David’s statement in verse 1 of Psalm 26 is somewhat surprising. Many of David’s psalms describe the inner turmoil that he faced in his life – turmoil that all people can relate to. As with all people, David had his faults and made many mistakes. Some of those mistakes were very severe. Yet, in verse one David wrote, “Vindicate me, O Lord, for I have led a blameless life; I have trusted in the Lord without wavering.” In light of his writings and life, how could David write that his life was blameless?
From the context of the psalm, David had probably been accused of committing some wrong or sin. In this case, David was innocent and his innocence was so apparent that he considered himself blameless. In view of the false charge, David could say with confidence, “I have led a blameless life”.
All of us today say similar things, if we have been accused of wrong-doing of which we are Innocent. Often, our statement is, “I haven’t done anything wrong!”, or, “I’m completely innocent!” Obviously, these kinds of statements, in a general sense, are not entirely true; but for a specific situation, they are acceptable. Looking at the psalm from this standpoint, David’s words become clearer.
From countless references in the Old and New Testament scriptures, it is clear that God had special affection for David. The destruction of Judah and Israel was delayed for many years because of David. Why God’s affection? Why did not God hold Saul, Solomon, or some of the other kings in equal esteem? On several occasions, David did things that displeased God (including murdering Uriah!); yet there was a difference. The secret can be found in verse 8, “I love the house where YOU live, O Lord, the place where your glory dwells.” David possessed a deep, personal, unwavering love for God. God was his whole life.
Like us all, David often failed to master the sinful demands of his fleshly nature, but his love never changed. After much preparation, and one false start, the Ark of the Covenant finally entered the city of Jerusalem. A great procession accompanied the Ark. The scriptures state that “David, wearing a linen ephod, danced before the Lord with all his might.”
For many, that would have hardy been the proper conduct for a king! Yet, that act was an indication of the personal love and commitment that David had for his Lord. The psalms that David wrote are actually love letters. David placed his life in the hands of God, and he poured out his needs, hurts, and love to the only being that could help him – the living GOD!
The application today is obvious. The first great commandment is still that we shall love the Lord our God with all of our heart, our soul, and our mind. John wrote in his first letter, “God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him….There is no fear in love”. David knew and applied that kind of love for God in his life. He did that without the benefit of the New Testament scriptures, and the beautiful message of the Gospel. With what we have today, how much more should our love for our Lord shine forth?
Verse 12 contains an interesting statement, “My foot stands on a level place; in the congregations I shall bless the LORD.” A strong, personal faith in God allows a person to be “centered”, stable, and calm in the face of adversity. A newscast shows a town destroyed by a tornado. Yet, often people will say, “We’re alive and through the Lord, we will build again.” A man was interviewed that had been in a terrible accident at work. He lost his leg and most of one arm. Yet, he saw himself as being blessed, because he was still with his family, and he had overcome his injuries to work again.
How do people do that? Why don’t they give into despair and/or bitterness? The Lord is their anchor, their fortress, their refuge. They KNOW that this is not all there is to life. They are stable, sure, centered!