Psalm 26 — Examined with God’s Word — Reading the Psalms

A Psalm of David

1 Judge me, O LORD, for I have walked in mine integrity:
I have trusted also in the LORD without wavering.
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 hate 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 make the voice of thanksgiving to be heard,
And tell of all thy wondrous works.
8 LORD, I love the habitation of thy house,
And the place where thy glory dwelleth.
9 Gather not my soul with sinners,
Nor my life with men of blood:
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.

What an encouraging psalm of promise and commitment. Some may read and way, “What vanity! See his pride in his own words?” What I see is a man committed to God’s word, who trusts in God’s instructions without wavering or fear. In this trust he feels ready to be seen and examined by God. After all, hasn’t he studied the words of the judge?

The heart devoted to God welcomes God’s examinations. There is no other way by which the heart may grow and improve. James relates that it is by looking into the law of liberty that we learn how to live and act. “Hearers only” are those who hear the law without reflection. James urges us to hear the word and reflect – or examine our own reflection in a mirror – as we consider the word. David, the author of this psalm, has clearly considered the commandments of God.

God’s examination of David, then, will only bring about greater refining and improvement. The light of the law illuminates all the good, yes; but David seems to want his evil illuminated so that his evil may be eliminated. Wicked deeds and wicked people need to be removed from our lives, just as David removed them from his. Thus he was able to walk in assurance and peace in God.

This assurance and peace leads to praise and celebration in God. It leads to sharing his words and works with others. It leads to greater blessings and joy. Praise God for his good word.

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