In Brazil we have a saying that we put on the lips of the police, it goes like this: “You are right, but you are going to jail anyway.” Sometimes we feel like that it does not matter what we do, we are guilty anyway.
This is what we have in Psalm 26. David wrote it while in exile, as he was running away from Saul, and he knew that he was being accused of things that he did not do. The worst thing is that he could not defend himself. He did not have his day in court to explain and prove that he did not do it. The sentence was already declared and he had to run for his life.
In this psalm we learn from David a few attitudes that we should have when we find ourselves in this kind of circumstance. We are presumed guilty even when we did not do anything wrong.
The first thing is to ask God to vindicate us. This is the first thing that David said: “Vindicate me, O LORD, for I have led a blameless life; I have trusted in the LORD without wavering. Psa. 26:1.” The word “vindicate” means: “to judge, decide; lead, defend, vindicate; to execute judgment, be brought to trial; to argue a matter.” David is asking God to be his defender and act as his attorney.
The second thing that David did was to ask God to be his judge. David was not afraid to declare his innocence before the Lord. He knew that those accusations were false and he plead with God to search his life and see if he did it or not. “Test me, O LORD, and try me, examine my heart and my mind; Psa. 26:2.” He went on saying that “he does not sit with deceitful men; nor consort with hypocrites, he abhors the assembly of evildoers, and refuses to sit with the wicked.”
The third thing that David did was to not let the accusations and circumstances interfere with his relationship with God and his worship life. This is what he has to say: “I wash my hands in innocence, and go about your altar, O LORD, proclaiming aloud your praise and telling of all your wonderful deeds. I love the house where you live, O LORD, the place where your glory dwells. Psa. 26:6-8.” Unfortunately, most of the time when people face false accusations and are considered guilty even before a formal judgment, one of the first things that they do is to avoid church. They disappear from the fellowship of the brothers and sisters. They stop going to worship and hide until the smoke dissipates and things clear up. That is the normal attitude under these circumstances. David did the opposite. He did not let those false accusations interfere with his relationship with God nor with his worship life.
Finally we learn from David that we are good and innocent, not because we are better or have some special trait. No, it is because of God’s redemption and mercy. It is because of that confidence that David is able to “stand on level ground” and “praise God in the great assembly.”
Have a blessed week,