by Debbonnaire Kovacs

Psalm 26, Today’s New International Version
        with added commentary
1Vindicate me, Lord,
    for I have led a blameless life;
I have trusted in the Lord
    and have not faltered.
Vindicate me through your grace alone, Lord,
for I have not been blamless, and I have faltered. . .
but I have trusted you!

Test me, Lord, and try me,
    examine my heart and my mind;
Because I will never understand myself until you do.

for I have always been mindful of your unfailing love
    and have lived in reliance on your faithfulness.
That much I can claim—I have been mindful to the best of my ability,
and learned early that there was no one to rely on but you.

I do not sit with the deceitful,
    nor do I associate with hypocrites.
I abhor the assembly of evildoers
    and refuse to sit with the wicked.
I wonder what this really means? I myself, of course, have been guilty
of deceit and hypocrisy, though I have striven to avoid evil and wickedness.
You yourself loved and sat with sinners. Does it mean not to assemble and
sit in council to
plan deceit and wickedness?

I wash my hands in innocence,
    and go about your altar, Lord,
and thank God I know where that cleansing innocence
is to be found—in the righteousness of your Son!

proclaiming aloud your praise
    and telling of all your wonderful deeds.
When I consider your love and care and deliverance,
I can’t stop praising you!

Lord, I love the house where you live,
    the place where your glory dwells.
A shocking thought: I am “the house where you live”!!
Do I love me? Really?
Not selfishly or harshly or judgmentally, but love me, as you do?

Do not take away my soul along with sinners,
    my life with those who are bloodthirsty,
10 in whose hands are wicked schemes,
    whose right hands are full of bribes.
Please, please don’t!

11 I lead a blameless life;
    redeem me and be merciful to me.
Obviously even the pre-Messianic psalmist knew the
blamelessness was only to be found in forgiveness and grace,
otherwise why ask for redemption? I do choose your blamelessness;
I do ask for and gratefully accept your mercy and redemption.

12 My feet stand on level ground;
    in the great congregation I will praise the Lord.
Ah! Level ground, at last! Found only at the foot of the cross, in your great mercy and love.