Psalm 25:4 (ESV) … “Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths.”
David’s prayer here echoes a prayer of Moses in a like hour of perplexity. Six times Moses had been up into the mount of God, six times he had come back down again. At the time of his fifth ascent he had taken with him the seventy elders of Israel who had been given a vision of the glory of God. Moses himself had received detailed instructions for the building of the tabernacle while on the mount. God, in all His glory, was going to come down, move in with His people, and pitch His tent among them. Then Moses had come down from the mount only to find that the people had lapsed into idolatry and were dancing naked around a golden calf. God told Moses to stand aside so that He could pour out His wrath upon this faithless people but Moses played the part of a mediator and God’s wrath was turned aside.
Moses then went up into the mount the sixth time, alone, to plead with God to blot him out of His book rather than blot out Israel. God told Moses that his prayer was heard but from henceforth God, instead of coming to camp with Israel, would let the people get along as best they could without Him. He would send an angel. For if He, the living, holy God, were to come among His people now it would be as a flaming fire of vengeance. Moses came down from the mount the sixth time with these tidings.
It was an hour of great perplexity for Moses. He took the tent of testimony, the place where God was wont to meet with him, and carried it outside the sinful camp. There God, in grace, talked to him: “The Lord spake unto Moses face to face, as a man speaketh with his friend.” Moses poured out his perplexity to the Lord: “Show me now Thy way” (Exodus 33:13). He did not dare make a move without God. No angel, no matter who that angel might be, not Gabriel the messenger angel, nor Michael the martial angel, would do. It had to be God guiding and leading or there was no point in going on.
Thus David prayed. He was wanting to be led. When God sees that we really want to be led, then He will lead.