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January 6, 2020

Please read today’s Scriptures and use the comment section on this page to share your insights from today’s reading. You can also just mention a verse that impacted you or post a question!

Read (and Hear) the Bible in One Year
New American Standard Bible for 2020

Text: Genesis 19-21
Audio: Genesis 19-21

Psalm 26 (ESV)

Of David.

Vindicate me, O Lord,
    for I have walked in my integrity,
    and I have trusted in the Lord without wavering.
Prove me, O Lord, and try me;
    test my heart and my mind.
For your steadfast love is before my eyes,
    and I walk in your faithfulness.

I do not sit with men of falsehood,
    nor do I consort with hypocrites.
I hate the assembly of evildoers,
    and I will not sit with the wicked.

I wash my hands in innocence
    and go around your altar, O Lord,
proclaiming thanksgiving aloud,
    and telling all your wondrous deeds.

Lord, I love the habitation of your house
    and the place where your glory dwells.
Do not sweep my soul away with sinners,
    nor my life with bloodthirsty men,
10 in whose hands are evil devices,
    and whose right hands are full of bribes.

11 But as for me, I shall walk in my integrity;
    redeem me, and be gracious to me.
12 My foot stands on level ground;
    in the great assembly I will bless the Lord.


English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

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Next: Psalm 27

Back: Psalm 25

This Post Has 2 Comments
  1. I do not sit with men of falsehood,
        nor do I consort with hypocrites.
    5 I hate the assembly of evildoers,
        and I will not sit with the wicked (Psalm 26:4-5).

    Separation?

    As we read today's psalm, we may be inclined to think David is speaking of isolating himself away from sinners. This would imply he thinks he is perfect (which David certainly knew he was not). 

    The Bible does affirm separation but not isolation (as monks practice and cults gain momentum).

    James 4:4 comes to mind: "You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God."

    In writing about the the church separating from the world, Sinclair Ferguson writes, "The principle by which we live is not “how can I avoid contact with the world so as to be separate from it?” Rather, it is “how can I live in the world yet be free from its influence and by my life actually expose its contagion?” (Ephesians 5:11). As the light of the world, we shine in its darkness; as the salt of the earth, we preserve only if we are present in it. Separation here means that we are not to be unequally yoked with unbelievers (2 Corinthians 6:14). We must never compromise our distinctiveness for the sake of mutual activity. (Yet there is also a complex sentence here, for a Christian “unequally yoked” in marriage should not throw off that yoke under this pretext; see 1 Corinthians 7:12.)"

    We gain some insight into the context of David's desire to separate from evildoers in Psalm 26:9-10 which says:

    "Do not sweep my soul away with sinners,
        nor my life with bloodthirsty men,
    10 in whose hands are evil devices,
        and whose right hands are full of bribes."

    The next statement he makes is, "But as for me, I shall walk in my integrity" (Psalm 26:11). 

    This is why context is so important. 

    We don't separate from the world because they sin, we separate from the sin of the world because of Christ.


    ~ Puritan Prayer ~

    "A Cry for Renewing Grace" by David Clarkson

    "We cry to you, God, for renewing grace. We lie at your footstool and cry, 'Help, Lord, or else I perish!'

    Create in me a new heart, and renew a right spirit within me.

    Renew me in the spirit of my mind, and renew me in my inner soul.

    Take away this old mind that is so blind, so vain, so carnal.

    Take away this old will that is so obstinate, so perverse, so rebellious.

    Take away this old conscience that is so partial, so seared, so senseless.

    Take away this old heart that will never delight in, comply with, or submit to you."

    (Excerpt taken from Piercing Heaven: Prayers of the Puritans)

  2. My initial response to this reading was this: The man or woman who walks in integrity before the Lord will be vindicated, if not here and now, then later. That sounds so sweet to my ears. "See? I was right and you were wrong."

    I recognize that child in me. So when I read it again and prayed through it, I saw something else about myself. I saw my desire to be vindicated is usually about me and what others think…not about God's glory.

    When I believe I have been falsely accused or misunderstood, I have learned — by God's grace and through many furnaces — to not go on defending myself and trying to prove the other person is wrong about me. It is so often a futile exercise anyway, sinners that we are. I tend to make a bigger mess when I go on and on.

    I have learned the hard way that I need to be quiet before man and God. I need to be still. I need to pray.

    And in my stillness, I also need to step back and ask the Lord to test my heart and mind, to "prove" me — and that does not mean to prove I am right (which I would love). To "prove" in this context means to test and establish something (see https://www.biblestudytools.com/dictionary/prove/). I need to ask the Holy Spirit to show me anything hidden in my heart and mind that needs to revealed so I may deal with it in truth and in the light, reflect on it, and confess and repent of it.

    I hate to be wrong, especially when it comes to my behavior in a situation. My flesh wants to justify myself before the court of man's opinion. "I only did this because you did that." Apologizing for anything I have done, said or even thought is difficult for me, especially if I still believe the other person is wrong. But those things are what God wants to rid me of, to burn off in the fire of the testing furnace, to cut out and cut off as He prunes me…to make me more like my Savior.

    I am so unlike Jesus in many, many ways. And that means I have many more furnaces to be tested in, and much more pruning to endure.

    What I do I want — more than anything — is to reflect Christ in every situation or circumstance, for His glory.

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