A Psalm of David.
1 To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
2 O my God, I trust in You;
Let me not be ashamed;
Let not my enemies triumph over me.
3 Indeed, let no one who waits on You be ashamed;
Let those be ashamed who deal treacherously without cause.
4 Show me Your ways, O Lord;
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.
6 Remember, O Lord, Your tender mercies and Your lovingkindnesses,
For they are from of old.
7 Do not remember the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions;
According to Your mercy remember me,
For Your goodness’ sake, O Lord.
8 Good and upright is the Lord;
Therefore He teaches sinners in the way.
9 The humble He guides in justice,
And the humble He teaches His way.
10 All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth,
To such as keep His covenant and His testimonies.
11 For Your name’s sake, O Lord,
Pardon my iniquity, for it is great.
12 Who is the man that fears the Lord?
Him shall He teach in the way He chooses.
13 He himself shall dwell in prosperity,
And his descendants shall inherit the earth.
14 The secret of the Lord is with those who fear Him,
And He will show them His covenant.
15 My eyes are ever toward the Lord,
For He shall pluck my feet out of the net.
16 Turn Yourself to me, and have mercy on me,
For I am desolate and afflicted.
17 The troubles of my heart have enlarged;
Bring me out of my distresses!
18 Look on my affliction and my pain,
And forgive all my sins.
19 Consider my enemies, for they are many;
And they hate me with cruel hatred.
20 Keep my soul, and deliver me;
Let me not be ashamed, for I put my trust in You.
21 Let integrity and uprightness preserve me,
For I wait for You.
22 Redeem Israel, O God,
Out of all their troubles!
An acrostic psalm, with each verse starting with a letter of the alphabet.
This psalm closely parallels Psalm 34.
To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul (v.1) — David begins by appealing to God on the basis of their relationship. The opening verse is an idiom used elsewhere to express deep longing, desire and need, as in Deuteronomy 24:15 and Jeremiah 22:27. The first reference (Deuteronomy 24:15) is an especially significant parallel, since David refers to himself in v.16 of this psalm by the same term, as a “poor man” — referring primarily to his psychological-emotional state (see vs. 16-17) and socially humble origin (cf. also 1 Samuel 18:23). — Wechsler, pages 80-81.
his descendants shall inherit the earth (v.13) — anticipating God’s covenant promises to Israel — see Psalm 37
David goes on to specify precisely what he desires God to provide for him, which provision includes not only deliverance from his enemies (vs. 2-3, 15, 19-20), but also emotional=psychological relief from his loneliness and the troubles of his heart (vs. 16-17) as well as — and most emphatically of all — the spiritual triumvirate of forgiveness (vs. 7, 11, 18), instruction in the ways/paths of the Lord (vs. 4-5, 8-10, 12, 14), and a sense of proximity, or intimacy to God (vs. 14 — the meaning of the Hebrew here rather than “secret”). — Wechsler, page 81.
covenant (v.10) — the first time this word is used in Psalms
prosperity (v.13) = that which is fundamentally good, not material prosperity.
show (v.14) = cause to know
David’s concern was ultimately for the provision of what was best for his people, and in his petition David therefore emphasized that which he needed most to do his part in leading them along that path of what was best (hence his repeated reference to God’s “path(s)” and “way(s)” in vs. 4, 8-10 and 12). Yet in order for anyone to even begin along that path, God must provide that which is the most fundamental of all needs — to wit: redemption from sin, the penalty for which can only by paid by God. Hence David implores God to redeem Israel, employing the verb that specifically denotes the paying of an outstanding debt — and which elsewhere denotes the work of complete spiritual-physical redemption from which man is disqualified and which only God, in His grace, can supply (see Psalm 49:7-8; Isaiah 1:27; Jeremiah 31:11). — Wechsler, page 82.