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Psalm chapter 26

What does Psalm chapter 26 mean?

This psalm is not easily connected to any events recorded in the Bible. Whatever situation David was facing here, the details are not part of Scripture. Apparently, David felt he was under ruthless attack from enemies. These assaults seem to have included malicious rumors. In response, David appeals to the Lord for vindication. He reasons that God will justify him because he has led a life of integrity and has consistently trusted God. It is this sincerity which makes David confident in his relationship to the Lord (Psalm 26:1–3).

As proof of his integrity, David lists the ways in which he pursues righteousness. In this context, that includes refusing to associate closely with evil people. Balancing a need for holiness (1 Corinthians 5:9–11; 1 Peter 1:14–15) with a call to reach the lost (Matthew 5:16) can be difficult. Yet that discernment is important. David insists he does not "sit," or fellowship, with those known to be dishonest. Neither does he keep company with hypocrites. He avoids being in the same place as groups of evildoers. He stays clear of sin and gives thanks in the tabernacle. Because he deeply loves God and His truth, David publicly proclaims all the Lord's wondrous deeds. He loves the tabernacle, the place where the Lord reveals His glory (Psalm 26:4–8).

As someone who stays away from evil, and evil people, David confidently asks God not to be "swept away" by judgment against sinners. This echoes a theme of the Bible, which is that sin can bring earthly consequences—and those close to evil people risk being caught in those results (Proverbs 13:20). David knows hypocritical sinners accept bribes and commit depraved acts. As for himself, he seeks to live an honest life. He asks the Lord to deliver him and be gracious to him. David affirms that he will not be shaken from his faith and will praise the Lord when God's people assemble (Psalm 26:9–12).
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