.
It used to be terrible in some church meetings to hear some of the things people would say - and yet they were silent or absent when we met for prayer.
Verse 8 - As David lifts up his soul to God he begins to be filled with praise. "Lord, You are good and upright - You will teach sinners Your way - You will guide those who humbly come to You, showing them how to walk."
In the middle of this song of praise – verse 11 - he suddenly remembers his sin again and prays - "Lord - forgive - my sin is great."
Verse 12 - David then asks - Where is the man who fears God? God will take that man and teach him and instruct him as to how he is to work and serve and be useful in the Body of Christ. God is looking for men not methods. For so long we can spend time looking for methods - what will work? - and Jesus has to say to us - "I am not interested in methods - but men - those men and women who are mine! I will teach them and instruct them and show them what I have for them - and I will lead them and use them." We certainly see that in the early church.
Verse 13 actually says – he will spend his days at ease in God – yes, that is prosperity – but not all views and ideas of prosperity assume being at ease in God.
Verse 14 - God shares His secrets with such people. Those who are living close to God will find that God will begin to show them things and lead them in special ways and teach them truths that they need to know.
Verse 15 – Have you ever noticed how often the eyes of the Psalmist are upon God?
Don't be afraid to live close to Jesus - He taught us that the Father only has good gifts for His children.
God spoke to Joseph in visions and dreams. God spoke to Moses in unusual ways. God spoke to young Samuel because He wanted to use that chosen life. God called Isaiah when he went into the Temple. He called Jeremiah when he was a young man in a village outside Jerusalem.
Jesus revealed things to Peter, James and John, and to Paul – and to wise men who were looking for a sign - AND searching the Scriptures.
When God begins to speak to us - and reveal things to us - some who used to be around you might move away. We see this in verse 16 as David feels isolated from people. Being on your own in this sense is never easy to accept. He feels he has been trapped and caught in some snare or net.
It looks as if his troubles are growing and he prays for DELIVERANCE.
Verse 17 - free me - release me.
David does not want to take a wrong turning – neither do we.
Verse 19 - His enemies were real and increasing.
Joseph's brothers were not delighted when God began to reveal amazing truths to him – he was not too wise to begin with - and yet God used Joseph mightily.
Herod was not very pleased when these wise men came seeking the one who had been born King of the Jews.
Every move of God has its opposition. And David's prayers in verses 20,21 are so genuine and revealing - and demanding.
He trusts in God - speaks about his many conflicts - his sin and rebellion - his deep distresses - and he prays for His people.
He closes with a prayer for Israel - "Save Your people from all their troubles".
We can widen that to pray for the Church of Jesus Christ which is engrafted into Israel - as many are sorely troubled - and severely persecuted.
"Save Your people". Rescue Your people – renew Your people – refresh Your people – reveal Your will for our lives by showing us Your ways.
“Lord God Almighty, we come to You with all kinds of needs – rescue and renew and refresh us. As we worship You, reassure us – help us to go on looking to you for strength and guidance, as we continue to trust You – our faithful God. We pray in Jesus Name.”
"Bible verse and quote" from
Bible and Quote - August 25-29Read Article »
Alexander 'Sandy' Shaw is pastor of Nairn Christian Fellowship in Nairn, Scotland. Nairn is 17 miles east of Inverness - on the Moray Firth Coast - not far from the Loch Ness Monster!
Gifted as a Biblical teacher, Sandy is firmly committed to making sure that his teachings are firmly grounded in the Word.
Sandy has a weekly radio talk which can be heard via the Internet on Saturday at 11:40am, New Orleans time, at wsho.com.
Receive the newest devotional each week in your inbox by joining the "Word from Scotland" subscription list. Enter your email address below, click "Go!" and we will send you a confirmation email. Follow the instructions in the email to confirm your addition to this list.