What does Psalm 26:2 mean?
ESV: Prove me, O LORD, and try me; test my heart and my mind.
NIV: Test me, LORD, and try me, examine my heart and my mind;
NASB: Examine me, Lord, and put me to the test; Refine my mind and my heart.
CSB: Test me, Lord, and try me; examine my heart and mind.
NLT: Put me on trial, Lord, and cross-examine me. Test my motives and my heart.
KJV: Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; try my reins and my heart.
NKJV: Examine me, O Lord, and prove me; Try my mind and my heart.
Verse Commentary:
David invites the Lord to test his inner being: his heart and his mind. He has claimed to be a man of integrity and faith (Psalm 26:1), now he asks the Lord to search him and see that his claim is substantiated.

In 1 Kings 9:4–5, when speaking to Solomon, the Lord affirmed David's integrity. He said: "And as for you [Solomon], if you will walk before me, as David your father walked, with integrity of heart and uprightness, doing according to all that I have commanded you, and keeping my statutes and my rules, then I will establish your royal throne over Israel forever."

It is good to invite the Lord to examine the heart and mind. Doing so preserves the believer's integrity. Psalm 139:23 records David's prayer: "Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts!"
Verse Context:
Psalm 26:1–3 begins with David asking the Lord to vindicate him. His enemies were bringing false charges against him, but he had led an honest life. His enemies could not point legitimately to one wrong thing he had done. David claims that he had always trusted in the Lord. He invites the Lord to test him. He would find that David's focus is on the Lord's steadfast love and faithfulness.
Chapter Summary:
Some of David's psalms connect directly to events recorded in Scripture. Psalm 26, however, does not seem to match any biblical events in David's life. This might have been David's response to a specific challenge, or a general plea for God to preserve him from deceptive attacks. In this psalm, David reaffirms his lifestyle of godliness and integrity. He is confident that he will not be judged with the wicked; the psalm offers evidence that he honors the Lord.
Chapter Context:
This Davidic psalm affirms David's integrity and his deliberate separation from evildoers. It also reveals his love for the tabernacle on Mount Zion. In several ways Psalms 26 resembles Psalm 25, though this song does not include a request for forgiveness (Psalm 25:18). David declares his sincere pursuit of the Lord, including attention to genuine worship. He does not participate with evildoers—likely meaningfalse worship —and he recognizes that the Lord will sweep away the souls of sinners.
Book Summary:
The book of Psalms is composed of individual songs, hymns, or poems, each of which is a ''Psalm'' in and of itself. These works contain a wide variety of themes. Some Psalms focus on praising and worshipping God. Others cry out in anguish over the pain of life. Still other Psalms look forward to the coming of the Messiah. While some Psalms are related, each has its own historical and biblical context.
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