The Bible says in Psalms 26:1, “Judge me, O Lord, for I have walked in mine integrity: I have trusted also in the Lord, therefore I shall not slide.” David said at the end of this verse, “I shall not slide.” He means that he will not fall away from God’s will for him. Many Christians do slide: they fall away from serving God. David mentioned two things that kept him from sliding, and both are essential. First he said, “I have walked in mine integrity.” You must do what is right, not what is convenient, or what is popular, or what is profitable. Your priority must be to do the right thing. You must always ask the question, “What is the right thing to do in this situation?” And then the second thing that you must do is to trust “in the Lord.” Even though you try to do what is right, it will not be good enough without God’s blessing and involvement. To trust in the Lord means to put your faith in the Lord and what He chooses to do. “Without faith it is impossible to please God.”
The Bible says in Psalms 26:2, “Examine me, O Lord, and prove me; try my reins and my heart.” There are trials in life that come from God. If you are a believer in Jesus, then you will experience the trials of your faith. It does not matter how long you have been a Christian or how much you know about the Bible, you will have experiences that will try your soul and your faith. It says in First Peter 4:12, “The Bible says in Psalms 26:1, “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you.” It also says in First Peter 1:7, “That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.” David spoke of his “reins” and his “heart.” In other words he spoke of his innermost being, what he was really like. How strong are you and how true to God are you? God knows already. But you may not know. You might be a lot weaker than you think you are. God will bring trials into your life to show you where you really are. Thankfully, He is merciful and forgiving. And He wants you to learn. A trial might show you where you are weak, and thus where you need to improve. In David’s case, he asked to be tried, and so he was very confident that he was right with God and doing the right thing.
The Bible says in Psalms 26:3, “For thy lovingkindness is before mine eyes; and I have walked in thy truth.” Once you come to know God’s lovingkindness and mercy through faith in Jesus, then you are capable of walking in God’s “truth.” The way to know more about God’s truth is through the Bible. A Christian can only grow in the knowledge of the Lord with the Bible as a daily part of his or her life. Romans 10:17, “Faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.” First Peter 2:2, “As new born babes, desire the sincere milk of the Word, that ye may grow thereby.”
The Bible says in Psalms 26:4-5, “I have not sat with vain persons, neither will I go in with dissemblers.  I have hated the congregation of evil doers; and will not sit with the wicked.” David understood the important spiritual principle of separation. He wrote Psalm chapter one. In this verse David mentions vain persons, dissemblers, evil doers, and the wicked. “Vain persons” are those whose lives are empty and of no spiritual value. Your life is only of spiritual value if you know Jesus and serve Him. A “dissembler” is someone who hides the truth about themselves concerning the sinful things that they are doing. They are liars and deceivers. The evil doers and the wicked are those who are actively doing evil deeds because they are going away from God and have rejected Christ. David said that he will not “sit” with the wicked, and David said the same thing about vain persons. When you sit with someone, you spend a lot more time with them. David said that he would not do that. These are the people that he avoided. You choose your friends, but be careful. Some people do not make good friends if you want to serve Jesus, and they do not. They have the power to drag you down, and to influence you with unspiritual talk, attitudes, and actions. David said that “hated the congregation of evil doers.” That is a very strong emotion. When evil doers get together for the sake of doing their evil deeds, that is a terrible thing. Sometimes these gatherings of evil doers are called “parties.” If you are a believer, there is another congregation that you should love: the congregation of the righteous. Sometimes this is called a church service. That is where the believers in Jesus gather together. Either find a good Bible-teaching church or start one. It says in Hebrews 10:25, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”
The Bible says in Psalms 26:6, “I will wash mine hands in innocency: so will I compass thine altar, O Lord.” The phrase “compass thine altar” symbolizes being in the presence of God. What makes it possible to come into the presence of God? You must be washed and you must be innocent. Only the blood of Christ can wash us from our sins and give us true innocence. The altar is where the sacrifices were made. Jesus is our sacrifice, and Jesus is why we can come into the presence of God. It says in Hebrews 4:16, “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”
The Bible says in Psalms 26:7, “That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all thy wondrous works.” When we are cleansed from our sins, we are capable of serving God. He wants us to be His witnesses. There are thigs that we can say with our mouths. We can be thankful, and let others know that we are thankful to God. When we do that, it glorifies God’s name. “Let the redeemed of the Lord say so.” What are God’s “wondrous works?” They are whatever you have experienced. If you know Jesus as Savior, the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ will be at the top of your list. And how about the day that the Holy Spirit brought you to Jesus, and you were saved? That certainly is one of His wondrous works. And how about all the times that He has answered your prayers? We have a lot of things to “tell” the world about God the Father and Jesus the Son.
The Bible says in Psalms 26:8, “Lord, I have loved the habitation of thy house, and the place where thine honour dwelleth.” In the Old Testament “the habitation of thy house” referred to the temple. The temple symbolized the presence of God. In the age of the New Testament because each believer has the indwelling Holy Spirit once they believe on Jesus, we have the presence of God with us wherever we go. However, there is also an additional promise of Jesus’ presence in the gathering of believers, what we call a church service. Jesus said in Matthew 18:20, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” Therefore, you should either find a good Bible-teaching church to be a part of or start one yourself.
The Bible says in Psalms 26:9-10, “Gather not my soul with sinners, nor my life with bloody men;  In whose hands is mischief, and their right hand is full of bribes.” The Psalmist is asking God to help him stay away from the wrong kind of people: sinners. We are all sinners, but this is referring to those who want to keep living a life of sin, and who have therefore not repented and asked for forgiveness. They do not want to follow the Lord. If you want to follow the Lord, then you must not walk with such people. Notice the words used to describe these sinners: “bloody,” “mischief,” and “bribes.” Violence, wrong-doing of every type, and extreme dishonesty are what characterizes these people. Pray for these types of people, but avoid them. They will drag you down and ruin you, if they can.
The Bible says in Psalms 26:11, “But as for me, I will walk in mine integrity: redeem me, and be merciful unto me.” To “walk” with God requires two things: to have God’s mercy and to do the right thing the best you know how: what David called walking in his “integrity.” When anyone comes to God, we ask for mercy because we are sinners, but we also come to God desiring and planning to do the right thing in following Jesus. Once a person has come to Christ seeking His mercy and seeking to do the right thing, that person is redeemed. To redeem means to purchase. We have been purchased by the blood of Christ. The price that was paid to forgive our sins was the precious blood of Jesus. This means that we belong to God. We are not our own. We were purchased with a great price.
The Bible says in Psalms 26:12, “My foot standeth in an even place; in the congregations will I bless the Lord.” There are many benefits to knowing Jesus as Savior and trusting in Him. One of those benefits is mentioned in the first part of this verse. Jesus and the Word of God will give you a foundation for your life. Jesus will give you a higher standard that will help you be firm and solid and not fall. Many people fall because of their ethical lapses. Think of adultery. People who commit adultery can have so many bad consequences: they can ruin their marriage, they can be involved in an unwanted pregnancy, they can acquire a venereal disease, they can ruin their reputation, they can give ammunition to their enemies to condemn them, they will have a guilty conscience, and they will harm the other party involved. That is just a few of the bad consequences. But someone who wants to follow Christ also wants to have the right pattern for life, and wants to have the right relationships between men and women. Someone who wants to follow Christ knows that the Bible says, “Thou shalt not commit adultery.” Someone who wants to follow Christ wants their life to be a testimony for Jesus, and wants to avoid anything that harms that testimony. Someone who wants to follow Christ wants their marriage to be everything that it can be and wants to avoid anything that could harm the marriage.
There are so many benefits to being a Christian. In addition to saving our souls, Jesus gives us understanding, He forgives us when we fail, He strengthens us when we are weak, He opens the doors that He wants opened and He closes the doors that He wants closed. He guides us. He protects us. He provides for us. He loves us. He is always with us. He answers our prayers. He has a plan for us and He shows us that plan step by step. He is preparing a place for us in heaven, and so much more. Surely every believer would say as King David, “in the congregations will I bless the Lord.” Where the other believers gather, I will gather with them, and I will tell them what the Lord has done for me.
Copyright; 2018 by Charles
F. (Rick) Creech
All Rights Reserved