Psalm 26:1-12

A Psalm of David.

1 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,

10 In whose hands is a sinister scheme,
And whose right hand is full of bribes.

11 But as for me, I will walk in my integrity;
Redeem me and be merciful to me.

12 My foot stands in an even place;
In the congregations I will bless the Lord.

This psalm parallels the same three-fold approach to its central theme as Psalm 27 — i.e., both psalms begin by focusing on God as the Foundation (both the establisher and determiner) of the central concept, then present God as its Goal, and conclude by affirming God as its ongoing Enabler-Developer. This parallel approach serves to emphasize the inseparability and interrelationship between the central theme of this psalm (i.e., personal integrity) and that of the next (i.e., personal confidence). — Wechsler, pages 82-83

This seems to be David’s cry to God when he found himself in the midst of a society that had rejected God.

Williams believes that Jesus Christ is the speaker here, pleading for His people, Israel, and that failure to understand this makes David seem conceited.

vindicate (v.1) — should be “judge,” indicating that David will accept God’s assessment even if David comes out lacking.

my integrity (v.1) — The possessive pronoun indicates his adherence to integrity as he understood it, yet which was still not unadulterated by sin. — Wechsler, page 83

trusted (v.1) = lit. “ran for refuge”

try (v.2) — as in purifying metal (1 Peter 1:7)

heart (v.2) — Not just the emotions, but the active inner person

walked (v.3) — David refers to having walked (here employed idiomatically for “lived” — which Old Testament usage carries over into the New Testament, as in Galatians 5:16) in God’s truth, the imperfections of which walk he again intimates by his juxtaposed reference to not sitting with deceitful (lit. “without (spiritual) worth”; see also v.5b) men — i.e., while his depravity may occasionally have led him to “walk” and even “stand” in the path of the wicked, he never descended to the point of “sitting” (i.e., identifying wholeheartedly) with them. (See Psalm 1.) — Wechsler, page 84.

hypocrites (v.4) = those whose ways and motives are hidden

Verse 7 teaches that a major component of praise to God is telling others what He has done.

thanksgiving (v.7) — The goal of his lifelong endeavor to walk in integrity and truth is not to promote his own merit or worth, but to express his thanksgiving for what God has done — i.e., His wonders of deliverance both personally for David and for His people throughout history (in connection with which the same phraseology is employed in Psalm 9:1). — Wechsler, page 84.

redeem (v.11) — Rather than succumbing to despair, David appeals to God’s mercy (v.11: “redeem me” — implying forgiveness — i.e., not requiting the full penalty that his sins do merit; see Ezra 9:13) and grace (“be gracious to me” — i.e., continuing to grant him the help that he does not merit) as that which will enable him to continue his endeavor to walk in integrity. — Wechsler, page 84.

even (v.12) — level, straight, righteous

congregations (v.12) — the faithful in contrast with “assembly of evildoers” (v.5).

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