A Psalm of David
26:1 Vindicate me [suggests David had been falsely accused of some wrong; this is not a plea for forgiveness but a demand for exoneration or a declaration of innocence], Lord [David took his complaint to the highest court; unlike an earthly judge, God is acquainted with all of the facts of the case], for I have walked [in principle and practice] in my integrity [this is neither a boast nor a claim to moral perfection but rather a statement that David sought to walk in a manner pleasing to God, in wholeness, and without duplicity; David expands on this in verses 3-8],
And I have trusted [in the past; David also committed to trusting God in the present and future] in the Lord [David attached his trust to the Lord] without wavering [this is not a boast but rather a description of the kind of trust David had in God].
26:2 Examine me [cf. Ps. 139:23-24; David wanted for God to thoroughly examine him], Lord, and put me to the test [David welcomed God’s scrutiny];
Refine [cf. Prov. 17:3; as precious metals are refined with fire] my mind [the thoughts that govern and influence our actions] and my heart [the passions we pursue].
David’s Protestations of Innocence
26:3 For Your goodness [David acknowledged the faithfulness of God even in his distress] is before my eyes [God’s goodness was the object of David’s meditation],
And I have walked […and will continue to walk; this was David’s habit] in Your truth.
26:4 I do not [David voluntarily separated himself from those who would do damage to his intimacy with God] sit with deceitful people [cf. Ps. 1:1],
Nor will I go with pretenders [hypocrites; those who hide their real motives from others].
26:5 I hate [this is an expression of choice; David hated the character and practice of the wicked] the assembly of evildoers [because they posed a spiritual threat to David; cf. 1 Cor. 15:33; the assembly of the wicked stands in contrast to the congregation of the Lord on verse 12],
And I will not sit with the wicked [those who are distanced from and out of touch with God].
26:6 I will wash my hands [washed hands are a symbol of a sinless life or an expression of purity of heart; cf. Ps. 24:4] in innocence,
And I will go around Your altar [David loved being in the house of the Lord], Lord,
26:7 That I may proclaim with the voice of thanksgiving [the wonders of God were the substance of David’s thanksgiving]
And declare all Your wonders [David loved telling others about the goodness and greatness of God].
26:8 Lord, I love [this is an expression of choice and an indication of where David’s heart was] the dwelling of Your house,
And the place where Your glory remains [dwells; cf. Ex. 40:34ff].
David’s Petition for Redemption
26:9 Do not take my soul [the godly are concerned about the state their soul whereas the ungodly are more concerned about the security of their early possessions] away [or sweep away and something to be discarded; this was a prayer for God’s favor] along with sinners,
Nor my life with men of bloodshed [murderers],
26:10 In whose hands is a wicked scheme [cf. Prov. 6:16-19],
And whose right hand is full of bribes [God hates injustice].
26:11 But as for me [in contrast to the wicked], I will walk [an expression of loyalty] in my integrity [wholeness];
Redeem me [a recognition that only God could do this], and be gracious to me.
26:12 My foot stands on level ground [David was confident that God would not allow his feet to stumble];
In the congregations I will bless the Lord [we should give thanks for what God has done to redeem us and in response to His kindness].