Psalm Twenty-Six: Judge Me, O Yahweh, Because I Have Walked in My Integrity
In this psalm, as in so many others, we find ourselves swept away beyond the time of David, and hear its blessed words on the lips of the Son of David, as he walks about the Temple proclaiming the true doctrine of God. For as we have often noted before, many things which were said well and truly by David, and which may be repeated earnestly and confidently by us, when through the strength that God provides we are walking steadfastly in his example, were finally and perfectly fulfilled only in the life of Christ, into whose pattern we are being conformed by the Holy Spirit, even that same Spirit who spoke by David (2 Sam. 23:2), and prefigured his Son in his psalms. Let us, then, read this psalm with an eye to see it most perfectly displayed in the public ministry of our Lord.
And how marvelously may we see it so displayed, when we look upon it to that end! Who received such vindication from the Lord as David's Son, when God raised him from the dead? Who walked so unerringly in his integrity? Who was ever proved so thoroughly as Christ, when he went through the testing fires of God's searching and consuming wrath on the cross? And who, throughout his life, ever kept God's covenant faithfulness to his people before his eyes, and walked in it, and perfectly upheld it in a faithfulness that matched? God had proved his own hesed, his steadfast covenant love toward his people, many times; but when had the human party in the covenant offered back up to him a faithfulness that perfectly corresponded? Ultimately, it was Christ alone, and David only imperfectly, as a shadow of Christ.
The heart of this psalm takes place in the temple, where David disavows all the ungodly, and, jealous for the purity of the House of God, he washes his hands in innocence, and tells aloud of God's wondrous deeds. But tell me, where has such jealousy for the purity of God's house ever been seen like that of the Savior? Can you not see him in your mind's eye, O Christian, with a cord of whips in his hand, driving out all the ungodly from the House of Prayer (John 2:13-17)? When did the Son of David ever consort with hypocrites? Were his words to unmask their lying pretenses not the wisest and most sobering words of judgment ever spoken (e.g. Mat. 23)? And did he not tell of the true Temple, that is, of his body, with divine authority such as no scribe ever possessed?
And tell me if you cannot see this amazing irony: Pilate, who unjustly condemned our Lord, washed his hands of the act (Mat. 27:24); but at the same time, Jesus, whose hands were soiled with the filth of the ground he had dragged himself along, and stained crimson with his life-blood, poured out for us for the remission of sins, was at that same time, in very deed, washing his hands in innocency, in preparation to going to the real altar, in the heavenly places not made with hands (see Heb. 9:11-12), to win for us, by his righteous self-sacrifice, an eternal redemption. With what a marvelous and suggestive foreshadowing, then, did David speak in verses six and seven!
How your heart should overflow with thanksgiving, blood-bought sinner, that Jesus was not swept away with the sinners (v. 9), but raised up to stand henceforth on solid ground (v. 12), having become a sure cause of salvation to all who hope in him. How amply did he prove that he, above all others, loves the place where God's glory dwells (v. 8) â€“ for his whole life was poured out to display God's glory, and he went to the depths of the earth, very Life cast down to the grave, to protect that fierce glory from the smallest spot or stain. Where does the Glory dwell, where is the House of the Lord, but in Christ, the God-Man, come down from heaven to be the Temple of God among men? And all that he did, dear Christian, he did to bring you into that Temple, that you, too, might dwell in the brightness of divine Glory â€“ your life is hid in him (Col. 3:1), who is the Temple of God and the radiance of his glory (Heb. 1:1-4) â€“ by his grace are you among the number of that great assembly where the Son of David now stands and blesses the Lord (v. 12), both now and into eternity, world without end.