Do not remember the sins of my youth
Psalms 25:6-7 David asks God to forget those sins committed in earlier times by forgiving them
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“Remember, O Lord, Your compassion and Your lovingkindnesses, For they have been from of old. Do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions; According to Your lovingkindness remember me, For Your goodness’ sake, O Lord.”
Psalms 25:6-7 NASB1995
When today’s verse appeared in the random verse picker I use for my devotional writing, the first phrase of verse 7 — ‘’do not remember the sins of my youth or my transgressions” — jumped out at me. Each and every day in my new life as one who was truly born again in Christ, I am amazed at God’s grace and forgiveness toward someone who definitely committed “sins of my youth”.
Here, the psalmist King David is praying to God as he often did — when he was in trouble for one reason or another. God always came through for David, even when he sinned greatly. David begins by asking God to remember other times that He had responded to his needs. David uses the plural form of the Hebrew word חֶסֶד (ḥeseḏ, lovingkindness) to describe God’s deep love based on the covenant He had made with His people. Rather than using the singular form of the word, David uses the plural to emphasize just how much love God has for His people.
In saying “For they have been from of old,” David is essentially saying to God, “You’ve shown your amazing compassion and covenant love to me before in my times of need; could you please do that again?” The Hebrew word translated here as “of old” — עוֹלָם (ʿôlām) — can also be translated as “everlasting” or “eternal”. David knew that God had come through for His people as long as they had kept the records that became the Old Testament, a literal eternity.
While David starts these pair of verses asking God to remember His past mercies, he moves into verse 7 asking God to forget. Forget those sins committed in earlier times by forgiving them. I don’t know about you, but although I know that I am forgiven, I still have a tendency to rehash some of my more regrettable sins in prayer. Perhaps that’s the Holy Spirit’s way of reminding us how far we’ve come in our faith journeys, and preparing us to go even further in recognition of God’s love.
David ends this part of the Psalm expressing his repentance and humility. The words “According to Your lovingkindness remember me, for Your goodness’ sake, O LORD” indicate that David is pleading with God to remember him not because of some of the good things he might have done during his life, but on the basis of God’s infinite mercy. David knows he’s a sinner; he’s asking for God to forgive and forget, adding further to God’s reputation for good.
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The Psalms attributed to David as author (75 of 150 total) have always seemed to me to be David’s way of thanking and praising God for showing him forgiveness despite being a “serial sinner”. These songs and poems show that David’s heart was always devoted to God, and are instructive even now.
Heaven On Wheels Daily Prayer:
Father in Heaven, I thank You for Your infinite capacity to love and forgive me. I praise you for sending us Your Son, the sacrificial Lamb of God who died and took our sin upon Himself so that we might have eternal life. AMEN!