Daily Devotional: Psalms 26:1-12
1 Vindicate me, O LORD, for I have led a blameless life; I have trusted in the LORD without wavering. 2 Test me, O LORD, and try me, examine my heart and my mind; 3 for your love is ever before me, and I walk continually in your truth. 4 I do not sit with deceitful men, nor do I consort with hypocrites; 5 I abhor the assembly of evildoers and refuse to sit with the wicked. 6 I wash my hands in innocence, and go about your altar, O LORD, 7 proclaiming aloud your praise and telling of all your wonderful deeds. 8 I love the house where you live, O LORD, the place where your glory dwells. 9 Do not take away my soul along with sinners, my life with bloodthirsty men, 10 in whose hands are wicked schemes, whose right hands are full of bribes. 11 But I lead a blameless life; redeem me and be merciful to me. 12 My feet stand on level ground; in the great assembly I will praise the LORD.
In this Psalms as in some others, the focus is on the Psalmist’s righteousness and his desire to be what God wants him to be. He is convinced that he is putting God first in his life and his devotion is on serving him. He finds his joy in life from the knowledge that he is not living for himself but for the Lord. He loves moral purity, honesty and integrity and he abhors that which is evil and deceitful.
He is not being self-righteous but is being honest about himself. We have all come short in our lives of living up to the glory of God, so we have all sinned. Paul said he had lived in all good conscience but he describes himself as the worst of all sinners and a wretch because he did not do what he knew he should do and he too often found himself doing things he knew he should not do. Paul was being honest about himself but by no means was he being self-righteous.
It is not only ok, but it is good for us to recognize when we are devoted to God and we love him above all else. It is right for us to admit the good in our hearts and in our lives. We should detest sin and be appalled at the wickedness in the world around us. This does not mean we think we are better than others or that we can look down on them with disdain. We are counted righteous because Jesus became sin for us and died in our place. Praise God for his love and his grace!
Lord God I know that when I do my best, I have nothing for which to boast and as compared to your absolute holiness and righteousness the best I offer is as filthy rags to you. Yet I know that when I am devoted to you and put all my trust in you that you look on me with favor. Thank you for your forgiveness in Jesus. Increase my faith and my commitment to you and your will. Help me do my best to be like Jesus but at my best, keep me from every looking down on others as though I have earned anything on my own. I will praise you O Lord. In Jesus name.