It is a great comfort to those who have a clear conscience toward God that He is a witness to their sincerity and as the righteous God will sooner or later vindicate them.
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.
4 I have not sat with vain persons, neither will I go in with dissemblers.
5 I have hated the congregation of evil doers; and will not sit with the wicked.
6 I will wash mine hands in innocency: so will I compass thine altar, O LORD:
7 That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all thy wondrous works.
8 LORD, I have loved the habitation of thy house, and the place where thine honour dwelleth.
9 Gather not my soul with sinners, nor my life with bloody men:
10 In whose hands is mischief, and their right hand is full of bribes.
11 But as for me, I will walk in mine integrity: redeem me, and be merciful unto me.
12 My foot standeth in an even place: in the congregations will I bless the LORD.
Psalm 1 – J. Vernon McGee
Psalm 26 – A Declaration of Loyalty to God
In some respects this psalm resembles the previous one, only, instead of entreaties for forgiveness, there are protestations of innocence. It may have been composed during Absalom’s rebellion, and contains a strenuous protest against the dissembling and hypocrisy upon which that revolt was based. In these avowals of conscious rectitude, it should be borne in mind that David did not mean to claim absolute sinlessness, but rather to declare his innocence of the specific charges with which he had been assailed.
We all need the laver of purification mentioned in Psalm 26:6-7. Or better, let us repair to our Lord, who still washes the feet of His disciples, as in John 13. Hatred to evil men is one side of the coin; love to God’s house, the reverse. Either implies the other. However firm our foot seems to stand, we all need the redeeming mercy and grace of God. Ah, the riches of His gentle goodness! Ephesians 2:7. —Through the Bible Day by Day
Psalm 26:6—I will wash mine hands in innocency.
The Psalmist realized that he could not avail himself of all that was typified by the altar, unless, so far as he knew himself, he had washed his hands innocency. But he also knew that the washing, to be effective, must be in costlier waters than those of his own innocency. The soul requires a Savior who comes by water and blood, not by water only.
The compassing of the altar is probably a picturesque way of describing the joyous or penitent circle of worshippers that gathered around the altar; and which needed to be prepared for by the usual lustrations, The “baptisms, and of laying on of hands” (Hebrews 6:2). We must separate ourselves from known sin, and wash our hands in innocency, if we are to enjoy the blessings of the alter and its sacred associations.
There is the sacrifice of the burnt-offering, which stands for Christ’s perfectness and entire devotedness to God on our behalf. But how can we be utterly given up to God unless, so far as we know we are innocent of presumptuous and cherished sin?
There are the sacrifices of the meal-offering and the peace-offering. But how can we feed on Christ, or feast with Him in holy rapture, we are concealing the stains of the hands that take the food?
There is the sacrifice of the sin-offering. But is it not a sacrilege to claim a share in its blessing if we permit those very sins which cost the Savior agony and tears? No; we must come out and be separate; we must be willing for God to examine and prove us; we must hate the congregation of the wicked, their conversation and ways; we must occupy ourselves perpetually with the Divine lovingkindness and truth. So only can we compass the altar of God, and taste its comfort and help. —Our Daily Homily