Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions...—Psalm 25:7a
In the previous meditation we heard David pray, “Remember your mercy, O Lord, and your steadfast love, for they have been from of old.” Now having asked the LORD to remember his mercy and love he asks the LORD not to remember the sins of his youth or his transgressions. Do you see the order of things here? First he spoke of God's tenderness and love which have been from of old, for as long as God has had a people, which goes all the way back to our first parents.
God has always been a forgiving God. He had Moses set up a whole system of sacrifices and offerings, festivals and holy days, by which the children of Israel could approach the Lord, not with fear like the heathen, but with joy and celebration, knowing that their God was a forgiving God. After having established God's longstanding history of tender mercy he now asks that he may participate in that mercy and love by having his own sins and transgressions forgiven.
Dear reader, you can pray that too. “LORD, may I experience your tender and forgiving love and mercy, for they have been from of old.” It's there, available for us all. God will never say, “Oh, sorry. All of my mercy and love have been used up. The bank is empty.” No, his love and mercy are limitless and know no boundaries. God's treasure chest of mercy is never depleted. Pray for the LORD to forgive you your sins. He will.
Kind David speaks here specifically about the sins of youth. These are the sins of a young man. Even covenant youth commit terrible sins. If I think back to my own youth, when I was a young man, I can only blush with shame as I seek the Lord. But the Lord forgives also those sins. Young people, the Lord forgive the foolish sins you commit.
This is not to put you on easy street so that you will say, “Well, I can do what I want and sin to my heart's content because the Lord will forgive me.” No, that is presuming upon the love and mercy of God, and presuming upon the LORD is a dangerous thing to do. Be rather like the sinful woman who anointed the feet of Jesus with oil (Luke 7). When some people questioned what she was doing then Jesus explained to them that the woman loved much because she had been forgiven much.
Go to Jesus, young people and old people. He will forgive your sins, and then off your knees and serve the Lord with love for him and in obedience!
The sins of youth can haunt us. Once, many years ago, I was visiting a 90+ year old man in hospital. He knew he was dying and through his tears he began telling me about all manner of sins he had done. I thought, how can that be; he is such an old man, but then it dawned on me that he was speaking of things he had done 75 and 80 years earlier. Well, what could we do but read this Psalm: O LORD, sins of youth remember not.
Dear reader, don't be haunted by your sins; rather, ask God to forgive them: sins of youth, sins of middle age, sins of old age. Plead upon the tender mercy and the steadfast love of the Lord. He will forgive you.
Questions: How do the sins of youth differ from those of an old person? Have you asked God to forgive your sins of your youth?