7/31 – Your Steadfast Love (Psalm 26)
Introduction — Here David cries out to the Lord, asking the Lord to search him thoroughly. David trusts in the Lord without wavering. He sets the faithful love of the Lord straight in front of him. While David’s gaze is squarely on the Lord, he is not unaware of troubles around him. Still, David’s primary passion is for the Lord. David loves the place where the Lord’s glory dwells. And since David does not want to dwell with evil men, he urges the Lord to protect him. He pleads with the Lord to redeem him, showing grace to Him. With his whole heart, David promises to bless the Lord, to speak well of Him, to praise Him. Through steady faith in the Lord, David keeps the steadfast love of the Lord before his eyes. How about us? Do we keep the Lord’s steadfast love right before us? Do we fix our gaze on Him? Do we think about His love often? Do we place our abiding trust in the Lord? Do we cry out to the Lord? Do we invite the Lord to search us thoroughly? Do we thoroughly delight in Him? Do we give thanks to the Lord? Do we declare His wonders? Do we hang out in sketchy places or sacred places? Do we seek the Lord’s pardon? Do we seek His grace? Do we bless the Lord before a host of people? Do we boast in Him? Do we walk in His love? Do we see His steadfast love?
To see the Lord’s steadfast love is to behold a mercy and grace that rescues and restores broken people. By His faithful love, the Lord makes us right. By His faithful love, the Lord makes us pure. By His faithful love, the Lord gives us hope. By His faithful love, the Lord makes us new. That’s something to shout. That’s something to sing. That’s something to live for.
We walk in the purity of His steadfast love. (1-3)
1 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.
Comments: Here David declares his innocence before God. In a courtroom-type-encounter, David states his case. He walks before the Lord with integrity. He trusts in the Lord without wavering. David urges the Lord to examine, try, and test his heart and mind. The word try gives the idea of testing through hardship. The words examine and test picture metals purified and fashioned through blazing heat. David seems to welcome the Lord’s intense gaze. Why? David gazes at the Lord’s faithful love, and he walks in the Lord’s truth. Questions: Do you set the Lord’s faithful love before your eyes? Do you look to Him? Do you welcome the Lord’s intense search of your heart? Do you walk in the purity of His faithful love? Do you trust in the Lord? Do you waver back and forth? Illustration: I will walk within my house in the integrity of my heart. I will set no worthless thing before my eyes. ~ Psalm 101:2-3 Application: Ask the Lord to search you through and through. Set your eyes on His love. See His mercy and grace. Trust Him fully. Seek to walk in His truth. Seek to walk with integrity. Walk in the purity of His faithful love.
We walk as the proof of His steadfast love. (4-7)
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, that I may proclaim with the voice of thanksgiving and declare all Your wonders.
Comments: Here David affirms the proof of his walk. First, David does not find his identity in wicked people. He will not sit with deceitful men (Psalm 1:1), nor will he hang out with hypocrites. Second, David finds his identity in the Lord. David wants to be near the Lord (go about your altar). He wants to voice his thanks to the Lord. And he wants to tell the wonders of the Lord. Indeed, David does not seem to mind telling about the Lord’s faithful love and that he loves the Lord. David is living proof of the Lord’s love. Questions: How about you? Are you living proof of the Lord’s faithful love? Do you walk in His faithful love? Do you show that you love Him by living for Him? Illustration: Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children; and walk in love, just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God as a fragrant aroma. ~ Ephesians 5:1-2 Application: Ask the Lord to help you show His love. Earnestly desire to be near the Lord. Give thanks to the Lord. Declare all His wonders. Be the evidence of His love. Walk as the proof of His faithful love.
We walk for the praise of His steadfast love. (8-12)
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.
Comments: Here David reaffirms his desire to walk with integrity before the Lord. First, he restates his desire to be near the Lord. Second, he asks the Lord to keep him away from wicked people. Next, he asks to Lord to redeem him and to be gracious to him. David concludes this psalm by telling how he will bless the Lord among those who love the Lord. David’s walk is sure and steady. He’s on solid ground. He’s walking away from evil and he’s walking toward the Lord with a song in his heart. David walks in praise of the Lord’s faithful love. Questions: How about you? Do you love to be near the Lord? Do you long to see His glory? Do you turn away from evil? Do you turn to the Lord? Do you ask Him to be gracious to you? Do you trust that He can rescue you? Do you stand on shaky ground or solid ground? Where is your hope? Where is your heart? Illustration: In love He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. ~ Ephesians 1:4-6 Application: Seek to grow closer to the Lord. Seek the heart of the Lord. Seek to know the Lord. Cry out to Him. Ask Him to save you, to redeem you. Ask Him to be gracious to you. Seek the level, solid ground at the foot of the cross. Praise the Lord for who He is and what He does. Walk to the praise of His faithful love.
Word Study for Psalm 26
1 vindicate (sapat—judge; decide; administer justice; govern; settle; defend a cause; litigate)
1 integrity (tom—blamelessness; innocence; purity; perfection; wholeness; completeness)
1 trusted (batah—to trust; to be confident; to confide in; to set one’s hope and confidence; rely on)
1 wavering (maad—to stagger; to waver; to totter; wobble; shake; slide)
2 examine (bahan—to test metals by melting; test; put to the test; search; assay; probe)
2 test (sarap—to smelt; to refine; remove impurities; fashion)
3 lovingkindness (hesed—loyalty; faithful love; loyal, covenant love; kindness; goodness; glory)
3 before (neged—what is conspicuous; in front; straight ahead; in the presence of)
4 pretenders (alam—secret; hide; conceal; ignore; shut off; withdraw; cover up)
6 wash (rahas—bathe; remove dirt and impurities; be cleansed; rinse; wash off, away)
6 go about (sabab—go around; encircle; surround; to turn oneself)
7 wonders (pala—be wonderful; marvelous; astound; surpassing; to be too difficult; extraordinary; wonderful)
8 glory (kabod—heaviness; burden; riches; reputation; honor; weight; renown; wealth; manifestation of power)
11 redeem (padah—ransom; buy; rescue; cause the freedom or release; liberate; deliver; to let go)
11 be gracious (hanan—have mercy; take pity; be kind; show compassion; be generous; show favor)
12 bless (barak—to praise; to kneel; to bless another; speak well of; praise; extol; thank)
Application for Psalm 26
Let’s walk with integrity.
Let’s trust in the Lord without wavering.
Let’s ask the Lord to search us and purify us.
Let’s keep the Lord’s steadfast love ever before us.
Let’s not hang out with evil people.
Let’s give thanks to the Lord for His mighty miracles.
Let’s declare all His wonders.
Let’s bless the Lord with all our hearts.
Gospel Connections for Psalm 26
Jesus makes us right. Jesus makes us new. Jesus makes us pure. By His death and resurrection, Jesus vindicates sinners who turn from evil and trust Him fully. Jesus kept the Father’s love ever before His eyes. Jesus walked in truth. Jesus is the truth. Jesus, though He befriended sinners, did not endorse their sinful ways. Jesus called sinners to walk in the truth. He called them to follow Him. Jesus became flesh and dwelt among us. His glory is full of grace and truth. Jesus redeems sinners. Jesus rescues sinners. Jesus is gracious to sinners. He welcomes those who trust Him. And those whom Jesus rescues now stand in awe of Him. They thank Him. They declare His wonders. By their love for Him and for each other, their lives showcase His faithful love. They walk in His faithful love.
Thoughts and Quotes for Psalm 26
The company we keep says volumes about our heart. ~ James Johnston
It’s foolish to walk away from perfect love, but that’s what we do when we spurn God. ~ Doug Vaughan
The gospel destroys pride, because it tells us we are so lost that Jesus had to die for us. And it also destroys fearfulness, because it tells us that nothing we can do will exhaust his love for us. ~ Timothy Keller
Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching. ~ C.S. Lewis
Integrity [is] the choice between what’s convenient and what’s right. ~ Tony Dungy, Uncommon
When loving God becomes obligation, one of the many things we have to do, we end up focusing even more on ourselves. ~ Francis Chan
We have largely lost sight of the holiness and purity of God today. This is one reason why we tolerate sin so easily. ~ Billy Graham