Vs. 1-7 acknowledge wrong attitudes that keep a soul from its God;
Vs. 8-14 show God does help those who want to change;
Vs. 15-22 appeal to God for His help.
Verses 1-3 show who should be ashamed. God promised that His people “shall never be put to shame” (Joel 2:26-27), and both Apostles, Paul and Peter quote: “As it is written: ‘Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and rock of offense, And whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame’” (Romans 9:33; 1 Peter 2:6). Let sinners who deal treacherously be the ones “put to shame!” “Shame” is a sense of guilt, an exercise of conscience in mature people, who should “by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil” (Hebrews 5:14). If “shame” is counseled away, people have no conscience.
Verses 4-7 appeal to God for help by showing His “ways,” “paths,” “truth,” “tender mercies,” “lovingkindnesses,” as He has always done, and forgiving our youthful transgressions. This is a timeless “prayer” and all of us may identify with David’s plea.
Verses 8-14 identify whom God can help: “the humble,” “such as keep His covenant and His testimonies,” “the man that fears the LORD,” and “those who fear Him.” In other words, God responds to those who respond to Him. Jesus taught in parables because some would refuse to hear, understand, and turn to Him to be healed (Matthew 13:13-15). Jesus further said, “”He who is of God hears God’s words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God” (John 8:47). This is what David taught in Psalm 25:14: “The secret of the LORD is with those who fear Him, And He will show them His covenant.” Though they can (and must!) sinners do not turn to God, Jesus Christ or the Bible (John 3:19-21). God “now commands all men everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30).
In Verses 15-22, David’s sensitivity to his own sins cried out for God to “forgive all my sins,” and requested comfort from God’s Hands. The last verse appeals to God on behalf of the rest of God’s people then, Israelites. We cannot help others with the “speck” in their eye when we have a “plank” in our own, as Jesus taught (Matthew 7:3-5). We must be sensitive to our own sins first, and then we may help others overcome their sins (Galatians 6:1-2).
The uplifted soul today has obeyed Jesus’ Gospel (Romans 6:3-5). The Apostle Paul wrote: “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:1-3).