350 – Psalm 26 – The Bridge

Unless I miscounted, David uses God’s proper name YHWH six times in the twelve verses of Psalm twenty-six. He knows God personally, prays to him often, and shares those prayers with the people of his earthly domain in the form of songs.

In this powerful little prayer put to music and forever recorded in YHWH’s Holy word David asks Him for seven very specific things.

  1. Vindicate me (vs. 1)
  2. Examine me (vs. 2)
  3. Prove me (vs. 2)
  4. Try my mind and heart (vs. 2)
  5. Do not gather my soul with sinners (vs. 9)
  6. Redeem me (vs. 11)
  7. Be merciful to me (vs. 11)

Psalm 26:1 (NKJV)

           1       Vindicate me, O [YHWH],

    For I have walked in my integrity.

    I have also trusted in the [YHWH];

    I shall not slip.

           2       Examine me, O [YHWH], and prove me;

    Try my mind and my heart.

 

In asking YHWH to vindicate him he is saying, “Judge me and proclaim me innocent. Execute judgment on my behalf”. Could you and I stand in YHWH’s presence and like David in confidence ask Him to examine us and try our minds and hearts? What would YHWH find? Would it lead to our vindication or our condemnation? 

Maybe by asking how David was able to walk in the integrity of his heart we can learn to do the same. Right away in verse one we learn David’s method of walking in integrity. Foundationally, David “trusted in YHWH”.  If you and I trust in ourselves we are certainly doomed to failure! Do we want to protect our feet from slipping as David did? Then trust in YHWH.

Verse 2 seems so invasive to me. David is saying, “really get in there God. Get into my mind and my heart, examine me thoroughly, and prove me”. It’s one thing to realize you can’t hide anything you think, do, or say from YHWH, but it’s another thing to petition YHWH to actively lay your life bare in order to vindicate you.

Psalms 26:3 (NKJV)

           3       For Your lovingkindness is before my eyes,

    And I have walked in Your truth.

 

David trusted YHWH because he walked with YHWH. He knew YHWH’s lovingkindness first hand because he practiced walking in His truth. You cannot walk in YHWH’s truth if you are not in YHWH’s word. David was in YHWH’s word.

Verse four tells us that David was careful about the company he kept. Why? How can you walk in fellowship with YHWH while walking in fellowship with those who hate him? This Psalm demonstrates the depth of commitment David made to YHWH. David wasn’t sinless, but he had learned to hang out at the altar of YHWH (vs. 6). Why did he hang out at the altar of YHWH? I’m sure David’s sins kept him coming back to the altar, but the reason he hung out there is clearly stated in verses six and seven.

 

Psalm 26:6-7 (NKJV)

           6       I will wash my hands in innocence;

    So I will go about Your altar, O [YHWH],

           7       That I may proclaim with the voice of thanksgiving,

    And tell of all Your wondrous works.

 

There is so much truth packed into the twelve verses of this little Psalm. It demonstrates clearly the goodness of YHWH and how to walk in constant fellowship with Him. I hope you’ll spend some time reading and re-reading it. 

I am reminded that Psalm 26 is about fellowship with YHWH and would not be possible without the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross. Had he not bridged the gap between a Holy God and wicked mankind by being the sacrifice for our sin we would be forever separated from Him.

YHWH truly is worthy of all our Praise, Worship, and Adoration.


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