Psalm 26: It's about Integrity
Psalm 26 (NKJV): A Prayer for Divine Scrutiny and Redemption (A Psalm of David):
Vindicate me, O Lord, For I have walked in my integrity. I have also trusted in the Lord; I shall not slip. Examine me, O Lord, and prove me; try my mind and my heart. For Your loving-kindness is before my eyes, and I have walked in Your truth. I have not sat with idolatrous mortals, Nor will I go in with hypocrites. I have hated the assembly of evildoers, and will not sit with the wicked. I will wash my hands in innocence; So I will go about Your altar, O Lord, that I may proclaim with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all Your wondrous works. Lord, I have loved the habitation of Your house, and the place where Your glory dwells. Do not gather my soul with sinners, nor my life with bloodthirsty men, in whose hands is a sinister scheme, and whose right hand is full of bribes. But as for me, I will walk in my integrity; redeem me and be merciful to me. My foot stands in an even place; In the congregations I will bless the Lord.
Let's break it down:
1. The daily prayer to God — In verses 2-3 , David ask the Lord to examine his heart. He ask the Lord to search Him, examine him and prove him. He is on the search for God's heart and character -- he is asking God to reveal to him the things within his heart that are not of God. He wants to pass God's heart test.
Verses 2 - 3 (NLT): "Put me on trial, Lord, and cross-examine me. Test my motives and my heart. 3 For I am always aware of your unfailing love, and I have lived according to your truth."
2. I need to be set apart from the things of the world — In verse 4-6, highlights repentance and how he has turned away from evil-doings. I should walk in His truth. I should hate and not associate myself with evil things or people who do evil. I am set apart. I should remove all idols before God and set an altar towards Him in all His glory.
Verses 4 - 6 (NLT): "I do not spend time with liars or go along with hypocrites. 5 I hate the gatherings of those who do evil, and I refuse to join in with the wicked. 6 I wash my hands to declare my innocence. I come to your altar, O Lord,"
3. A heart of worship — In verses 7-8, speaks to me. I love the sanctuary of the Lord. I love His presence and should always seek to dwell in it. I should always be at His altar with praise and thanksgiving. I should always praise the Lord, in every season and every moment. I should have a heart of worship.
Verses 7 - 8 (NLT): "singing a song of thanksgiving and telling of all your wonders. 8 I love your sanctuary, Lord, the place where your glorious presence dwells."
4. My integrity — Verses 11-12 highlights where I stand, what is true integrity? My integrity is in the Lord and depends on the Lord. I walk with integrity because I serve the Lord. I stand on solid ground because of the Lord. Without God, I fall and stumble. Without God, my life would be uneven. Without God's mercy and grace -- I would be nothing. The Lord redeems me.
Verses 11 - 12 (NLT): "But I am not like that; I live with integrity. So redeem me and show me mercy. 12 Now I stand on solid ground, and I will publicly praise the Lord."
So, what is biblical integrity?
It is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice: (Proverbs 21: 3 "The Lord is more pleased when we do what is right and just than when we offer him sacrifices.")
It silences your critics: (1 Peter 2: 15 "It is God’s will that your honorable lives should silence those ignorant people who make foolish accusations against you.")
It gives a clear conscience: (Hebrews 13:18 " Pray for us, for our conscience is clear and we want to live honorably in everything we do.")
It refuses to serve idols: (Psalm 24: 3-5 " Who may climb the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? 4 Only those whose hands and hearts are pure, who do not worship idols and never tell lies. 5 They will receive the Lord’s blessing and have a right relationship with God their savior.")
It is a guide for your heart: (Proverbs 11:3 "Honesty guides good people; dishonesty destroys treacherous people.) Integrity provides a change of mindset towards Christ and His statues. We must be set apart, walk in biblical integrity and righteousness. We must set aside the standards, idols and things of this world.
Ask The Father to cross-examine your heart — daily.