“Truth for Truckers” *February 26, 2014* Psalm 26 “The Haves and the Have Nots”
The Haves and the Have Not could well be the title for this Psalm which is interspersed with eight different appeals to the LORD for action. The underlying theme of the Psalm is David’s declaration of his walk or lifestyle accompanied by requests for the LORD to verify his claims.The opening demand: ‘Judge me, O LORD; for I have walked in mine integrity’ demonstrates David’s desire for God’s inspection of his walk. His positive declaration of his past lifestyle sets the stage in his own mind as he sees his conduct before the LORD.
So, the first ‘Have’ defines David’s walk as one of integrity which emphasizes his innocent, impeccable and blameless conduct before man and God. This is what David is asking the LORD to evaluate and pass judgment upon, his way of life, his conduct, his walk. In this Psalm he uses the word walk three times, twice speaking of his past walk and once he uses ‘walk’ to pledge his future conduct. However, David is quick to affirm his faith here in (v.1) ‘I have trusted also in the LORD; therefore I shall not slide.’ This faith is the foundation for his walk of integrity and also supplies him with confidence and stability of life.
In (v.2) he makes his next three appeals: ‘Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; try my reins and my heart.’ His desire for being tested and thoroughly examined within is the emphasis David is making. He wants to know his the condition of his inner man. And, he understands that the LORD will do it based upon the next verse: ‘For Thy loving-kindness is before mine eyes: and I have walked in Thy truth.’ He is relying upon the loving-kindness or faithfulness of God, and his past practice of walking in the Word.
‘Blessed are the undefiled in the way who walk in the law of the LORD’ is a statement David made in Psalm 119:1 underscoring his knowledge of the spiritual power of walking in the God’s truth. This is another way of expressing what David wrote in Psalm1:2 ‘Blessed is the man...whose delight is in the law of the LORD and in His law does he meditate day and night’ which again shows his understanding of regulating his life with the Word of God. Then, in (v.4) the only ‘Have not’ is recorded: ‘I have not sat with vain persons, neither will I go in with dissemblers.’ The first two types of Satan’s emissaries are mention here, the empty and worthless people, and those who dissemble or pretend to be something they are not, a fancy word for hypocrites!
The last two of Satan’s emissaries: ‘I have hated the congregation of evil doers; and will not sit with the wicked.’ (v.5) Those who are evil in their intent, they desire to injure, to hurt, to afflict pain upon another and then he decries those who are criminals which is the emphasis of the word ‘wicked’. These types of people, David explicitly states: I have nothing to do with them. ‘I will wash my hands in innocency: so will I compass Thine altar O LORD: That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all Thy wondrous works.’ (v.6, 7) Instead, he pledges his obedience and resulting innocence which gives him access to the presence of the LORD, in order that he might praise His LORD publicly.
His mind having been drawn to ‘Thine altar’ in (v.6) continues to focus on the place of worship: ‘LORD, I have loved the habitation of Thy house, and the place where Thine honor dwells.’ He declares his love and devotion for the Tabernacle, the place where he experiences the glory of the LORD. His next request shows his pure dependence upon the LORD for all of the events that impact his life: ‘Gather not my soul with sinners, nor my life with bloody men; In whose hands is mischief and their right hand is full of bribes.’ (v.9, 10) He knows if it were not for the grace of God, he could easily be in the same case.
‘But as for me, I will walk in mine integrity: redeem me, and be merciful unto me. My foot stands in an even place: In the congregations will I bless the LORD.’ (v.11, 12) He promises to continue his walk, then asks the LORD for His redeeming power and mercy, knowing that it is the answer to his future needs as he now stands on sure and level ground, pledging, at the last, to give blessing to His LORD!
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