December 27 2022
Today, Tuesday December 27
A Prayer with Three Request
Psalm 26:1-12 Of David
“Vindicate me, O LORD, For I have walked in my integrity. I have also trusted in the LORD; I shall not slip.
Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; Try my mind and my heart. For Your lovingkindness is before my eyes, And I have walked in Your truth. I have not sat with idolatrous mortals, Nor will I go in with hypocrites. I have hated the assembly of evildoers, And will not sit with the wicked. I will wash my hands in innocence; So I will go about Your altar, O LORD, That I may proclaim with the voice of thanksgiving, And tell of all Your wondrous works. LORD, I have loved the habitation of Your house, And the place where Your glory dwells.
Do not gather my soul with sinners, Nor my life with bloodthirsty men, In whose hands is a sinister scheme, And whose right hand is full of bribes. But as for me, I will walk in my integrity; Redeem me and be merciful to me. My foot stands in an even place; In the congregations I will bless the LORD.
David had a heart of worship and loved the place of worship for the nation of Israel which is the Tabernacle. The Tabernacle was where the “Glory of God” dwelt in the “Holy of Holies”, where the “Ark of the Covenant” was housed. Only the High Priest was allowed to enter the most holy place, but the people were allowed to worship in the outer courtyard, as close to it as they could. But not all who gathered to worship at the sanctuary were sincere in their walk or their worship, and some of them were openly disobedient and spread lies about the king.
The enemies who were slandering David are described in verses 4-5 and 9-10. They were deceitful, hypocritical, and wicked evildoers, sinners who schemed to rob others and even accepted bribes (Ex. 25:8; Amos 5:12), murdering those who stood in their way. David the king was a godly man, but not every judge and official in the government was walking with the Lord. Perhaps all of this occurred at the time when Absalom was trying to seize the throne by spreading lies about his father (see 2 Sam. 14-15). David would see these deceitful men at the tabernacle altar, bringing their offerings, and it deeply grieved him. (See Psalms 119:28, 115, 136, 150, 158.) Throughout the history of both Israel and the church, there was a "congregation of evildoers" (v. 5; 50:16-21) along with the congregation of true worshipers (v. 12), the tares among the wheat (Matt. 13:24-30, 36-41), and wolves in sheep's clothing (Matt. 7:15, Acts 20:26-31).
It was this situation that led to the writing of this psalm. In it, David makes three requests of the Lord. He asked the Lord to “vindicate” him (v. 1), to “examine” him (v. 2), and to “redeem” him (v. 11). As I read this prayer of David making his plea for God’s help, I couldn’t help but remember a parallel passage in Psalm 1:1. In Psalm 1 the psalmist proclaimed a blessing on the man who does not “walk” in the counsel of the ungodly, who does not “stand” in the path of sinners, and who does not “sit” with the scornful.
Did you notice that twice David mentions his “walk in integrity” (vv. 1, 11). He said he did not “sit with the idolatrous mortals and hypocrites” (v. 4). And that he was also “standing in an even place”. One translation says, “stands on level ground”. I wrote in my Bible above this verse that the ground is level at the foot of the cross. When we stand there, we are admitting that we are all sinners, no one is better than someone else and we all need mercy and grace!
When David said that he “walked in his integrity” this was not an expression of self-righteousness (see Luke 18:9-14), but rather the honest testimony of a real man of God. The words translated "examine" and "try" refer to the testing of metals to determine their true value and also to remove the dross (12:6; 17:3). "Heart and mind" is "kidneys and heart" in the original, the kidneys being the seat of the emotions and the heart the place of moral decision. (See Psalm 139:23, Phil. 4:7 and Rev. 2:23.) David's life was motivated and controlled by God's love and truth (faithfulness; see Psalm 6:4; 25:5-7, 10; 40:10; 57:3; Ex. 34:6).
When David was confronted with his sin of adultery and murder by the prophet Nathan, he repented with a broken heart (Psalm 51). When King Saul was confronted with his sin of disobedience, he made excuses and blamed others for his failure (1 Samuel 15). See the difference?
As we seek to be true worshippers, we should also ask the Lord to “vindicate” us (to defend us), to “examine us”, and to “redeem” us. Jesus is our Redeemer, Who alone paid the price for our sin and sets us free from the guilt and penalty of them. And then like David, we can say, “I have trusted in the LORD, I shall not slip” (v. 1).