TUESDAY, JULY 3
SCRIPTURE: Psalm 26
Sometimes when we slow down and read the Psalms we are struck with the incredible honesty with which men like David wrote. In fact, there are times in the Psalms that we almost flinch because we read things we weren’t expecting or we encounter thoughts that somehow we didn’t think it was OK to think.
But all of that is part of the rawness and reality of the Psalms. And that is part of the reason we are so often drawn to these passages of Scripture. As we drill into this particular Psalm, we will find David making at least three requests.
The first request is that God would vindicate him. The people that were slandering David are described in verses 4-5 and 9-10. They were deceitful, hypocritical, evildoers, and wicked people. They were sinners, bloodthirsty, schemers who would bribe others to get their way.
In verses 4-5, David obviously knew about these men but he didn’t associate with them. There is a great lesson here. We need to know about people who are around us. And we need to be brave enough to share the Gospel with them all. But we have to be careful about associating too closely with them. That doesn’t mean we are better than they are. It does mean that the more we hang out with people who live in opposition to God’s Word, the greater the tendency that we will adopt their ways.
In verse 9, David gives us one reason he didn’t want to become like them. That reason is he didn’t want his soul swept away with theirs. In other words, he knew that at some point judgment would come upon all those who live in opposition to God’s Word and he didn’t want to be a part of that.
So, in verse 1, he lived in integrity. Integrity here refers to a completeness or wholeness. It refers to your actions matching your words. In other words, you aren’t saying one thing and doing another. You are living the way you are talking. Because of that integrity, David was able to ask God to vindicate him.
The second request in verse 2 is for God to examine him. Although David was living a life of integrity, he obviously knew there was always room for improvement. He knew there was always the possibility of stuff lingering in him or growing in him that shouldn’t be there. As a result, he asked God to prove or test him. This word refers to exposing precious metals like silver or gold to intense heat to burn off the dross and other impurities. He wanted God to work on his attitudes (Heart) and his professions (Mind).
The third request in verse 11 is for God to redeem him. David knew that he was ultimately incapable of dealing with and dismissing the things in him that shouldn’t be there. Try as he might to be better, he could not be perfect. Perfection was the work of the Lord. So, he asked God to buy or purchase him, to make him His own. That was David’s only hope. It is our only hope. In fact, it was only through the redemption of God that David could find level or solid ground upon which to stand.
Vindicate me. Examine me. Redeem me. Those are three pretty good requests that we would all do well to make today.