Spirit of God, by Your direction the Scriptures came into being. Interpret for me the meaning of what I read.
Read Psalm 26:1-12
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight” (Prov. 3:5,6). That’s not always easy to do!
The indignant tone of this psalm suggests that the psalmist has been accused of committing some offense of which he is innocent before God. Who exactly is confronting him isn’t clear, but we know that David lived through any number of difficult circumstances. From the effects of Saul’s jealousy not long after David’s anointing as the second king of Israel, right through to the end of his reign and the troubles he had with his son Absalom, David had to contend with the type of people described here. He is adamant that he’s never courted the company of such people; he vigorously defends the way he lives and the reality of his faith, using the ritual of hand-washing and a declaration of security in God to support himself. He also invites God to examine his thoughts and feelings, and prays to be saved from the situation he’s in.
Turning to God in the face of antagonism or opposition is exactly the right thing to do. When we experience criticism, or untrue things are said about us, or facts are manipulated against us, there’s a great temptation to defend ourselves, to justify ourselves to everyone, to refute the accusations, to expose the lies of those who slander us.
This wasn’t the psalmist’s way. He turned to God for vindication; he wanted God to bring about his redemption. Jumping up and down with self-righteous indignation in defense of our reputation (even when we’re in the right) doesn’t honor God, and our behavior should place God’s honor higher than our own.
Is it easier said than done? Yes. Is it difficult to live with adverse public opinion? Yes. Can and must we trust in the Lord? Always.
Pray that Jesus will take the highest honor in any situation where you or other Christians come into conflict with secular or other authority.
Father, my default setting is retaliation and justification when I’m challenged. Fill me with trust that You’ll take care of me.
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