Psalm 25:4
Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Psalm 25:4. Show me thy ways, O Lord — That is, the way or thy precepts, what I ought to do in my circumstances and difficulties; by what methods I may obtain thy favour and help. Whatsoever thou doest with me, as to other things, grant me this favour, teach me my duty, and cause me to keep close to it, notwithstanding all temptations to the contrary. Reader, art thou a traveller to heaven? Remember, then, thou art in danger of being drawn aside and losing thy way. The way is marked out in the word of God, and to walk according to that is to walk in the way. God only can put thee in the way, and preserve and forward thee therein, for which purpose continue instant in prayer, after the example of David, to the God of thy salvation, that he would teach thee to know and do his will.

25:1-7 In worshipping God, we must lift up our souls to him. It is certain that none who, by a believing attendance, wait on God, and, by a believing hope, wait for him, shall be ashamed of it. The most advanced believer both needs and desires to be taught of God. If we sincerely desire to know our duty, with resolution to do it, we may be sure that God will direct us in it. The psalmist is earnest for the pardon of his sins. When God pardons sin, he is said to remember it no more, which denotes full remission. It is God's goodness, and not ours, his mercy, and not our merit, that must be our plea for the pardon of sin, and all the good we need. This plea we must rely upon, feeling our own unworthiness, and satisfied of the riches of God's mercy and grace. How boundless is that mercy which covers for ever the sins and follies of a youth spent without God and without hope! Blessed be the Lord, the blood of the great Sacrifice can wash away every stain.Show me thy ways, O Lord - The "ways" of God are His methods of administering the affairs of the world; His dispensations; the rules which He has prescribed for Himself in the execution of His plans; the great laws by which He governs the universe. Deuteronomy 32:4, "all his ways are judgment; a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he." The prayer of the psalmist is, that he may be able to understand the methods of the divine government; the principles upon which God bestows happiness and salvation; the rules which He has been pleased to prescribe for human conduct; the arrangements by which He confers favors upon mankind; the scheme by which He saves people. The idea evidently is that he might understand so much of this as to regulate his own conduct aright; that he might not lean upon his own understanding, or trust to His own guidance, but that He might always be under the guidance and direction of God.

Teach me thy paths - The paths which thou dost take; to wit, as before, in administering the affairs of the world. The prayer is expressive of a desire to be wholly under the direction of God.

4, 5. On the ground of former favor, he invokes divine guidance, according to God's gracious ways of dealing and faithfulness. Thy ways, i.e. the way of thy precepts, which I ought to do in my circumstances and difficulties; by what methods I may obtain thy favour and help. Whatsoever thou dost with me as to other things, grant me this favour, teach me my duty, and cause me to keep close to it, notwithstanding all temptations to the contrary.

Show me thy ways, O Lord,.... Either those which the Lord himself took and walked in; as those of creation and providence, in which he has displayed his power, wisdom, and goodness; and which are desirable to be known by his people, and require divine instruction and direction; and particularly his ways of grace, mercy, and truth, and the methods he has taken for the salvation of his people, both in eternity and in time; or those ways which he orders and directs his people to walk in; namely, the paths of duty, the ways of his worship and ordinances; a greater knowledge of which good men desire to have, as well as more grace to enable them to walk more closely and constantly in them;

teach me thy paths; a petition the same with the other, in different words.

{c} Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths.

(c) Retain me in the faith of your promise that I swore not on any side.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
4. Shew me thy ways] Lit. make me to know thy ways: the prayer of Moses in a moment of perplexity (Exodus 33:13). Cp. Psalm 27:11. God’s ‘ways’ and ‘paths are the purposes and methods of His Providence; or more specifically, the course of life and conduct which He prescribes for men. Cp. Psalm 27:11; Psalm 143:8.

Verse 4. - Show me thy ways, O Lord; teach me thy paths. An echo of the prayer of Moses when his people were rebellious at Sinai (Exodus 33:13), reiterated by David in Psalm 27:11, and perhaps again in Psalm 86:11 (see also Psalm 119:33). Man is so wanting in spiritual understanding, so morally blind and ignorant, that, unless enlightened from on high, he cannot discern aright the "way of godliness;" he does not know at any given moment what God would have him to do. Hence it is the constant prayer of every religious man that God will "lighten his darkness;" "make his way plain before his face;" "show him the path that he should walk in;" enable him to see, if no more, at any rate the next step which it is his duty to take. The idea has been beautifully expressed by a modern poet -

"Lead, kindly Light, amid the encircling gloom
Lead thou me on.
The night is dark, and I am far from homo;
Lead thou me on.
Keep thou my feet; I do not ask to see
The distant scene; one step enough for me."
Psalm 25:4Recognising the infamy of such black ingratitude, he prays for instruction as to the ways which he must take according to the precepts of God (Psalm 18:22). The will of God, it is true, lies before us in God's written word, but the expounder required for the right understanding of that word is God Himself. He prays Him for knowledge; but in order to make what he knows a perfect and living reality, he still further needs the grace of God, viz., both His enlightening and also His guiding grace.
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