Psalm 26:1
A Psalm of David. Judge me, O LORD; for I have walked in mine integrity: I have trusted also in the LORD; therefore I shall not slide.
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(1) Judge mei.e., do me justice, “vindicate me.”

I shall not slide.—Rather, I have trusted in Jehovah without wavering.

Psalm 26:1. Judge me, O Lord — Plead my cause, or, give sentence for me. I can obtain no right from men. The supreme and subordinate magistrates are my implacable and resolved enemies: do thou, therefore, do me justice against them. For I have walked in my integrity — Though they accuse me of many crimes, they can prove none of them, and thou and mine own conscience, and theirs also, are witnesses for me, that my conduct toward them hath been innocent and unblameable. I have trusted also in the Lord — I have committed my cause and affairs to thee, as to a just and merciful Father, and my hope and trust are fixed upon thee alone. Therefore I shall not slide — Thou wilt not deceive my trust, but wilt uphold me against all my enemies, for thou hast promised to save those that trust in thee.

26:9 David, in this psalm, appeals to God touching his integrity. - David here, by the Spirit of prophecy, speaks of himself as a type of Christ, of whom what he here says of his spotless innocence was fully and eminently true, and of Christ only, and to Him we may apply it. We are complete in him. The man that walks in his integrity, yet trusting wholly in the grace of God, is in a state of acceptance, according to the covenant of which Jesus was the Mediator, in virtue of his spotless obedience even unto death. This man desires to have his inmost soul searched and proved by the Lord. He is aware of the deceitfulness of his own heart; he desires to detect and mortify every sin; and he longs to be satisfied of his being a true believer, and to practise the holy commands of God. Great care to avoid bad company, is both a good evidence of our integrity, and a good means to keep us in it. Hypocrites and dissemblers may be found attending on God's ordinances; but it is a good sign of sincerity, if we attend upon them, as the psalmist here tells us he did, in the exercise of repentance and conscientious obedience. He feels his ground firm under him; and, as he delights in blessing the Lord with his congregations on earth, he trusts that shortly he shall join the great assembly in heaven, in singing praises to God and to the Lamb for evermore.Judge me, O Lord - That is, determine in regard to my case whether I am truly thy friend, or whether the evidences of my piety are genuine. The psalmist asks an examination of his own case; he brings the matter before God for Him to decide; he submits the facts in regard to himself to God, so that He may pronounce upon them whether they constitute evidence of real piety.

For I have walked in mine integrity - On the word "walk," see the notes at Psalm 1:1. The word "integrity" here is the same which is elsewhere rendered "perfection." See the notes at Job 1:1. Compare Psalm 37:37. See also Psalm 7:8; Psalm 25:21; where the word is rendered, as here, "integrity." It means here "uprightness, sincerity." This is the first thing which he brings before God for him to examine - the consciousness that he had endeavored to live an upright life; and yet it is referred to as if he was sensible that he "might" have deceived himself, and therefore, he prays that God would determine whether his life had been really upright.

I have trusted also in the Lord - Of this, likewise, he felt conscious; but this too he desired to submit to God. Trust in Yahweh, and an upright life, constituted the evidence of piety, or were the constituents of true religion according to the views of the Hebrews, as they are the constituents of true religion everywhere; and the purpose of the psalmist was to ascertain whether his piety was really of that character.

Therefore I shall not slide - If these are really traits of my character, if I really possess these, I shall not be moved. My feet will be firm, and I shall be secure. Or this may be regarded as a further declaration in regard to himself, as indicating firm confidence in God, and as meaning that he was conscious that he would not be moved, or would not swerve in this purpose of life. And yet the next verse shows that, with all this confidence as to his own character, he felt that there was a "possibility" of his having deceived himself; and, therefore, he pleaded that God would search and test him.


Ps 26:1-12. After appealing to God's judgment on his avowed integrity and innocence of the charges laid by his enemies, the Psalmist professes delight in God's worship, and prays for exemption from the fate of the wicked, expressing assurance of God's favor.

1. Judge—decide on my case; the appeal of innocence.

in mine integrity—freedom from blemish (compare Ps 25:21). His confidence of perseverance results from trust in God's sustaining grace.

1 Judge me, O Lord; for I have walked in mine integrity: I have trusted also in the Lord; therefore I shall not slide.

2 Examine me, O Lord, and prove me; try my reins and my heart.

3 For thy lovingkindness is before mine eyes: and I have walked in thy truth.

Psalm 26:1

"Judge me, O Jehovah." - A solemn appeal to the just tribunal of the heart-searching God, warranted by the circumstances of the writer, so far as regarded the particular offences with which he was wrongly charged. Worried and worn out by the injustice of men, the innocent spirit flies from its false accusers to the throne of Eternal Right. He had need have a clear case who dares to carry his suit into the King's Bench of heaven. Such an appeal as this is not to be rashly made on any occasion; and as to the whole of our walk and conversation, it should never be made at all, except as we are justified in Christ Jesus: a far more fitting prayer for a sinful mortal is the petition, "Enter not into judgment with thy servant." "For I have walked in mine integrity." He held integrity as his principle, and walked in it as his practice. David had not used any traitorous or unrighteous means to gain the crown, or to keep it; he was conscious of having been guided by the noblest principles of honour in all his actions with regard to Saul and his family. What a comfort it is to have the approbation of one's own conscience! If there be peace within the soul, the blustering storms of slander which howl around us are of little consideration. When the little bird in my bosom sings a merry song, it is no matter to me if a thousand owls hoot at me from without. "I have trusted also in the Lord." Faith is the root and sap of integrity. He who leans upon the Lord is sure to walk in righteousness. David knew that God's covenant had given him the crown, and therefore he took no indirect or unlawful means to secure it; he would not slay his enemy in the cave, nor suffer his men-at-arms to smite him when he slept unguarded on the plain. Faith will work hard for the Lord, and in the Lord's way, but she refuses so much as to lift a finger to fulfil the devices of unrighteous cunning. Rebecca acted out a great falsehood in order to fulfil the Lord's decree in favour of Jacob - this was unbelief; but Abraham left the Lord to fulfil his own purposes, and took the knife to slay his son - this was faith. Faith trusts God to accomplish his own decrees. Why should I steal when God has promised to supply my need? Why should I avenge myself when I know that Lord has espoused my cause? Confidence in God is a most effectual security against sin. "Therefore I shall not slide." Slippery as the way is, so that I walk like a man upon ice, yet faith keeps my heels from tripping, and will continue to do so. The doubtful ways of policy are sure sooner or later to give a fall to those who run therein, but the ways of honesty, though often rough, are always safe. We cannot trust in God if we walk crookedly; but straight paths and simple faith bring the pilgrim happily to his journey's end.

Psalm 26:2

There are three modes of trial here challenged, which are said in the original to refer to trial by touch, trial by smell, and trial by fire. The Psalmist was so clear from the charge laid against him, that he submitted himself unconditionally to any form of examination which the Lord might see fit to employ. "Examine me, O Lord." Look me through and through; make a minute survey; put me to the question, cross-examine my evidence. "And prove me." Put me again to trial; and see if I would follow such wicked designs as my enemies impute to me. "Try my reins and my heart." Assay me as metals are assayed in the furnace, and do this to my most secret parts, where my affections hold their court; see, O God, whether or no I love murder, and treason, and deceit. All this is a very bold appeal, and made by a man like David, who feared the Lord exceedingly, it manifests a most solemn and complete conviction of innocence. The expressions here used should teach us the thoroughness of the divine judgment, and the necessity of being in all things profoundly sincere, lest we be found wanting at the last. Our enemies are severe with us with the severity of spite, and this a brave man endures without a fear; but God's severity is that of unswerving right, who shall stand against such a trial? The sweet singer asks "Who can stand before his cold?" and we may well enquire, "Who can stand before the heat of his justice?"

Psalm 26:3

"For thy lovingkindness is before mine eyes." - An object of memory and a ground of hope. A sense of mercy received sets a fair prospect before the faithful mind in its gloomiest condition, for it yields visions of mercies yet to come, visions not visionary but real. Dwell, dear reader, upon that celestial word lovingkindness. It has a heavenly savour. Is it not an unmatchable word, unexcelled, unrivalled? The goodness of the Lord to us should be before our eyes as a motive actuating our conduct; we are not under the bondage of the law, but we are under the sweet constraints of grace, which are far more mighty, although far more gentle. Men sin with the law before their eyes, but divine love when clearly seen, sanctifies the conversation. If we were not so forgetful of the way of mercy in which God walks towards us, we should be more careful to walk in the ways of obedience towards him. "And I have walked in thy truth." The Psalmist was preserved from sin by his assurance of the truthfulness of God's promise, which truth he endeavoured to imitate as well as to believe. Observe from this verse, that an experience of divine love will show itself in a practical following of divine truth; those who neglect either the doctrinal or practical parts of truth must not wonder if they lose the experimental enjoyment of it. Some talk of truth, it is better to walk in it. Some vow to do well in future, but their resolutions come to nothing; only the regenerate man can say "I have walked in thy truth." THE ARGUMENT

This Psalm was certainly made by David when he was in distress, and particularly when he was falsely accused and defamed by his adversaries, as he frequently was by Saul and his courtiers; and therefore for his vindication he makes a solemn appeal to God, and a protestation of his own innocency, to which he was forced by their clamours and reproaches.

David declareth his integrity and innoceney, Psalm 26:1-3. His hatred to the congregation of the wicked, Psalm 26:4,5. He publisheth God’s works, Psalm 26:7; loves to dwell in his house, Psalm 26:8. He prays for deliverance from his enemies, Psalm 26:9,10, and promises thankfulness to God, Psalm 26:11,12.

Judge me, i.e. plead my cause, or give sentence for me; as this phrase is commonly used, as Psalm 10:18 43:1 72:4 Isaiah 1:17. I can obtain no right from men. The supreme and subordinate magistrates are mine implacable and resolved enemies. Do thou therefore do me justice against them,

for I have walked in mine integrity; though they accuse me of many crimes, they can prove none of them, and thou and mine own conscience, and theirs too, are witnesses for me, that my carriage towards them hath been innocent and unblamable. I have committed my cause and affairs to thee, as to a just Judge and merciful Father, and my hope and trust is fixed upon thee alone; therefore thou wilt not deceive my trust, but will uphold me against all mine enemies; for thou hast promised to save those that trust in thee. Or, that

I shall not slide or fall. So this declares the matter of his trust.

Judge me, O Lord,.... Meaning not that God would enter into judgment with him, in respect to the justification of his person in his sight, which he knew was not by his own righteousness and integrity, but by the righteousness of God; but his view is, to the justification of his cause before men; and particularly to the difference between Saul and him; and entreats that God would interpose, take his cause in hand, judge between them, and vindicate him;

for I have walked in mine integrity; or "perfection" (o) not that he thought himself free from sin; this would be contrary to the complaints, confessions, and petitions frequently made by him; but that in the affair with which he was accused, of seeking Saul's harm, 1 Samuel 24:9; he was quite innocent: by his "integrity" he means the purity of his intentions and designs; the uprightness of his conduct, the simplicity and sincerity of his conduct towards all men, and especially his fidelity to his prince; but though he knew nothing by himself, and could not charge himself with any wrong action in this respect, and therefore ought to be acquitted before men; yet he did not expect hereby to be justified in the sight of God;

I have trusted also in the Lord; not in himself, in the sincerity of his heart, and the uprightness of his life; nor did he trust to the goodness of his cause; but he committed it to the Lord, who judgeth righteously; and trusted in him that he should not be ashamed and confounded: this shows from whence his integrity sprung, even from faith unfeigned; for, where that is true and genuine, there are works of righteousness, and integrity of life;

therefore I shall not slide; these words may be connected with the former, thus; "I have trusted also in the Lord, that I shall not slide" (p); that is, shall not fail in judgment, or lose the cause; but shall stand and carry it, and not be confounded or condemned. Our version supplies the word "therefore", making these words to be an inference from the former, that because he trusted in the Lord, therefore he should not slide, slip, and fall; not but that true believers may not only have their feet well nigh slipped, but altogether; yea, fall, and that sometimes into great sins, to the breaking of their bones; but then they shall not totally and finally fall; for they stand by faith, and are kept through it by the power of God. The words may be considered as a prayer, "let me not slide" (q); being sensible of his own weakness, and of the necessity of being upheld in his uprightness, and in the ways of the Lord by him, that his footsteps might not slip; for though he walked in his uprightness, he was not self-sufficient and self-confident, but dependent on the Lord.

(o) "in perfectione mea", Pagninus, Montanus, Vatablus; so the Targum, Ainsworth. (p) "me non vacillaturum", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator. (q) "Ne nutare me patiaris", Gejerus.

<<A Psalm of David.>> Judge me, {a} O LORD; for I have walked in mine integrity: I have trusted also in the LORD; therefore I shall not slide.

(a) He flees to God to be the judge of his just cause, seeing there is no equity among men.

1. Judge me] Do me justice; shew me to be in the right; vindicate my integrity by discriminating between me and wicked men. Cp. Psalm 7:8; Psalm 35:24; Psalm 43:1.

for I have walked in mine integrity] Sincerity of purpose and single-heartedness of devotion have been the rule of his life. Cp. Psalm 7:8; Psalm 15:2; Psalm 18:23; and Introd. p. lxxxvii.

therefore I shall not slide] A possible rendering: but better, as R.V., without wavering. The context here requires a description of the character of his trust, rather than of its issue.

1–3. The Psalmist’s plea for the recognition of his integrity.

Verse 1. - Judge me, O Lord; for I have walked in mine integrity. It seems to Christians a bold act to call on God for judgment, but the saints of the earlier dispensation, having, perhaps, a less keen sense of human imperfection, were wont to do so. It is Job's cry from his first utterance until his "words are ended;" and here we find David taking it up and re-echoing it. Man longs to hear the sentence of acquittal from the great Judge. Like Job, David asserts his "integrity," and in the same qualified sense. He is sincere in his endeavours to do right. Yet still he needs mercy and redemption (see ver. 11). I have trusted also in the Lord; therefore I shall not slide. (comp. Psalm 18:36; Psalm 37:31). David is confident of his past; for the future he trusts in God to uphold his steps, and save him from slips and falls. Psalm 26:1The poet, as one who is persecuted, prays for the vindication of his rights and for rescue; and bases this petition upon the relation in which he stands to God. שׁפטני, as in Psalm 7:9; Psalm 35:24, cf. Psalm 43:1. תּם (synon. תמים, which, however, does not take any suffix) is, according to Genesis 20:5., 1 Kings 22:34, perfect freedom from all sinful intent, purity of character, pureness, guilelessness (ἀκακία, ἀπλότης). Upon the fact, that he has walked in a harmless mind, without cherishing or provoking enmity, and trusted unwaveringly (לא אמעד, an adverbial circumstantial clause, cf. Psalm 21:8) in Jahve, he bases the petition for the proving of his injured right. He does not self-righteously hold himself to be morally perfect, he appeals only to the fundamental tendency of his inmost nature, which is turned towards God and to Him only. Psalm 26:2 also is not so much a challenge for God to satisfy Himself of his innocence, as rather a request to prove the state of his mind, and, if it be not as it appears to his consciousness, to make this clear to him (Psalm 139:23.). בּחן is not used in this passage of proving by trouble, but by a penetrating glance into the inmost nature (Psalm 11:5; Psalm 17:3). נסּה, not in the sense of πειράζειν, but of δοκομάζειν. צרף, to melt down, i.e., by the agency of fire, the precious metal, and separate the dross (Psalm 12:7; Psalm 66:10). The Chethמb is not to be read צרוּפה (which would be in contradiction to the request), but צרופה, as it is out of pause also in Isaiah 32:11, cf. Judges 9:8, Judges 9:12; 1 Samuel 28:8. The reins are the seat of the emotions, the heart is the very centre of the life of the mind and soul.
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