The God Who Guides Us
Psalm 25 (below)
In a flock of sheep there are always some who wander away. Some sheep become distracted and lose their way. But the shepherd knows this and looks out for them, drawing them back onto the path.
God does not expect us to travel alone through life. God stays with us. A good shepherd anticipates and plans for the needs of his sheep. God goes before us and beside us, guiding us on the right path.
GROUP DISCUSSION. What images come to mind when you think of a shepherd guiding his sheep?
PERSONAL REFLECTION. Think of a time you experienced a sense of guidance from God. Describe the experience.
Seeking and following God's loving, personal guidance for our lives is central to the life of serenity and peace that is portrayed in Psalm 23. It is also the deep heart cry of David in Psalm 25:4, "Show me your ways, O Lord."
Read Psalm 23:3.
"He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake."
Read Psalm 25.
1. What emotions do you see being expressed directly and indirectly in Psalm 25?
2. When have you been in a situation in which you needed God's guidance in the way that is expressed here?
3. How does the psalmist describe his relationship with God (vv. 1, 5, 7, 9, 11, 15-16, 20-21)?
4. As you look at your answer to question 3, how would you compare or contrast the psalmist's relationship with God and your relationship with God at this time?
5. What does the psalmist say about God?
6. What does the psalmist ask of God?
7. How might the reassurance of God's provision of guidance found in Psalm 23 provide comfort to a person seeking God's guidance with the urgency found in Psalm 25?
8. As you look at your answer to question 5, how would you compare or contrast what the psalmist trusted to be true about God and what you trust to be true about God?
9. In Psalm 25 the writer comes back to his need for forgiveness and God's forgiving love several times (vv. 6-9, 11, 18). What thoughts do you have about the relationship between this theme and the theme of seeking God's guidance?
10. Many of us can identify with the sheep who stray. What fears or beliefs make it difficult for you to seek and follow God's guidance at times?
11. What needs do you have for guidance at this time?
Pray, inviting God to guide you.
Now or Later
Begin each day this week asking God for guidance and thanking God for the promise of guidance. End each day reflecting on the ways you can see God guiding you. If this is a struggle for you, spend time each day praying that God will heal your fears and open your eyes and heart to God's love so that your desire for God's guidance can grow.
PSALM 25 (NKJV)
A Plea for Deliverance and Forgiveness
A Psalm of David.
To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
2 O my God, I trust in You;
Let me not be ashamed;
Let not my enemies triumph over me.
3 Indeed, let no one who waits on You be ashamed;
Let those be ashamed who deal treacherously without cause.
4 Show me Your ways, O Lord;
Teach me Your paths.
5 Lead me in Your truth and teach me,
For You are the God of my salvation;
On You I wait all the day.
6 Remember, O Lord, Your tender mercies and Your lovingkindnesses,
For they are from of old.
7 Do not remember the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions;
According to Your mercy remember me,
For Your goodness' sake, O Lord.
8 Good and upright is the Lord;
Therefore He teaches sinners in the way.
9 The humble He guides in justice,
And the humble He teaches His way.
10 All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth,
To such as keep His covenant and His testimonies.
11 For Your name's sake, O Lord,
Pardon my iniquity, for it is great.
12 Who is the man that fears the Lord?
Him shall *He teach in the way He chooses.
13 He himself shall dwell in prosperity,
And his descendants shall inherit the earth.
14 The secret of the Lord is with those who fear Him,
And He will show them His covenant.
15 My eyes are ever toward the Lord,
For He shall pluck my feet out of the net.
16 Turn Yourself to me, and have mercy on me,
For I am desolate and afflicted.
17 The troubles of my heart have enlarged;
Bring me out of my distresses!
18 Look on my affliction and my pain,
And forgive all my sins.
19 Consider my enemies, for they are many;
And they hate me with cruel hatred.
20 Keep my soul, and deliver me;
Let me not be ashamed, for I put my trust in You.
21 Let integrity and uprightness preserve me,
For I wait for You.
22 Redeem Israel, O God,
Out of all their troubles!