Psalm 24 Commentary for Sunday 26A by Dr Noel Donnelly.

graphic (c) Netta Ewing

Psalm 24 is quite a long psalm. It is one of the so-called “acrostic” psalms, where each line begins with a successive letter of the Hebrew alphabet. While being a memory aid for the original singers, it is also a means to deliver us to the punchline at the end, for us a kind of  A to Z into God’s teaching. The punchline in verses 21 and 22 of this psalm is, in colloquial terms, “Lord. I’m relying on you. Don’t disappoint me!”

For the 26th Weekend in the A cycle, the lectionary selects only 6 from the 22 verses of the whole psalm. These selected verses make a confident prayer for instructions from God on how to fulfil the love pact or covenant that God makes for us. These verses make a great prayer for the way ahead.

That prayer begins with an appeal from the singer on behalf of us all, “Lord, make me know your ways. Teach me your pathways, Lord”. 

The next stanza is not addressed to God, so the singer may look out to the congregation as he or she reminds them of the psalmist’s basic teaching: “The Lord is good and upright; guides those who have gone astray, guides the humble along the right path and teaches the poor his way”. All these words, ”your paths”,  “the right path”, “pathways”, all give us a road map for direction and prayer in the week ahead, trusting in God as our travelling companion. 

In our weekend liturgy the psalm makes a bridge between the Ezekiel reading and the Gospel. Ezekiel speaks out about people complaining to God about God being unfair. Jesus in the Gospel asks his people to see the prostitutes and tax collectors entering heaven before judgemental people. We pray with the psalmist: “Lord, make me know your ways!”

In trying to understand God’s ways, I am reminded of the saying of Maya Angelou the US civil rights leader, “Do the best you can until you know better. When you do know better then do better!” Lord, make me know your ways today! 

Words: The Grail, England. (c) St Mungo Music. Recorded  by Elspeth Glasgow

Words and music Noel Donnelly (c)  Kevin Mayhew.  Recorded by Noel Donnelly.



Lord, make me know your ways, teach me your pathways, Lord.
Teach me to walk in the truth of your ways, you are my Saviour,
Lord make me know your ways.

Show me your mercy, Lord, in love remember me.
Show me the love we have known from of old,  now, in your goodness, Lord.
Lord, make me know your ways.

Yahweh is kind and true, guides those who go astray,
Shepherds the humble along the right path, teaches the poor his way.
Lord make me know your ways.

Psalm 24 : Words and music Noel S Donnelly,  © Kevin Mayhew



Lord, let me know your ways, teach me the paths to follow.
Make me walk in truth and teach me for you are God, my saviour.
Lord, your ways are faithfulness, your ways are love.

Remember your mercy, Lord, the love you have always shown.
In your love, remember me for your goodness knows no limit.
Lord, your ways are faithfulness, your ways are love.

He teaches the poor his way, the humble and those who stray,
for the Lord is good and upright in faithfulness and love.
Lord, your ways are faithfulness, your ways are love.

Words: The Grail, England. Music (c) St Mungo Music