Wantonly treacherous. A harsh assessment, or diagnosis, by the psalmist. But we live in a fallen world. It’s best to squarely face it.
“To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul. O my God, in you I trust…Indeed, none who wait for you shall be put to shame; they shall be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.” Psalm 25:1-3
I looked at some synonyms and definitions for the words, wantonly treacherous. Let these descriptions alert and alarm you. Unprovoked cruelty. Violent betrayal. Deliberate deception. Traitorous and disloyal. Dangerous and hazardous.
Again, we’re in a fallen world. That’s why David says he lifts his soul to the Lord. He trusts no one else. Where else should he turn?
But before we only look at others, take note that David turns inward. He would agree with James in the New Testament. It should be a warning for all of us. “For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become guilty of all of it” (James 2:10). No one is good but one. So, David turns inward for some preventative medicine.
If you’re facing loss, you should consider this prescribed regimen, too.
“Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me…” Psalm 25:4-5
David admits his vulnerability. I love the hymn, “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing,” by Robert Robinson. I resonate with the line, “Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it…” David resonates with this confession also, and he cries out for help in knowing God’s ways, paths, and truth. A powerful prescription!
And a fallen world requires strong medicine.
He also calls out for mercy in verses six through eight: “Remember your mercy, O Lord, and your steadfast love…Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to your steadfast love remember me, for the sake of your goodness, O Lord!”
He delivers such a centering reminder when he says that he’s asking for his mercy for the sake of the goodness of God. God instructs sinners and leads the humble on paths known for steadfast love and faithfulness.
“For your name’s sake, O Lord, pardon my guilt, for it is great.” Psalm 25:11
David reinforces this clarifying truth. We are pardoned for the sake of the Lord’s name. We fear the Lord so we can receive instruction and abide in well-being. Verse fourteen says, “The friendship of the Lord is for those who fear him…”
“Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. The troubles of my heart are enlarged; bring me out of my distresses. Consider my affliction and my trouble, and forgive all my sins.” Psalm 25:16-18
Are you lonely? Afflicted? Call on God and entreat him to turn to you. Ask him to be gracious to you. Pray it. He invites us to do so. He knows your heart’s pain, distresses, afflictions, and troubles. He desires that you turn to him and not to any other would-be savior.
It is wholly right to ask for him to rescue, deliver, and guard us. It is an act of faith to take refuge in the Lord. It is faith to wait on God.
Take the medicine.
“Come, ye weary, heavy-laden, lost and ruined by the fall…I will arise and go to Jesus, he will embrace me in his arms; in the arms of my dear Savior, O there are ten thousand charms.” Joseph Hart, “Come, Ye Sinners, Poor and Wretched”
David prays and so should we. He makes a request and asks God to consider the many foes and their violent hatred. He seeks God’s protection by asking that he guard his soul and deliver him from his foes. We, too, should turn to God in prayer. We should take refuge in him. We should wait on him in faith for redemption from all our troubles.
Psalm 25 offers a prescribed regimen including his ways, his paths, and his truth to rout wanton treachery.
“Oh, guard my soul, and deliver me! Let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in you. May integrity and uprightness preserve me, for I wait for you. Redeem Israel, O God, out of all his troubles.” Psalm 25:20-22