Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the three-year lectionary.
Psalm 26 is one of those very troublesome Psalms. We would like to affirm our own righteousness. We’d like to say that this is about us. I’m quite certain I have sung songs based on the different parts of the Psalm, especially the first eight verses, and verses 11-12. Isn’t it good to confess our dedication to the Lord? Really, I want to trust without wavering. I don’t want to hang out with evil people. I want to give thanks to God all the time, with all my heart.
Then again, maybe not. In fact, I have walked in integrity sometimes. I have trusted in the Lord a good bit. It bothers me to hang out with hypocrites and evildoers, except when we are getting along with each other pretty well. I’m ready to talk about God’s wondrous deeds, except when I want to complain. I love the habitation of the Lord’s house until it’s about time for the baseball game or when I’d rather be somewhere else.
What hope do I have then? Maybe verses 9 and 10, which I skipped over earlier, are exactly what I need. Here, the Psalmist turns and prays the Lord to deliver him. We all are ready to go astray at a moment’s notice. But the LORD is the one who will redeem us. He will bring his righteous love for his people into the equation. He will show himself to be the one in whom we trust, in whom we walk, the one we hang out with, the one who gives us something to be thankful for.
When we get down to it, we realize that the Psalm is about Jesus, the one in whom we can stand, the one whose integrity is imputed to us. Then, and only then, can we stand in our integrity. Thanks be to God for his priceless gifts.
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