Being unfairly accused of wrong doing is very stressful but an experience common to many. It can impact on many things, our relationships, our public standing, our future capacity to continue in a role or earn income, where we are welcome and to what extent we are trusted. How we react in those circumstances is a test of character. If we hold a particularly prominent position these things can be heightened further. David prays Psalm 26 as King.
David’s circumstances at the time of writing are not known. He considers his accusers to be plotting against him, prepared to bribe others to achieve their goal of taking his life. vv9,10 Their false accusations relate to his lifestyle, v3 his friends v4 and the sincerity of his religious practice. vv 6-8
David’s response is to come to God and plead that he is blameless in these circumstances. ‘Vindicate me, Lord, for I have led a blameless life.’ v1David is not claiming a sinless life as is clear in many other psalms, but of these accusations he is not guilty. David then prays a prayer of a sincere seeker after God. ‘Test me, Lord, and try me, examine my heart and mind; for I have always been mindful of your unfailing love and have lived in reliance on your faithfulness.’ vv 3,3 To David the judgement of God is more important that the judgement of people even though his standing as King in the eyes of the nation is of great significance.
Our private integrity with God is the cornerstone of our life. It is entirely reasonable to then pray with David, ‘Deliver me and be merciful to me.’ v11 It provides a stable place to stand and then we can in good conscience publically praise God. ‘My feet stand on level ground; in the great congregation I will praise the Lord.’ v12
Does this mean we have to self justify ourselves to God? No it does not. Our standing with God relies on trusting in his unfailing love v3 expressed through Jesus’ sacrifice. ‘But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved.’ Ephesians 2.4,5
Faithful one – Robin Mark