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Psalm 26

Plea for Justice and Declaration of Righteousness

Of David.


Vindicate me, O L ord,

for I have walked in my integrity,

and I have trusted in the L ord without wavering.


Prove me, O L ord, and try me;

test my heart and mind.


For your steadfast love is before my eyes,

and I walk in faithfulness to you.



I do not sit with the worthless,

nor do I consort with hypocrites;


I hate the company of evildoers,

and will not sit with the wicked.



I wash my hands in innocence,

and go around your altar, O L ord,


singing aloud a song of thanksgiving,

and telling all your wondrous deeds.



O L ord, I love the house in which you dwell,

and the place where your glory abides.


Do not sweep me away with sinners,

nor my life with the bloodthirsty,


those in whose hands are evil devices,

and whose right hands are full of bribes.



But as for me, I walk in my integrity;

redeem me, and be gracious to me.


My foot stands on level ground;

in the great congregation I will bless the L ord.

3. For thy goodness is before mine eyes. This verse may be viewed as one sentence, or divided into two parts, but with almost the same sense. If the former reading is adopted, both the verbs will be emphatic, after this manner: ”Because thy goodness, O Lord, has been ever before mine eyes, and I have trusted in thy faithfulness, I have restrained all wicked lusts in my heart, lest, provoked by the malice of mine enemies, I should be forced to retaliate.” By this interpretation there would be the rendering of a cause. The other exposition, also, is not unsuitable, namely, “Because thy goodness has been before mine eyes, I have walked in the truth which thou commandest.” In this case the conjunction, as is common among the Hebrews, is superfluous. But although this exposition is allied to the former, I would rather prefer one less remote from the words. As it is a rare and difficult virtue, not only to refrain one’s self from wicked actions, when greatly tempted thereto, but also to preserve integrity of heart; the prophet declares in what manner he pursued his course in the midst of such powerful temptations, telling us that it was by setting the goodness of God, which so carefully preserves his servants, before his eyes, lest, declining to evil practices, he might deprive himself of his protection; and by confiding in his faithfulness, he possessed his soul in patience, firmly persuaded that God would never forsake his faithful people who trusted in him. And certainly, had he not relied upon the goodness of God, he could not have so constantly prosecuted the path of integrity amidst such numerous and such severe assaults. It is, indeed, a remarkable difference between the children of God and worldly men, that the former, in the hope of a favorable issue at the Lord’s hand, rely upon his word, and are not driven by restlessness to mischievous practices; while the latter, although they maintain a good cause, yet because they are ignorant of the providence of God, are hurried hither and thither; follow unlawful counsels; betake themselves to craftiness; and, in short, have no other object than to overcome evil with evil. Whence, accordingly, their miserable and sorrowful, and often their tragical ends, but because, despising the favor of God, they give themselves up to cunning and deceit? In short, David was steady in preserving his uprightness, because he had resolved that God should be his guide. In the first place, therefore, he mentions his goodness, and afterwards he adds, his truth, because his goodness, which enables us to walk with unyielding courage in the midst of all temptations, is only known to us by his promises.

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