Imagine you were charged or criticized for something you did not do.
We are seldom fully innocent. But it does happen that, in spite of our best efforts and apparent innocence, we can be a target for blame. We live in a world hostile to the gospel. Satan is not neutral about our bad news turned into God’s good news: we were separated from God because of our personal sin, Jesus Christ took our price for the judgment of our sin on the cross, and, He powerfully proved His forgiveness, love, and guarantee of everlasting, resurrection life for those who respond in self-abandonment and trust in Christ alone (John 3:1-21; 1 Corinthians 15:3-8; Ephesians 2:8-9).
Waiting for Christ’s return, false accusations and misunderstandings do come our way. Can you think of a situation that hurt or even changed the course of your life? Then, David is our friend. Won’t you read Psalm 26 right now? “Vindicate me, O LORD, for I have walked in my integrity, and I have trusted in the LORD without wavering” (v. 1). David is not claiming perfection. Here he acknowledges His heart and pursuit with the help of God. Here God gives us a prayer and testimony and help. How?
David sticks to God’s plan for integrity. Some translate “integrity” with “blameless.” Here we see he, generally, he followed what the New Testament portrays: a transformed walk in holiness toward ever-increasing Christlikeness. How can we do this? David offers his testimony to what he calls, “level ground.” Faith—trust—“in the LORD”—is foundational. And there is more.
David keeps God’s steadfast love clearly in focus—“before my eyes” (v. 3). How rich and encouraging and motivating is this expression of God’s persistent, defining, controlling love, grace, mercy, compassion, and faithfulness. It’s the way He wants to be remembered (Exodus 34:5-7).
Then, a supporting cast helps keep integrity center stage in Psalm 26. David makes a big deal out of his connection to the people of God and gathered worship. In the words of a paraphrase, he says, “I…join hands with the others in the great circle…singing God-songs at the top of my lungs, telling God-stories. God I love living with you; your house glows with your glory” (vss. 6-8). How are you enhancing your church’s life?
David closes with a commitment to the hardest thing, to continue, and to the blessed way, dependence on God alone. “But as for me, I shall walk in my integrity; redeem me, and be gracious to me. My foot stands on a level ground; in the great assembly I will bless the LORD” (v. 12).
Follower of Christ, in Him we have been declared in right standing before God because of Christ’s blood shed for us in our place (Romans 5:9). The ultimate vindication we need before God has been given.
Therefore—“But as for me”—let us, too, walk in integrity—on level ground—before God and the world.