Psalm 26

Psalm 26
The Separation of the Remnant from the Ungodly
Psalm 26. This is a Psalm of David, and the subject is the moral separation of the godly remnant from the wicked around them. In Psalm 25 the prayer was for deliverance from enemies, but Psalm 26 is less a prayer and more a confession of uprightness and integrity. There is a moral order to Psalms 25 and 26. The confession of sins by the remnant proceeds pleading their integrity.
A Psalm of David.
1 Judge me, O Jehovah, for I have walked in mine integrity, and I have confided in Jehovah: I shall not slip.
2 Prove me, Jehovah, and test me; try my reins and my heart:
3 For thy loving-kindness is before mine eyes, and I have walked in thy truth.
4 I have not sat with vain persons, neither have I gone in with dissemblers;
5 I have hated the congregation of evil-doers, and I have not sat with the wicked.
6 I will wash my hands in innocency, and will encompass thine altar, O Jehovah,
7 That I may cause the voice of thanksgiving to be heard, and declare all thy marvellous works.
8 Jehovah, I have loved the habitation of thy house, and the place where thy glory dwelleth.
9 Gather not my soul with sinners, nor my life with men of blood;
10 In whose hands are evil devices, and their right hand is full of bribes.
11 But as for me, I will walk in mine integrity. Redeem me, and be gracious unto me.
12 My foot standeth in an even place; in the congregations will I bless Jehovah.
vv.1-12 The psalmist invites Jehovah to “judge”, (v.1), “prove”, and “try” (v.2) him, to see it there is any unrighteousness in him. In this, the remnant follow in the steps of the Messiah (Psa 17:3). The remnant recognize that the secret to maintaining moral uprightness is in confiding in Jehovah. In v.3 we have the positive motivation for separation; a sense of God’s grace. In vv.4-5 the remnant confess their moral separation from the wicked around them. Notice the progression from vanity to positive evil; “vain persons”, “dissemblers”, “the congregation of evil-doers”, finally “the wicked”. In v.6, the carefulness with regard to separation is now seen by the remnant as resulting in making them morally suitable to the presence of Jehovah; “I will wash my hands in innocency, and will encompass thine altar, O Jehovah”. Further, separation makes the faithful able to offer thanks to the Lord (v.7). In v.8, the remnant express their love for the habitation of God’s house, and a desire to remain there (this leads in to Psalm 27). Prophetically this places Psalm 26 in the first half of the prophetic week, as the Jews are still free at that time to worship in the temple. In vv.9-12 we have a summary of the desire of the faithful: on one hand to remain separate from “sinners” and “men of blood” (the apostate Jews), and but to be preserved from falling, so as to continue in integrity. In v.12 we find the reason the faithful can say “I shall not slip” (v.1)… it is because “My foot standeth in an even place”.
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