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Summary: Though David is expressing his personal concerns, this psalm voices the uneasiness of any devout soul when immersed in a godless society.

June 4, 2014

Tom Lowe

Psalm 26 (KJV)

Title: The Love of God’s House and Its Ritual.

A psalm of David.

Psalm 26 (KJV)

1 Judge me, O LORD; for I have walked in mine integrity: I have trusted also in the LORD; therefore I shall not slide.

2 Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; try my reins and my heart.

3 For thy lovingkindness is before mine eyes: and I have walked in thy truth.

4 I have not sat with vain persons, neither will I go in with dissemblers.

5 I have hated the congregation of evil doers; and will not sit with the wicked.

6 I will wash mine hands in innocency: so will I compass thine altar, O LORD:

7 That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all thy wondrous works.

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

9 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.

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.

Introduction

Psalms 26, 27, and 28 reveal David’s love for God’s sanctuary (26:6-8; 27:4-7; 28:2), which in David’s day was the tabernacle on Mount Zion. God didn’t permit David to build the Temple (2 Sam. 7), but He did give him the plans for the Temple and helped him accumulate from the spoils of battle great wealth to provide for material for constructing the temple (1 Chron. 22:28-29). 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. This may have been the situation that led to the writing of this psalm.

In Psalm 25 David confessed his sins, and David was a great sinner. But in this psalm David talks about his righteousness. David did have righteousness. I don’t know about you, but I have perfect righteousness—but it is not Tom Lowe’s. First Corinthians 1:30 tells us, “But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.” Jesus has been made unto me righteousness as well as redemption. This is on the plus side of the ledger, and I stand complete in Him, accepted in the beloved.

This psalm was probably written when David was in distress, and particularly when he was falsely accused and defamed by his adversaries, as he frequently was by Saul and his aristocratic brownnosers; and therefore, for his vindication he makes a solemn appeal to God, and protests his innocence. Though David is expressing his personal concerns, this psalm voices the uneasiness of any devout soul when immersed in a godless society. To Christian ears, this is an odd psalm, for it is a violent protest of complete innocence, presented not to man, but to God. It is at variance to the Christian teaching that in God’s sight no man living can be justified apart from the imposition of God’s saving grace.

Commentary

1 Judge me, O LORD; for I have walked in mine integrity: I have trusted also in the LORD; therefore I shall not slide.

What is expressed in the first two verses could well be summed up in the words of that lovely Hymn:

Search me, O God, and know my heart today;

Try me, my Savior, and know my thoughts I pray—

See if there be some wicked way in me;

Cleanse me from every sin and set me free.

But David does not feel that he has anything to confess. What a delightful state of soul! To be able to open up the heart to the all-seeing eyes of God confident that God Himself will be satisfied with what He sees.

“Therefore I shall not slide.” If “therefore” is omitted, we get the sense that David had not slidden from his attitude of faith. Let us trust God to keep us trusting in Him.

This is a marvelous psalm that speaks of David’s walk [how he lived his life]. David committed several great sins which we are told about in the Bible, but he did not continue to live in sin. David’s sins stand out like lumps of coal in a snowman, because the rest of David’s life was an example of godliness. He became the measuring stick for those kings who followed him. Every king was judged by whether or not he walked in the steps of his father David. If he followed David’s example, he was accepted and declared a good king.

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