A Prayer for Divine Scrutiny and Redemption
A Psalm of David.
1 Vindicate me, O Lord, for I have walked in my integrity. I have also trusted in the Lord; I shall not slip.
2 Examine me, O Lord, and prove me; try my mind and my heart. 3 For Your lovingkindness is before my eyes, and I have walked in Your truth. 4 I have not sat with idolatrous mortals, nor will I go in with hypocrites. 5 I have hated the assembly of evildoers, and will not sit with the wicked. 6 I will wash my hands in innocence; so I will go about Your altar, O Lord, 7 that I may proclaim with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all Your wondrous works. 8 Lord, I have loved the habitation of Your house, and the place where Your glory dwells.
9 Do not gather my soul with sinners, nor my life with bloodthirsty men, 10. in whose hands is a sinister scheme, and whose right hand is full of bribes. 11 But as for me, I will walk in my integrity; redeem me and be merciful to me. 12 My foot stands in an even place; in the congregations I will bless the Lord.
The following commentary is from Warren W. Wiersbe’s book ‘BE Worshipful’.
Psalms 26; 27; and 28 reveal David’s love for God’s sanctuary (26:6-8; 27:4-7; 28:2), which in David’s day was the tabernacle on Mount Zion. God didn’t permit David to build the temple (2 Sam. 7), but He did give him the plans for the temple and helped him accumulate from the spoils of battle great wealth to provide material for constructing the temple (1 Chron. 22; 28—29)……In it, David makes three requests of the Lord.
1. Vindicate Me (v. 1). The enemies who were slandering David are described in verses 4-5 and 9-10. The were deceitful, hypocritical, and wicked evildoers, sinners who schemed to rob others and even accepted bribes (Amos 5:12), murdering those who stood in their way……Perhaps all of this occurred at the time when Absalom was trying to seize the throne by spreading lies about his father (See 2 Sam. 14-15). David would see these deceitful men at the tabernacle altar, bringing their offerings, and it deeply grieved him. (See 119:28, 115, 136, 150, 158)……”Vindicate” means “give me justice, defend my reputation” (See 7:8; 25:21; 41:12; 78:72), a fact that was affirmed by the Lord Himself (1 Kings 9:4-5). The people attacking him were “dissemblers” (v. 4) or “hypocrites,” play-actors who wore masks to cover up their evil character……When your character and conduct are attacked, it isn’t wrong to vindicate yourself, as Paul did (2 Cor. 10-12), or to ask the Lord to vindicate you. We aren’t just defending ourselves; we’re defending the name of the Lord whom we serve. Our vindication is “for His name’s sake” (23:3; 25:11).
2. Examine Me (vv. 2-8). As with David’s words in 18:20-24, this is not an expression of self-righteousness (see Luke 18:9-14), but rather the honest testimony of a real man of God……David’s life was motivated and controlled by God’s love and truth (faithfulness; see 6:4; 25:5-7….). The Lord was faithful to His covenant, and David was faithful to the Lord. Though David occasionally fell, as we all do, the habitual bent of his life was toward the Lord and His Word. He refused to have fellowship with the hypocrites in the congregation, the “men of vanity, nothingness” who pretended to worship the Lord and keep His covenant……While the assembly of the wicked needs our witness, it’s with the congregation of the righteous that we share our worship (35:18; 40:9-10…)……The wicked came to the sanctuary to hide their sins; they made it a “den of thieves,” the place where criminals run and hide (Matt. 21:13; Jer. 7:11). But David went to the sanctuary to worship God and bear witness to His grace and mercy……Nowhere in the law of Moses do we find instructions about processions and praise around the altar, but neither were they forbidden. David was an enthusiastic worshipper of the Lord (see 43:4; 2 Sam. 6:12-23) and enjoyed his times of worship……He glorified God at the place where God’s glory dwelled (Ex. 40:35). David is a good example for us to follow in our own worship.
3. Redeem Me (vv. 9-12). David couldn’t stop the hypocrites from joining the worshipping congregation, but he could help from becoming like them; so he asked the Lord to deliver him from that sin……The godly must constantly beware of the evil influences of the world and especially of those who profess to love God but are using “religion” as a cover-up for their sins. To remain faithful, we must also ask God to be merciful to us and help us maintain our integrity. Once we begin to waver (v. 1 NASB), it becomes easier to stumble and fall……David was standing on level ground (see 27:11; 143:10; Isa. 40:4). He would not waver.
I wish everyone a very blessed day.