According to the dictionary, integrity means …
“the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles; moral uprightness”. Another meaning is “the state of being whole and undivided, uncorrupted, unimpaired, consistent”.
As I filled out my ballot today, I looked up each and every judge on the ballot. There were county judges, state Supreme Court Justices, and others. As I researched each one, I looked for their integrity score. If anyone had less than 90%, I Googled them to see their background. Though these were non-partisan, I felt good having selected to retain some and not others.
In today’s psalm, David is asking God to declare him innocent. That is something that God will ask of you at some point. Are you innocent of all sin? You know the answer! Let’s dig in…
1 Declare me innocent, O Lord,
for I have acted with integrity;
I have trusted in the Lord without wavering.
2 Put me on trial, Lord, and cross-examine me.
Test my motives and my heart.
3 For I am always aware of your unfailing love,
and I have lived according to your truth.
4 I do not spend time with liars
or go along with hypocrites.
5 I hate the gatherings of those who do evil,
and I refuse to join in with the wicked.
6 I wash my hands to declare my innocence.
I come to your altar, O Lord,
7 singing a song of thanksgiving
and telling of all your wonders.
8 I love your sanctuary, Lord,
the place where your glorious presence dwells.
9 Don’t let me suffer the fate of sinners.Psalm 26 NLT
Don’t condemn me along with murderers.
10 Their hands are dirty with evil schemes,
and they constantly take bribes.
11 But I am not like that; I live with integrity.
So redeem me and show me mercy.
12 Now I stand on solid ground,
and I will publicly praise the Lord.
Points to Ponder
- In the New King James Version, verse 4 reads, “I have not sat with idolatrous mortals, nor will I go in with hypocrites.” David had not and would never worship, venerate, or honor any other god, idol, statue, or person living or dead. That’s idolatry and paganism. For instance, you are a hypocrite if you say you love Jesus, yet pray to Mary. It’s the same thing as bowing down to Satan, Baal, Buddha, or any of the millions of gods that pagan religions worship.
- I love proclaiming His wondrous works, as well as giving thanks in all circumstances. Do you?
- Though we deserve to be among the sinners, because of Jesus’ blood, we are redeemed and declared innocent and full of integrity.
- When we are born again and follow Jesus solely, we stand on solid ground and publicly praise the Lord.
Again, I turn to the good folks at Spoken Gospel…
David invites God to judge him (Psalm 26:1a). More specifically, he wants God to “vindicate” him in the eyes of his enemies. Vindication is a public declaration of both innocence and moral virtue. David wants God to call him “perfect” in the eyes of anyone who doubts it.
David is so willing to let God judge him because he knows he’s blameless (Psalm 26:1a). Blamelessness doesn’t mean moral perfection, but wholehearted trust (Psalm 26:1b). David says this wholehearted trust is being mindful of God’s loyal love and reliant on his enduring faithfulness (Psalm 26:3).
David’s so confident in God’s enduring love that he’s willing to submit himself entirely to God’s examination (Psalm 26:2). He willingly opens himself and his relationships to God’s scrutiny (Psalm 26:4-5). And he’s confident he will be able to enter into God’s presence as if his hands are completely innocent (Psalm 26:6).
Evil men might publicly slander and threaten him (Psalm 26:9-10). But David knows that his unwavering trust will cause God to publicly declare all their slanderous schemes false—and David perfectly innocent (Psalm 26:11)
David knows he’s not perfect (Psalm 25:11). He knows God’s moral perfection should cause him to fear (Psalm 25:12). But he doesn’t live in terror that God might strike him down for some small infraction; he fears out of humble recognition that he’s entirely dependent on God’s mercy.
Where is the Gospel?
While we might not have enemies as bloodthirsty or evil as David’s, we all know what it feels like to be misrepresented, gossiped about, or humiliated publicly. Our first normal response is to prove the rumors wrong. We want to provide evidence, talk to the people involved, and debunk the charges against us.
David would call that vindication. The New Testament calls this being “justified.” When we are maligned and viciously slandered by the voices around us, we want to be publicly defended. And God does that for us, in Jesus.
God publicly silences the accusations thrown at us by our enemies (Romans 8:33). God silences condemnation not by remembering our good deeds, but by remembering Jesus’ faithfulness to us. When we wholeheartedly trust Jesus’ demonstration of God’s loyal love and enduring faithfulness, we become blameless. Our hands are innocent, and nothing can separate us from God’s loving presence (Romans 8:35).
Regardless of the threats and rumors breathed out by our enemies (Romans 8:36), our trust in God through Jesus eternally declares that we are blameless.Through Jesus’ vindication we conquer every false word spoken against us (Romans 8:37). And from Jesus’ throne, he speaks words of forgiveness over us even better than David ever heard (Hebrews 12:23-24).
We stand on the solid ground of Jesus’ tomb, which was more than David hoped for (Psalm 26:12). We know that neither death, life, angels, demons, or anything in all of creation can overturn God’s verdict or our praise of him (Romans 8:38-39).Spoken Gospel
How to Pray Psalm 26
This is just an example of how to take God’s words, put them in your own words and pray them back to Him. The idea is to say it wholeheartedly and mean every word. You can’t fool God!
Declare me innocent, O Lord, for I have acted with integrity; I have trusted in you, Lord without wavering. Put me on trial, Lord, and cross-examine me. Test my motives and my heart, for I am always aware of your unfailing love, and I have lived according to your truth.
I do not spend time with liars, idolaters, or go along with hypocrites. I hate the gatherings of those who do evil, and I refuse to join in with the wicked — like celebrating Halloween or attending a “trunk or treat” event. I wash my hands to declare my innocence. I come to your altar, O Lord, singing a song of thanksgiving and telling of all your wonders. I love your sanctuary, Lord, the place where your glorious presence dwells.
Don’t let me suffer the fate of sinners. Don’t condemn me. Because I am not like that; I live with integrity. I accept your salvation. Thank you for redeeming me and showing me mercy. Now I stand on solid ground, well-rooted in your word, and I will publicly praise you, Lord. Help me to stay pure and live a life of integrity. I ask this in Jesus’ name, Amen.Paraphrase of Psalm 26 by Giselle Aguiar
So, if God Judged You Right Now Would He Delight in Your Integrity?
Not sure? Well, you don’t have to worry because that’s exactly why Jesus died on the cross! He died to give you integrity. To provide a way so that no matter what you’ve done in your past life, you can have a new life through Him! That’s the salvation that is only found THROUGH Jesus Christ. Not through a church, or Mary, or a priest or pope. THROUGH JESUS!
If you’re not sure if you’re saved or not, if you truly want to be born again and have the assurance of salvation, receive the Holy Spirit, feel His Shalom — a peace that surpasses all understanding, and get a 1-way, non-stop ticket to Heaven after you die, or that you won’t be left behind at the Rapture, which can happen at any moment, this is what you have to do…
Believe. Repent. Be Baptized. Receive the Holy Spirit.
- Believe — have Faith — that Jesus is the Christ and He died taking your sins away forever and that He rose from the dead 3 days later.
- Repent of your sins — stop sinning! Do a complete 180-degree turn in your life and surrender your life to Him. When you ask Jesus to forgive you He will. ALL your sins will be wiped clean — past, present, and future! And All means ALL!
- Be Baptized by water baptism — show the world and yourself that you have died to your old life and are born again in Christ.
- Receive the gift of Holy Spirit in your heart.