World Wide Study Bible
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23. I was also upright with him. All the verbs in this verse are put by David in the future tense, I will be upright, etc. because he does not boast of one act only, or of a good work performed by fits and starts, but of steady perseverance in an upright course. What I have said before, namely, that David takes God for his judge, as he saw that he was wrongfully and unrighteously condemned by men, appears still more clearly from what he here says, “I have been upright with him.” The Scriptures, indeed, sometimes speak in similar terms of the saints, to distinguish them from hypocrites, who content themselves with wearing the outward mask of religious observances; but it is to disprove the false reports which were spread against him that David thus confidently appeals to God with respect to them. This is still more fully confirmed by the repetition of the same thing which is made a little after, According to the cleanness of my hands before his eyes In these words there is evidently a contrast between the eyes of God and the blinded or malignant eyes of the world; as if he had said, I disregard false and wicked calumnies, provided I am pure and upright in the sight of God, whose judgment can never be perverted by malevolent or other vicious and perverse affections. Moreover, the integrity which he attributes to himself is not perfection but sincerity, which is opposed to dissimulation and hypocrisy. This may be gathered from the last clause of the 23rd verse, where he says, I have kept myself from my iniquity In thus speaking, he tacitly acknowledges that he had not been so pure and free from sinful affections as that the malignity of his enemies did not frequently excite indignation within him, and gall him to the heart. He had therefore to fight in his own mind against many temptations, for as he was a man, he must have felt in the flesh on many occasions the stirrings of vexation and anger. But this was the proof of his virtue, that he imposed a restraint upon himself, and refrained from whatever he knew to be contrary to the word of God. A man will never persevere in the practice of uprightness and of godliness, unless he carefully keep himself from his iniquity.