Who is the man that fears the LORD?
Him shall He teach in the way He chooses.
He himself shall dwell in prosperity,
And his descendants shall inherit the earth. (Psalm 25:12-13)
The Christian life is often pictured as a race. I want you to imagine it as a relay race. You have an assigned leg to run—we all have an allotted number of days. We carry in our hands the baton of truth. It has been handed down to us and now the critical moment comes that determines victory or defeat—the exchange—where we hand the truth of Scripture to the next generation. All of us are going to leave behind a legacy. I believe that was on David’s mind as he writes Psalm 25. From the context, it would seem to me that he writes from the perspective of a seasoned soldier—a battle-scarred veteran—concerned about the future of his kingdom.
Let us leave a legacy of TRUST (v.1-7).
David’s testimony declares how his trust was rooted in the greatness of God (v.1-3). We can trust His power to save us. David knows where to run when he is in trouble. Experience has taught the king not to trust in his own strength, but in God’s. I can say that God has never failed me.
David also trusted in the guidance of God (v.4-5). We can trust in His precepts to steer us. Of grandparents like myself it is often remarked, “We are set in our ways.” That isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It depends on what way you are set in! If I set sail from NY harbor and set my course for London, England then the farther I travel the nearer I get to my destination! But, if I am off course only slightly, the farther I go, the farther I get from where I need to be! The good news is that if we yield the rudder to the hands of the Captain of our Salvation, we can set sail to new horizons!
Furthermore, David trusted in the goodness of God (v.6-7). We can trust His provision to secure us. David wasn’t a perfect man. His failures are documented. That’s why we need forgiveness. We don’t trust in our goodness, but in God’s.
Let us leave a legacy of TRUTH (v.8-15). Having learned these lessons—sometimes the hard way—we must pass on the baton of truth. Having a teachable spirit is the key issue here (v.8-12). An attitude of humility, devotion, and reverence are essential. We should never stop learning! Our success becomes part of the legacy we leave to our heirs (v.13). The blessings of God can be transferred to generations to come. Success can’t be measured in possessions and position—it is in eternal significance. Friends have no secrets from each other (v.14-15). They share their heart. There is a depth of intimacy with God suggested here that we can know.
Let us leave a legacy of TRIUMPH (v.16-22). Don’t miss the sequence. We face the reality of the crisis, but we focus on the God who gives us confidence! If we only give a brief nod to God, then focus on the crisis, we will be defeated by unbelief. This is not denying reality (v.16-19); not depending on some kind of positive thinking. Problems are not permitted to be the focus, however (v.20-22). The focus is on the Redeemer. He is the God who is always victorious and our triumph is in Him.
That was the legacy David would leave. What about us?