Psalms Chapter 26

Psalms Chapter 26: Verses 12-22 #Fear #MyGod #Trust #Ashamed #Prayer #Lament #Teach #Learn #.

(Unless otherwise stated all Scriptures in this devotional are from the King James Version of the Bible.)

Context

Psalms 26 is a lament. However, David is not lamenting about his sins. In this prayer, he is declaring something altogether different. Once again David is under attack from his enemies. This time they are making accusations that impute his integrity. Like Job, he is stating that he is innocent. Like Job 32-37 [Please read these Scriptures.], David is not suffering because he has sinned. David is asking God to vindicate him from the wild accusations of his enemies. David knows, and believes, that grace allows us to walk in integrity. David is not immunized from suffering. He experiences it at the hands of Saul and Absalom. John Calvin stated, “No greater injury can be inflicted upon men than to wound their reputation.” 

God, You Know That I Have Not Sinned: I Am Blameless!

  • 1(A Psalm of David.) Judge me, O LORD; for I have walked in mine integrity: I have trusted also in the LORD; therefore I shall not slide.
  • Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; try my reins and my heart.
  • For thy loving kindness is before mine eyes: and I have walked in thy truth.

David is challenging God to look at his life and tell him what he has done wrong. “Judge me, [make a judgment] O LORD; for I have walked in mine integrity:”  See the psalms below and note the repetitive phrases.

  1. 7:8 “The Lord shall judge the people: judge me, O Lord, according to my righteousness, and according to mine integrity that is in me.
  2. 35:24 Judge me, O Lord my God, according to thy righteousness; and let them not rejoice over me.”
  3. 43:1 Judge me, O God, and plead my cause against an ungodly nation: O deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man.”

Have you ever experienced an event that left you feeling, “What did I do wrong?” This is how David feels. David knows that he has “walked [according to God’s] truth. 

David is not stating that he is perfect, but he is stating that he is innocent of the accusations that are being levied against him. See these verses in Psalm 7:8; Prov. 10:9; 19:1; 20:7; 28:6. It is crucial to recognize that lies always have a tiny bit of the truth in them. Why? That is what makes lies so convincing to the person who is listening to the story that is being told. 

David is asking God to “Examine [his heart] me, O LORD, and prove  [or test him] me; try my reins and my heart.” He was not afraid of God looking inside his heart. He knew that his heart was pure. Have you ever seen a situation where you know that a person’s actions were wrong? Have you watched to see how they justified their “inappropriate” response in the situation? Did they ever state that their response was wrong? Now before you answer these questions, think about the situation and think about how God would judge the person and their response. Now answer the questions. Did you come to a different conclusion when you tested your response against the Holiness of God and or His word? 

I was in a meeting once. The meeting was about a decision that a leader made. The leader did not come to the meeting himself [lack of humility in my opinion.] They sent an emissary. The emissary stated that the actions were necessary to protect God’s people from the fallout of the decision. Now my immediate response was “Hmm did we follow the directive in Matthew 18? The answer to the question was, NO! We didn’t have a leg to stand on. In these verses David did. We know that because he tells God “For thy loving kindness is before mine eyes: and I have walked in thy truth.” David followed the “truth” of God’s guidance on how to solve conflicts, even in the Old Testament.

Cayce proposes, and I agree with him, that “The love of God (Agape), is so far above even the knowledge of mankind. Try to explain to me how God could love you and me enough to send His Son to be crucified that we might be saved. God’s loving kindness is everywhere I look. Along with David, I can say, I could not live without the truth of God to guide me. Man (who does not know God and His truth), lives like no more than an animal. It is the morality that we live by through God that makes us better (Cayce 2017, Psalms 26).

I Plead My Case. God, You Know That I Am Innocent.

  • I have not sat with vain persons, neither will I go in with dissemblers.
  • I have hated the congregation of evil doers; and will not sit with the wicked.
  • I will wash mine hands in innocency: so will I compass thine altar, O LORD:
  • That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all thy wondrous works.

David continues to please his case before God. He gives details about why he is innocent. Go back and read Job’s account of his innocence. Don’t they look similar?

I have not sat with vain persons, neither will I go in with dissemblers, and  I have hated the congregation of evil doers; and will not sit with the wicked.

We may find ourselves in a dilemma here. Aren’t we supposed to associate with unsaved persons to ensure that they hear the Gospel? Yes!  However, we should not be aligning ourselves with persons who blatantly break God’s law and have no intention of changing. Psalm 1:1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, [Don’t take advice from them. Don’t allow them to guide or direct your path.] nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. [How can holiness partake in the same behaviors of ungodliness. 2 Corinthians 6:14 states “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?” Lawson may have stated it clearer than 2 Corinthians 6:14. Lawson offers this explanation for verses 4-6

Rather than cavorting with evil people, the psalmist associates with the righteous who congregate at the sanctuary. At the holy place, he praises God and testifies to God’s wonderful deeds.

This section of the psalm bears relationship to liturgies of entrance into the holy place, where those ‘who may dwell in your [God’s] sacred tent’ (15:1) are described as the ones who distance themselves from evil (15:2– 5) (Lawson 2014, 148).

Why does David separate himself from sinful actions?  7 “That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all thy wondrous works.” John 21:25 expressed the same sentiment. “And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.”

LORD, I have loved the habitation of thy house, and the place where thine honour dwelleth.

David is openly expressing how he loves to be in the house of God. Have you ever had that feeling inside of you on a Sunday morning that just makes you tingle? You know that when you pray and worship at home, it is before and between you and God.

However, when you enter the sanctuary/house of God, there is a different feeling. You experience the oneness of the Holy Spirit. The bond of love through the flowing of the Holy Spirit. The air in the room is tingling with the excitement that comes out of a group of like-minded people searching and seeking a deeper relationship with God. They are digging deeper into His word because they want it to want it to change them completely. NO ONE, not a single person on planet earth has arrived at any level of spiritual growth that outweighs God’s holiness. So, everyone should be part of a Christian fellowship where they hear from a servant of God. In short, go to church. We are commanded by God to gather together. See the scriptures here.

  • Gather not my soul with sinners, nor my life with bloody men:
  • 10 In whose hands is mischief, and their right hand is full of bribes.

David ends this psalm with a final plead for his innocence in verses 9 and 10. He proclaims how he has disconnected himself from evil people.  Christians today do the same thing. I know what it feels like to be shunned because you stand up for living a holy life even in the jokes that you participate in. Does that mean that one thinks that they are better than others? Just look at what Romans 3:9-20 says.

  • 9What then? Are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin;
  • 10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
  • 11 There is none that understandeth [entirely], there is none that seeketh after God.
  • 12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
  • 13 Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips:
  • 14 Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:
  • 15 Their feet are swift to shed blood:
  • 16 Destruction and misery are in their ways:
  • 17 And the way of peace have they not known:
  • 18 There is no fear of God before their eyes.
  • 19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.
  • 20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

That is the state of humanity!

  • 11 But as for me, I will walk in mine integrity: redeem me, and be merciful unto me.
  • 12 My foot standeth in an even place: in the congregations will I bless the LORD.

David ends this psalms by reminding God that he has not swung back and forth between living a holy life and living a life to please others. That is where we end up in trouble. We could use this quote from Philippians 2:1-2 to express David’s feelings. If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.

References

Cayce, Ken. 2017. “Books of the Bible.”  http://www.bible-studys.org/About%20Me.html. Accessed August 29, 2018

Longman, Tremper, III. 2014. Psalms : An Introduction and Commentary. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press. Accessed September 15, 2018. ProQuest Ebook Central.

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