Lord, keep me on level ground.
Read PSALM 26
1 Vindicate me, Lord,
for I have led a blameless life;
I have trusted in the Lord
and have not faltered.
2 Test me, Lord, and try me,
examine my heart and my mind;
3 for I have always been mindful of your unfailing love
and have lived in reliance on your faithfulness.
4 I do not sit with the deceitful,
nor do I associate with hypocrites.
5 I abhor the assembly of evildoers
and refuse to sit with the wicked.
6 I wash my hands in innocence,
and go about your altar, Lord,
7 proclaiming aloud your praise
and telling of all your wonderful deeds.
8 Lord, I love the house where you live,
the place where your glory dwells.
9 Do not take away my soul along with sinners,
my life with those who are bloodthirsty,
10 in whose hands are wicked schemes,
whose right hands are full of bribes.
11 I lead a blameless life;
deliver me and be merciful to me.
12 My feet stand on level ground;
in the great congregation I will praise the Lord.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“How good is the God we adore! / Our faithful, unchangeable friend: / his love is as great as his pow’r / and knows neither measure nor end” (Joseph Hart, 1712–1768).
Troubled times? Every day the media tell us of violence, evil, hypocrisy, danger and disregard of God’s ways. This is the world of the psalmist David, too. However, in spite of David’s difficult circumstances, his faith does not falter (1). As we join with him in worship, let’s reground our own foothold in God’s faithfulness (3).
Blameless (1)? This assertion may seem surprising in light of other accounts in Scripture about David’s sin. Why is he so confident? The psalm gives some clues. In the invitation to examine his heart and mind, David asks God to look deep into his life (2). The words “mind” and “mindful of” suggest a deliberate directing of his whole life towards God (3). Moreover, his trust isn’t in himself but in God’s faithfulness to him. He depends not on his own abilities, but on God’s unfailing love (3). David has chosen to trust in the Lord—it is God’s vindication which allows him to be “blameless” as he stands in God’s presence (1). Remember, God has chosen him to be king because he can see David’s heart, and he likes what he sees.
What about the other people in this psalm—the evil-doers who don’t care about God (4,5)? David’s desire is to steer clear of influences which would dishonor God. His words reflect an intentional withdrawal from those things which would distract him from focusing on God (8). He remembers the Lord and his “wonderful deeds” (7) and joins fellow worshipers in praising him (12). Amidst the chaos harming our world, our trust in God places us on level ground.
Lord God, purify my heart and hold me steady in Christ. Enable me to worship You today with heart, mind and strength.
Lord, I delight in worshipping You amidst the congregation of believers because You are worthy.
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