Do not remember the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways; according to your love remember me, for you, Lord, are good. Psalm 25:7
I truly appreciate the candor and transparency of the Psalmist in today’s text. This is not a desperate cry for help. Rather, it is a faith-based conversation grounded on a lament from someone who needs God to rescue him from his enemies.
The writer begins the Psalm by declaring his trust in God and asking God not to let him be put to shame nor let his enemies triumph over him. This type of unfiltered conversation with the Lord is soothing for the aching soul and empowering as we struggle with the issues of life. It encourages believers to be transparent in their conversations with God and tell him how we really feel when we face trials and personal attacks.
Unlike Psalm 22, this psalmist does not feel forsaken by God. Instead, he wants God to remember him, and not the sins of his youth. This may seem odd, but it is a real talk by a real person with real needs. The idea of asking God to remember him may seem strange—after all, God is omniscient and cannot forget. Yet, our circumstances may compel us to remind God not to forget us in our times of need.
At times we may feel the delay in the answer to our prayers is due to the sins we’ve committed. Indeed, the enemy is ever so ready to use guilt and shame as we wait for the deliverance of the Lord. He tries to play mind games to convince us that our righteous God will not hear the prayer of a sinful person. Yet, we have to stand on the promises of God and trust that “The righteous person may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all (Psalm 34:19).”
The Hebrew word for “remember” — zakar is in an active tense. It is a “doing” verb! Remembering is not a passive reflection, but a bold action of calling God’s truth into the present. This practice is found in both the Old and New Testaments. The psalmist is asking God to come to his defense against his enemies. This call to action is based on his trust in God who looks beyond our sins and sees our needs. Though he is confident that God’s forgiveness overshadows our sinfulness, he is appealing to the mercy of God so he can experience the grace of God.
The psalmist is asking God to remember him according to His love. He understands that it is because of the love of God we are not consumed. Our petitions to God are not only faith-based but they are also grounded in divine love. The Father answers the prayer of His children because of His love for us. John 3:16 reminds us that God so loved the world He made the ultimate sacrifice by sending His only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to die for our sins.
When we do not feel loved, we logically appeal to God to remember us according to His love. This appeal is an active expression of our need for God’s providential love based on our faith and trust in the Almighty God. It is the testimony of our soul because of our confidence in the Father’s unfailing love for His creation.
The good news is that through Christ Jesus, all sins—past, present, and future—have been forgiven by God. Thus, we can rest assured the Lord does not remember our sins because they have been removed as far as the east is from the west. Therefore, we can come boldly before His throne of grace in our times of need so we can find mercy and deliverance. The Lord will remember us always because He will never forget the ultimate sacrifice of His Son. So, we can continue to boldly present our petitions to the Lord with the confidence that He will hear, answer, and deliver according to His steadfast love.
Questions for Personal Reflections?
What life’s circumstances make you feel as if God does not remember you?
What is the purpose of asking an omniscient God to remember you?
Prayer- Most Gracious God, I thank you for your steadfast love and your loving kindness. Please remember me in my times of need, and don’t remember the sins of my past and present. May the beauty and power of your love give me confidence that all things will work together for my good when I am anxious and feel persecuted.