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Psalm 26: Are You Standing on Level Ground?

Psalms 25 and 26 share verbal links. The psalmist trusts in the Lord (25:2; 26:1) and prays for redemption (25:22; 26:11) and mercy (25:16; 26:11). We are not sure what prompted David to write this psalm, but it is obvious that David has been falsely accused and he is attempting to be vindicated.  David wisely carried the accusations to God and sought His help. David begins and ends this psalm with his integrity. He claims “integrity” in verse 1 and commits himself to “integrity” in verse 11.

There are several writers who believe this psalm is a prophecy about Christ and the false charges brought against Him during His life, trials, and crucifixion. It is argued that only Christ could have made the claims David made in this psalm, and that He was vindicated when God raised Him from the dead (Rom. 1:4).  You should make your own decision in this regard.

The subject for this Psalm comes from verses 1 and 12. David wrote: “I have also trusted in the Lord; I shall not slip…. My foot stands in an even place {on level ground NIV}.  The three major themes of David’s prayer are:   1) David’s plea for vindication, 2) the claim that he has led an upright life, 3) and his confidence that in the end he will be found standing on level ground while the wicked will be lost.

David called on the Lord, the highest court in the universe, to vindicate him regarding the charges made against him because he trusted the Lord’s faithfulness to judge righteously. David believed he had lived in harmony with the will of God because of his trust in God.  David was not declaring to be perfect or without sin but that he was blameless in his overall walk with God and in his dealings with mankind.  David also knew that his commitment was strong and that he would continue to obey the Lord without wavering.  What a demonstration of a clear or pure conscience.  Just as we know when our relationship with another person is hurt or broken, we can know when our relationship with the Lord is strained.  We should immediately approach the Lord in prayer and confess our sins (Heb. 4:14-16; I John 3:20-22).

If there was some hidden wickedness within David’s life or heart, he wanted God to expose it and cleanse him from it because:

          I am aware of God’s love and faithfully walk in His truth (vv. 2-3);

          I live a life of separation (vv. 4-5);

          I worship in sincerity and truth (vv. 6-8).

If we desire to be pleasing to God, we need to invite Him into every aspect of our lives because we cannot hide anything from Him since He is omniscience, all-knowing.  The Lord has total knowledge of us: “O Lord, You have searched me and known me.  2 You know my sitting down and my rising up; You understand my thought afar off. 3 You comprehend my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways.  4 For there is not a word on my tongue, but behold, O Lord, You know it altogether.  5 You have hedged me behind and before and laid Your hand upon me. 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is high, I cannot attain it” (Psa. 139:1-6).

There are two views of David’s statement when he prayed, “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,” One view is that he was pointing to a future time when the Lord would separate the unrighteous from the righteous (Psa. 1:4-6; Matt. 25:31-46).  The other view is that David was speaking of physical, rather than spiritual death and that he did not want to suffer the fate they deserved and that God would deliver him from death at their hands, a punishment he did not deserve.

David prayed for God to redeem him (vv. 11-12) and was asking God to favor him over the unrighteous and gave reasons for asking for the favor:

          Because I live with integrity (v. 11).

Because I stand on solid or level ground (v. 12).

Because I will worship and praise the Lord before all (v. 12).

David was not bargaining with the Lord but was making a new commitment to serve and be faithful to God.  We live in a world in which we are tempted to compromise our integrity and fall into sin daily.  We too need to ask God to examine us and we need to example ourselves: “Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? —unless indeed you are disqualified. 6 But I trust that you will know that we are not disqualified” (2 Cor. 13:5-6).  As Christians we should pray: “Lord, help me to honestly examine myself. Thank You that as I do so, I can trust Your Spirit to show me what is displeasing to You so I may correct it.

Paul said, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service” (Ro. 12:1).  To do so Is to walk on solid or level ground.

Do your feet stand on level ground?