Perhaps David wrote Psalm 25 while languishing in the desperate consequences (vv. 16-17) of his great iniquity (v. 11), namely the murder of a faithful man named Uriah. David had Uriah killed to cover up the adultery with the man’s wife, Bathsheba. The adultery resulted from an abuse of authority and the king’s own idleness. And yet he prays the following in verses 6-7:
Remember, O Lord, Your tender mercies and Your lovingkindnesses, for they are from of old. Do not remember the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions; according to Your mercy remember me, for Your goodness’ sake, O Lord.
Remembering and Forgetting
David desires that God remember mercies and lovingkindnesses, but forget the sins of his youth and his transgressions. “Remember me …forget my sin!” Who wouldn’t want that outcome when it comes to prayer!
This is unadulterated boldness in prayer. David prayed for an outpouring of God’s mercies and lovingkindnesses (note the plural) even though he had been disobedient and was suffering the consequences from it. I don’t normally want to ask God’s blessing upon my life after I’ve sinned grievously; yet, that’s exactly what David is doing.
When you think about it, it makes sense. After all, who needs mercies anyway? Who is desperate for the lovingkindnesses of God once again? The answer is those whom need it most …those who have sinned greatly and are so needy. That’s good news for you and me!
For I am the Lord, I do not change; therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob. -Malachi 3.6
The same could be said of us. God hasn’t changed; therefore, we are not consumed (even though we deserve to be consumed). The essence of mercy is that God does not give us what we deserve because His character is constant …He is governed by His compassion and lovingkindness.
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. – James 1.17
For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. – Romans 11.29
So if David asked God to remember former mercies and lovingkindnesses, we ought to ask for the same. We ought to plead with Him that He will continue to grant them to us as individuals, families, and a church.
For the Lord will not forsake His people, for His great name’s sake, because it has pleased the Lord to make you His people. -1 Samuel 12.22
Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ – Hebrew 13.5
If Jesus loves you (and if He died for you, He loves you), you can rest assured that He will love you to the very end! So, are you in deep distress? Do you really think God has dismissed you from His presence? Do you believe that He will not extend tender mercies and lovingkindnesses toward you once more? Then, you don’t know much about His unchanging character. Throw yourself upon the mercy of God’s heavenly court!