345 – Psalm 25 – Waiting
In order for us to understand what we read in the Bible, it is important to recognize that we were not the original target audience. This concept is a very difficult one to communicate to people. Often their immediate response is a bit dismissive as they say, “Yeah, but God had me in mind when He wrote the Bible”. The “yeah, but” phrase gives the idea of an original Biblical audience the brush off. Unless we practice studying the Bible we want to take what we read and immediately apply it to us today without even understanding the message or the context in which it was written. Psalm twenty-five is treated no differently by the modern-day reader.
We read “Let not my enemies triumph over me (vs. 2)” when the truth is most of us don’t really have enemies unless you count the guy who cut us off in traffic or the co-worker who steps on us on their way to the promotion we think we deserve. King David, the author of Psalm twenty-five, had enemies attempting to extinguish his life.
The target audience or if you will the original Biblical audience is long dead and gone so why should I bother to notice them at all? The answer is simple. If you don’t understand the historical and cultural context in which the Scriptures were penned you will misunderstand the message. Maybe it would help to think about it this way “God did not write the Bible to you, but He did write it for you.”
Please take the time to read all of Psalm twenty-five, but let’s spend a few minutes looking at verses four and five.
Psalm 25:4-5 (NKJV)
Show me Your ways, O [YHWH];
Teach me Your paths.
5 Lead me in Your truth and teach me,
For You are the God of my salvation;
On You I wait all the day.
The King was desirous of relationship with the living God named YHWH. David’s petition was for the Sovereign of the universe to reveal His ways. What would it be like to understand God’s ways? We would be justified in saying “we know Him” if He had revealed His ways to us. This is what David was asking of the only true God.
Look at the next part, “Teach me your paths”. David is not asking YHWH to show David what path to be on, no. He’s asking YHWH, show me where you’ve been and what you’ve been doing. David is saying, “YHWH I want to know about you and I want to know you”. Next King David petitions YHWH to be his personal mentor and tutor! Why, because YHWH is David’s “God of [my] salvation”. What about you? Is YHWH your God of salvation?
I gotta be honest here. The last sentence of verse five slays (metaphorically) me! “On You I wait all the day”, seriously? Really David? You do realize you are telling the God who sees all you do that you wait on Him all the day – He knows whether or not you are exaggerating! All day? Let’s be honest. What’s the longest amount of time we have actually and physically waited on Yahweh? All day? Two hours? A few minutes? Have we ever really “waited” at all? I’m not talking about complaining to Him or praying to Him, but “waiting”.
YHWH give me a heart that I will wait on you all the day! So often we feel like God is a thousand miles away and not interested in answering our prayers. We think we’ve prayed to Him and waited upon Him, when the truth is all we’ve really done is complain knowing He is aware of our predicament. Maybe I didn’t specifically tell Him what I need, but come on He’s God, He can fix things for me.
This is not the kind of waiting King David is talking about. What David is talking about is he made his petition, laid his problem at the foot of the Devine, and refused to move (waited) for YHWH to either work on his behalf or give him instruction. Over the years I’ve heard people tell me something like, “I’ve read the Bible, but I don’t really get anything out of it”. I wish I could go back in time to those conversations and ask, “Well, what have you put into reading the Bible?”
Can you think of other Scripture verses that talk about waiting on God? Leave me a comment below.
YHWH God truly is the only God. He alone is worthy of all Praise, Worship, and Adoration!