Psalm 25:3 – Indeed, none of those who wait for You will be ashamed. Those who deal treacherously without cause will be ashamed.
Those who wait for you will not be ashamed.
Let that sink in. Before I start pulling apart this verse – can we just stop and think about what this phrase means and how precious the Gospel is!
Webster’s 1828 defines ashamed as: affected by shame; abashed or confused by guilt or a conviction of some criminal action or indecorous conduct, or by the exposure of some gross errors or misconduct, which the person is conscious must be wrong, and which tends to impair his honor or reputation. Shame is defined as a painful feeling of humiliation or distress caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behavior.
The shamelessness that David takes about here is not the shamelessness our culture celebrates.
Our culture celebrates a shamelessness that is a result of being proud of its sin. Innocence is shattered and we begin to grow hard. The heart becomes unfeeling like stone – calloused as it refuses to repent. The mind grows dull in its understanding – weary in trying to justify away its guilt. And yes, we eventually no longer experience any humiliation or pain over sin. But we cease to experience joy and beauty in life as well.
The shamelessness that David talks about here is the absolute freedom available for those that have been washed clean in the blood of Jesus. Those who walk before God in a clean conscience. Those who walk in victory over sin and can boldly approach the throne room of God. We are free from the penalty of transgression because Jesus paid the price for our sin. We are free from the power of sin because we have died to it and we serve a new master. We are no longer under the condemnation of the law because Jesus fulfilled it! We repent of our sin and are in turn clothed with the righteousness of Jesus. We experience the fullness of beauty, life, love, joy. We are free from guilt – set free unto complete freedom!
Have you ever experienced what it is not to be ashamed? To stand before God with clean conscience with the simplicity of an innocent child? The path to the righteousness of Jesus and communion and union with God is clear: confess and repent of your sin, and follow Jesus in faith.
David in verse 2, pleads with God, “Let me not be ashamed!” and here he firmly says “Those who wait for You, will not be ashamed!” The Hebrew for the word wait is qâvâh, and it means to bind together (perhaps by twisting), collect (figuratively), to expect, gather together, look, patiently, tarry, wait for, wait on, wait upon. Those who look to the Lord, those who tarry for Him – not going based on their understanding – and those who expect Him, those who bind themselves to Him – THOSE are the ones who will not be put to shame. Those who cannot be defined by anything other than Him are completely justified and without reproach.
When we act as we understand – without having surrendered completely all to Him, without submitting to the harness of the Word and the Holy Spirit – it is proof that pride is well and kicking in us. We have assumed a position other than humble submission to God. Andrew Murray writes “Humility is nothing but the disappearance of self in the vision that God is all.” When we do not wait, God becomes less then all to us.
Why should we wait on God?
Micah 7:7 says “Therefore I will look unto the Lord; I will wait for God of my salvation: my God will hear me.”
The Great I Am, the Indescribable, the Uncontainable, the One Who Breathed out the stars, the One who holds the whole world in His hands… hears me. Puny insignificant me. I don’t even have the ear of the President of America. But I do have the ear of the most powerful authority in the universe! He hears me! Talk about praying with confidence!!
Does the reality that God hears you affect the way you pray? Knowing that God hears you should enable you to wait with confidence.
God is the God of my salvation. Salvation is defined as my liberty, my deliverance, my prosperity, and my safety. This is confirmed by Psalm 33:20 that says “Our soul waits for the Lord; He is our help and our shield.” Waiting on God is not a position of vulnerability, it is a position of strength and safety. Waiting on God is not a place of bondage and waste, it is a place of liberty and prosperity. He is a very active protection and blessing to those who wait on Him.
Lamentations 3:25 says “The Lord is good unto them that wait for him, to the soul that seeketh Him.” God is not evil. Many of us have authority issues because we’ve only seen or experienced the abuses of authority. But one of the core characteristics of God is his goodness. Evil is a perversion of good and in God there is no perversion. It is not just the absence of evil but the exclusive presence of good. Waiting on Someone who is completely good gives confidence that that everything from His hand is for my good – especially this time of waiting. Waiting on God is a gift!
There are such precious promises attached to waiting on God. The greatest promise is the attainment of Him. We get Him!! All these verses talk about what happens when He comes! Notice they’re all saying “Wait for Him!” not “Wait for an action or a word or an angel!” He comes to us!! God sent us the Word of God in text and flesh so that we would know Him! God is relational, not a task to do or a formula to drink. When we boil Him down into a magic pill to make the sickness go away or a solution to a problem – we make Him so small.
Goodness, strength, and life are an outflow of who He is. Because He is good, when we get Him – we get goodness. For example, Isaiah 40:31 says “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run and not be weary, and they shall wait and not faint.” When we get Him, we are restored because He is the great Restorer – “Behold I make all things new” (Revelation 21:5). Our strength is renewed because He is Strength – “Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle” (Psalm 24:8). When we get Him, we have everything.
It’s not like one day we say “Lord I need strength!” and God is this clerk behind the counter, measuring out a few pounds of strength, and sending it down to you. And then three minutes later, you go “Never mind! I actually need patience!” And He throws His hands up in the air and quickly scoops up some patience, quickly packages it, and sends it down. That’s nonsense. He gives us Jesus, and in Jesus we have everything – patience, peace, strength, joy etc. The fruit of the Spirit is the evidence of the indwelling life of Jesus. And it’s the evidence of your waiting, resting, and position in Him.
How does one wait?
Psalm 123:2 says “Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the LORD our God, until that he have mercy upon us.”
A servant has no will outside of their master. We are to wait in a state of being wholly surrendered and readily available. Our dreams, desires, hopes are placed on the altar continually. If God calls us to give anything from something to everything up – we immediately lay it down and do not pick it back up. Our energies and resources are hinged on the beck and call of our master. Just as our fingers do not tell us what to do, we – as the body of Christ – do not dictate God’s will to him. We simply obey right away. Fascinating that this verse deals especially with the eyes – our focus. Our focus is to be unwavering upon God.
I have the concentration span of a gold fish. Looking constantly to God in the midst of life is the hardest thing for me to do. If I’m really honest, my pride craves distractions – little things that I can do and use to build my resume before God. Little distractions that I can use to dress up my pride, all the while citing good intentions. I crave activity because waiting and praying are statements of utter dependence. What He is teaching me that complete dependence on Him is a place of the greatest strength – His strength. Comparing my strength to His, the desire to exchange our punitive efforts for His power should be a “duh!”
Waiting strips us of everything. Waiting demands that we be still and know that HE is God. How different would your life look from now if you were not still before Him? Would there be a difference?
Psalm 27:14 says “Wait on the Lord, be of good courage, and He shall strengthen thy heart. Wait, I say, on the Lord.”
We are to be of good courage. 1 Corinthians 16:13 comes to mind: “Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.” Isn’t it so cool how a man is a picture of what a Christian is to be like? Strong, aggressive, undaunted, ready. This waiting is in no way passive – it’s active, it’s ready, it’s expectant. Men are not actually patient (per my experience and I’m sure science can confirm this) – they’re very much people of action. And this is what waiting on the Lord enables us for – action.
Psalm 37:34 says “Wait on the Lord, and keep his way, and He shall exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it.”
As we wait on the Lord, we must keep His way. John 1:7 says “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.” We walk in fellowship with the saints and we walk in purity, renouncing all darkness and repenting from all sin. We’ll end with Proverbs 1: 10-16:
10 My son, if sinners entice you,
Do not consent.
11 If they say, “Come with us,
Let us lie in wait for blood,
Let us ambush the innocent without cause;
12 Let us swallow them alive like Sheol,
Even whole, as those who go down to the pit;
13 We will find all kinds of precious wealth,
We will fill our houses with spoil;
14 Throw in your lot with us,
We shall all have one purse,”
15 My son, do not walk in the way with them.
Keep your feet from their path,
16 For their feet run to evil
And they hasten to shed blood.
17 Indeed, it is useless to spread the baited net
In the sight of any bird;
18 But they lie in wait for their own blood;
They ambush their own lives.
19 So are the ways of everyone who gains by violence;
it takes away the life of its possessors.
20 Wisdom shouts in the street,
She lifts her voice in the square;
21 At the head of the noisy streets she cries out;
At the entrance of the gates in the city she utters her sayings:
22 “How long, O naive ones, will you love being simple-minded?
And scoffers delight themselves in scoffing
And fools hate knowledge?
23 “Turn to my reproof,
Behold, I will pour out my spirit on you;
I will make my words known to you.