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Psalm 25 Sermon From October 2013 Prayer Service �Redeemed in Christ

Psalm 25 Sermon From October 2013 Prayer Service “Redeemed in Christ

Mount Olive Lutheran Church / Rev. Ted A. Giese / Wednesday October 2nd 2013: Season of Pentecost, Psalm 25.


To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul.

          O my God, in You I trust;

                   let me not be put to shame;

                   let not my enemies exult over me.

          Indeed, none who wait for You shall be put to shame;

                   they shall be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.

          Make me to know Your ways, O LORD;

                   teach me Your paths.

          Lead me in Your truth and teach me,

                   for You are the God of my salvation;

                   for You I wait all the day long.

          Remember Your mercy, O LORD, and Your steadfast love,

                   for they have been from of old.

          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!

          Good and upright is the LORD;

                   therefore He instructs sinners in the way.

          He leads the humble in what is right,

                   and teaches the humble His way.

          All the paths of the LORD are steadfast love and faithfulness,

                   for those who keep His covenant and His testimonies.

          For Your name's sake, O LORD,

                   pardon my guilt, for it is great.

          Who is the man who fears the LORD?

                   Him will He instruct in the way that he should choose.

          His soul shall abide in well-being,

                   and his offspring shall inherit the land.

          The friendship of the LORD is for those who fear Him,

                   and He makes known to them His covenant.

          My eyes are ever toward the LORD,

                   for He will pluck my feet out of the net.

          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.

          Consider how many are my foes,

                   and with what violent hatred they hate me.

          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 ESV)


Let us pray: May the words of my mouth and the meditations of all our hearts be acceptable in your sight O Lord. Amen.


Grace peace and mercy to you from God our Father and from our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Good Christian Friends. Psalm 25 ends with the request that God would, "Redeem Israel, ...  out of all his troubles." This is a psalm of King David and this ending tell us a lot about what's going on in this Psalm. Let's begin by asking the question: "Who is Israel?" There is a bit of a double meaning here. In fact, there's even more to it that that, but let's start with the double meaning.


First Israel is a person, Israel is the name that God gave Jacob (the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham), The name that God gave Jacob after Jacob wrestled with God by the Jabbok river as Jacob was returning home in fear to face his elder brother Esau.[1] Esau the brother from whom Jacob was estranged, the brother Jacob feared would take his life. This Jacob becomes Israel: God changes him in the midst of his wrestling, in the midst of his struggle.


Second Israel is the collective name given to Jacob's twelve sons who are the 'Children of Israel' who become the fathers of the people who become the tribes that make up the nation of Israel both prior to the time and at the time David is king. Israel is not just a person but also a people. So when David pleads for Israel to be redeemed out of his trouble it suggests a redemption that's both broad and narrow: Both personal and common. David was from the tribe of Judah[2] and Judah was one of Israel's sons,[3] so the prayer of Psalm 25 is for the whole of the children of Israel and for David himself personally as part of Israel and also for Jacob too, and in Christ Jesus the prayer of this psalm is likewise for you, both as a Christian and as an individual member of the body of Christ. This last part is the added meaning past the double meaning and we'll get back into this in the next couple minutes,  


St Paul says that "we [as Christians] do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places."[4] This is true, yet there are times when we struggle against flesh and blood, more often than not it's our own flesh and blood we struggle against, when we are tempted into sin. "The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”[5] This is why the whole life of the Christian is to be a life lived in repentance,[6] a constant turning away from our selfish sinful nature to our baptismal grace in Christ. A wrestling within the body and the soul. But what happens when you've been wrestling all night, and the sun is coming up? What then?


Pray Psalm 25: Pray Psalm 25 because Psalm 25 covers a wide range of struggles, it's the ABC's[7] of wrestling in the faith and because of this it has a lot to say about our daily struggles, the struggles that are there morning, noon and night.


David talks about contending with physical enemies, as well as wrestling with sin; he also talks of struggling to stay on the path set before him; David makes his appeal in trust to God that God will in fact do what David asks, that God in friendship[8] would pluck David's feet out of the net. That God would save him from his wild thrashing about, save him from the entanglements of sin and trouble, save him from all the ones who violent hate him. Now if God is to pluck David and you and I out of the net that traps us, where will God set our feet back down? On the path set for you and for David, the path set for Jacob and Israel and for me: God will put you and them and I all on the Way. Our feet will land safe and secure on the straight and narrow Way which is Christ Jesus, the same Jesus who says, “I Am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me."[9] In Psalm 25 when you hear "Way" think Jesus.


Psalm 25:8 says, "Good and upright is the LORD; therefore He instructs sinners in the way."[10] Jesus is good, Jesus is for sinners; We know this because Romans 5:8 says, "God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us."[11] The Lord instructs sinners in Christ Jesus.


Psalm 25:9 says, "[God] leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble His way."[12] Jesus says in Matthew 5:3, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."[13] The Lord teaches the humble, the poor in spirit, in His Son Christ Jesus.


Psalm 25 ends with the plea:


"Redeem Israel, O God,

                   out of all his troubles."


Psalm 25 begins with David saying,


"To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul.

          O my God, in You I trust;"


When David says these words he isn't just speaking of his own situation, in these words he points forward. In the crucifixion Jesus was mocked, He was beaten, He was shamed upon the cross publicly, they brought violence against Him and they took away His life,[14] yet Christ Jesus went uncomplaining to the cross,[15] He was beaten and mocked and shamed all  the while trusting in His Father, all the while lifting up His soul and commending His Spirit to God the Father,[16] perfectly trusting in God to save Him. Perfectly trusting in God to save Him from His enemies, from the net of death and the grave, from your sins that entangled Him, from my sins that entangled Him. In Jesus, David's prayer in Psalm 25 is fulfilled; in Jesus, David's prayer in Psalm 25 is answered; in Jesus, your plea for mercy is heard and God's grace is delivered to you.   

Just as Israel started out as one man, at the cross Israel is reduced back down to one man in Christ Jesus, to you, O LORD, I lift up my soul; "Redeem Israel, O God, out of all His troubles." Redeem Christ  from the Grave.[17]

Because Jesus took the shame; you are free from it and in Christ you have nothing to be ashamed of, especially not of the Gospel.[18] Because His enemies exulted over Him at the cross hurling insults at Him, they can't stand over you in judgment, they cannot truly insult you, for if they insult you they are actually insulting Jesus.[19] In the resurrections and ascension of Christ Jesus all these mockers, all these wantonly treacherous foes, have now been put as a foot stool under Jesus' feet.[20] David in Psalm 25 prays "Let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in You. May integrity and uprightness preserve me," Jesus is your integrity and uprightness before God, He preserves you and it is He who forgives you when you've spit on your own integrity and uprightness, when you've been wrestling in the mud-wallow of sin; When you've been caught in temptations net. Jesus is your forgiveness because you are the recipient of the promise. The promise given to Abraham, the promise passed on to Isaac, the promise given as a birthright to Jacob, who became Israel and by whom his children were provided the promise. Now you say 'I'm not related by blood to the twelve children of Israel,' yet saint Paul says "not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel,"[21] "This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring."[22]


You are a child of the promise. You are a child of the promise.  You are a child of the promise in your baptism. Not by blood relation to Israel; but by the blood of Christ, in which you have been washed as white as snow; this eternal and precious blood of Jesus applied to you in the waters of your baptism.[23] And in your baptism, Psalm 25 is now your prayer. When you have wrestled all night, and the sun is rising, you can trust that the Lord has rescued Israel from all His troubles, and because you are part of that Israel of old, because you are baptised into Christ, this means that the Lord has already rescued you;[24] Just as surely as He has risen Christ from the Grave He will raise you from your gave. He is the God of your salvation: And in His steadfast love and mercy, He has, in the act of forgiveness, forgotten the sins of your youth and has put your feet on the Way. He has put your feet on the faithful and sure footing which is Jesus. David prayed for this, and God answered His prayer in Christ Jesus. Amen.



Let us pray:

Lord have mercy on us, Christ have mercy on us, Lord have mercy on us, “take our minds and think through them, take our lips and speak through them, take our hearts and set them on fire; for the sake of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, Amen.


[1] Genesis 32:22-32, "The same night he arose and took his two wives, his two female servants, and his eleven children, and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. He took them and sent them across the stream, and everything else that he had. And Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day. When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he touched his hip socket, and Jacob's hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. Then he said, “Let me go, for the day has broken.” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” And he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” Then he said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed.” Then Jacob asked him, “Please tell me your name.” But he said, “Why is it that you ask my name?” And there he blessed him. So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel, saying, “For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life has been delivered.” The sun rose upon him as he passed Penuel, limping because of his hip. Therefore to this day the people of Israel do not eat the sinew of the thigh that is on the hip socket, because he touched the socket of Jacob's hip on the sinew of the thigh."

[2] Ruth 1:1; 4:17

[3] Genesis 29:35

[4] Ephesians 6:12

[5] Matthew 26:41

[6] Paraphrase of The first of Martin Luther's 95 Theses

[7] A Commentary on Psalms 1-72, Northwestern Publishing House 20