Your lovingkindness is before my eyes
Psalm 26 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
Vindicate me, O Lord, for I have walked in my integrity,
And I have trusted in the Lord without wavering.
2 Examine me, O Lord, and try me;
Test my mind and my heart.
3 For Your lovingkindness is before my eyes,
And I have walked in Your truth.
4 I do not sit with deceitful men,
Nor will I go with pretenders.
5 I hate the assembly of evildoers,
And I will not sit with the wicked.
6 I shall wash my hands in innocence,
And I will go about Your altar, O Lord,
7 That I may proclaim with the voice of thanksgiving
And declare all Your wonders.
8 O Lord, I love the habitation of Your house
And the place where Your glory dwells.
9 Do not take my soul away along with sinners,
Nor my life with men of bloodshed,
10 In whose hands is a wicked scheme,
And whose right hand is full of bribes.
11 But as for me, I shall walk in my integrity;
Redeem me, and be gracious to me.
12 My foot stands on a level place;
In the congregations I shall bless the Lord.
In reading today’s psalm, it might seem like David is justifying himself by his own actions. He says: Vindicate me, O Lord, for I have walked in my
integrity, And I have trusted in the Lord without wavering. Examine me, O Lord, and try me; Test my mind and my heart… I have walked in Your truth. I do not sit with deceitful men, Nor will I go with pretenders. I hate the assembly of evildoers, And
I will not sit with the wicked. I shall wash my hands in innocence. The psalmist though is quite aware of his sinful nature. In Psalm 51:1-13 he says: Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; According to the greatness of
Your compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity And cleanse me from my sin.
For I know my transgressions, And my sin is ever before me. Against You, You only, I have sinned And done what is evil in Your sight, So that You are justified when You speak And blameless when You judge. Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me. Behold, You desire truth in the innermost being, And in the hidden part You will make me know wisdom. Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me to hear joy and gladness, Let the bones which You have broken rejoice. Hide Your face from my sins And blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation And sustain me with a willing spirit. Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, And sinners will be converted to You. Despite all that David tried to do to be holy and righteous, he recognized that he could not live up to God’s holy standard on his own. David was a man, like all of us. He struggled with temptation and sin. In 1 Samuel 13:14, when raising David up to be king, God spoke through the prophet Samuel saying: “The LORD has sought out for Himself a man after His own heart, and the LORD has appointed him as ruler over His people." It was not David’s righteousness which God was pleased with. It was his heart. David recognized that in spite of his sin, God loved him. In today’s text he says: Your lovingkindness is before my eyes, And I have walked in Your truth… I shall wash my hands in innocence… Redeem me, and be gracious to me.
We too, need to walk in God’s truth. We need to recognize that by our very nature we were born into sin. Regardless of how hard we try, on our own we cannot measure up to God’s standard of holiness. Yet God’s compassion and His loving kindness is before us. If we, like David will have a heart after God, a heart that seeks to be redeemed and restored, if we knowing the truth of God’s love, that while we were sinners, Christ died for us, (Romans 5:8) God will indeed blot out our iniquity. In Isaiah 1:18 God says: "Come now, and let us reason together," Says the LORD, "Though your sins are as scarlet, They will be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They will be like wool.”
Human nature causes us to do one of two things. Either we deny or justify our sin, thinking we can stand on our own action, deeds and righteousness. Or, if we recognize our sin, in guilt and condemnation, we run from God. 1 John 1:8-10 says: If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us. To walk in God’s truth, we need, like the psalmist, to acknowledge our sinfulness. But we must also not allow ourselves to feel the guilt and condemnation for our sin that would cause us to run from God. Jesus says: “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10) Guilt and condemnation is not from God, it is from the devil, the thief. Jesus came to give us life. He came to redeem us from sin. Romans 8:1 says: There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. Rather than running from God in guilt and condemnation, David says: Do not cast me away from Your presence And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation And sustain me with a willing spirit. God not only does not take His Spirit from us, but He actually gives His Spirit to us. Jesus says: “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.” (John 14:16-17)
The psalmist says: …That I may proclaim with the voice of thanksgiving And declare all Your wonders… In the congregations I shall bless the Lord… Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, And sinners will be converted to You. Jesus says: “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.” (Acts 1:8) “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20) “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” (Mark 16:15)
Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ; precious Holy Spirit may I have a heart like David, a heart after Your heart. May I walk in integrity, in Your
truth. Your loving kindness and compassion. Although I have sinned, You have redeemed me. May I walk in the abundance of the life You have given me. Filled with Your Spirit may I be Your witness preaching the gospel, making disciples, that others too would
know Your love, demonstrated in the cross of Christ. Amen.