Bragging Rights – Psalm 26

The writer makes quite a lofty claim in verse 1, sounding very much like he’s telling God he’s done no wrong.

“Vindicate me, Lord, for I have led a blameless life: I have trusted in the Lord and have not faltered” (Psalm 26:1 NIV).

It certainly comes across as a prideful statement, but look at it again. The word blameless is not the same as sinless. In the next two verses he invites God to test, try, and examine his heart and his mind. It’s remarkable his confidence is so secure in God’s mercy he invites God to examine him. He relies on God’s faithfulness.

“…for I have always been mindful of your unfailing love and have lived in reliance on your faithfulness” (verse 3).

It’s clear to me that the psalmist chooses to align himself with God and his ways, and this demands a non-alliance with those who oppose God and his ways. He makes a plea for God’s mercy in verse 9.

“Do not take away my soul along with sinners, my life with those who are bloodthirsty, in whose hands are wicked schemes, whose right hands are full of bribes” (verse 9).

Then typically for the book of Psalms, this song ends with praise or a reference to it.

“My feet stand on level ground; in the great congregation I will praise the Lord” (verse 12).

by Kathy Sheldon Davis

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