1 Vindicate me, Lord,
for I have led a blameless life;
I have trusted in the Lord
and have not faltered.
2 Test me, Lord, and try me,
examine my heart and my mind;
3 for I have always been mindful of your unfailing love
and have lived in reliance on your faithfulness.
4 I do not sit with the deceitful,
nor do I associate with hypocrites.
5 I abhor the assembly of evildoers
and refuse to sit with the wicked.
6 I wash my hands in innocence,
and go about your altar, Lord,
7 proclaiming aloud your praise
and telling of all your wonderful deeds.
8 Lord, I love the house where you live,
the place where your glory dwells.
9 Do not take away my soul along with sinners,
my life with those who are bloodthirsty,
10 in whose hands are wicked schemes,
whose right hands are full of bribes.
11 I lead a blameless life;
deliver me and be merciful to me.
12 My feet stand on level ground;
in the great congregation I will praise the Lord.
(Psalm 26:1-12 NIV)
As we read today’s psalm, we see David in some kind of distress, requesting God’s protection. Historians can cite many such distressing occasions in David’s life, but none specifically to this particular psalm.
David begins by asking for God’s protection (v. 1). David is more concerned about God’s reputation in all the accusations swirling around than his own. David wants to be sure that he has not done anything to cause others to think less of the Lord.
In verses 2 – 3, we see that David was not self-righteously proclaiming his integrity in verse 1 because David asks the Lord to search his heart and mind for any unconfessed sin. If the Lord points something out to David, he will confess the sin and deal with it.
David recounts his clear choices to live a life of integrity and avoid entanglement in those who make sinful choices (vv. 4-5). David does not want to be associated with evildoers and those who have a wicked heart bent on doing what God has clearly said is sinful behavior. David is not judging them; however, David is clearly making his choice to honor and obey God and not participate in sinful activities.
David does not claim to be perfect; he is clearly not sinless, but he is reconciled to God and stands innocent before the Almighty. We see David needing to wash his hands (David recognizing and confessing and repenting of his sin, and God’s power to remove his sin). But once David has confessed, repented, and been cleansed of his sin, he is now fit for service in the Lord’s house (vv. 6-7).
David loves being in God’s presence, abiding in God’s love like soaking in the sunshine on a warm spring day. And David feels closest to God in God’s house, the tabernacle, where God’s glory resides among His people (v. 8).
David pleads with God to not be swept away when God purges the evildoers from the land. David knows that the pull of sin is strong, and it would be easy to give in to the “easy life” and all its selfish pleasures rather than walk with God in humility and obedience (vv. 9-11).
But David chooses to walk with the Lord, to be counted among the faithful spending his time praising the Lord in God’s house. David is resting in the Presence and protection of the Lord with others of like mind and heart.
May we have David’s same attitude of abiding in God’s Presence, protection, and love for us, choosing to shun evil and walk with integrity.
May we invite the Lord to examine our hearts and minds and confess and repent of any sins the Lord points out so we are fit for His service, to be used by God for His glory.
This is the day the Lord has made – let us rejoice and be glad in it.