Summary: As we walk through difficulties in life, one of the best ways to get perspective and see our way through to the end is encouragement. David shows us the best way possible to become encouraged!
David appears to be in a jam in this psalm (what else is new?). Some think that this psalm is related to Psalm 25—that the same situation is going on. It appears to be a revolt by the ruling class who are taking “bribes” (vs 10) and not acting in integrity in their relationship with God, David as king, or the people. It’s a great psalm for us when our motivations are being challenged by powerful people in our lives and it calls us back to the basics—our relationship with Yahweh.
1 – 3
David’s first reason for asking God for deliverance involves his relationship with God. It appears at first like David is bragging about how perfect he is. I don’t think that’s the case at all. Integrity means that you are the same on the inside as the outside—and it all revolves around his trust in God’s faithful love. David is basically saying “rescue me from this difficulty because I have put my whole life in the hands of your covenant love.”
4 – 7
Secondly, David says he has cut ties with those that have rejected God and His character. Furthermore, he approaches God with integrity and purity because he has performed the sacrifices prescribed in the Law and so can “go around the altar”. 2 Corinthians 6:14 says “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers.” Though we still must relate to those outside the faith, there is definitely a “cutting of ties” to them that should occur. You don’t do the same things you used to do—you are different and should act that way.
8 – 10
David proclaims that he wants to dwell where God dwells. You can’t really draw close to God and hold a rebellious attitude in your heart. And so he pleads with God to make a distinction between he and those that devise evil and can take bribes—two things that are certainly not in God’s character. This remains true for us as well. We who have read and understood God’s word know that there is a coming separation between good and evil. Those who cling to Jesus have their evil cleansed through His sacrifice and will be taken to be with Him forever.
11 – 12
David rejoices that through the sacrifices, through his loyalty to God and, more importantly, God’s loyalty to him, he can ask for God’s redemption from his trouble. Notice he seeks God’s grace. It isn’t by his merit, or ours, that God moves on our behalf, but it is by His grace—that unmerited favor He bestows on us.
Because of that, we know the path to walk—God’s character is clear when compared to those who reject Him. His faith too is firm and will not waver. So David will fulfill his vow to praise God in public—not backing away from God but putting it all in!
Power and influence are big deals to us. When people in powerful positions say one thing but mean another; when others we respect sneer at God and try to knock us away from our relationship to Him, we should not sneak away but know that: