May 17, Psalms 26, 40, 58, 61-62, 64

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Psalm 26

Prayer for Vindication

Of David.

Vindicate me, Lord,
because I have lived with integrity
and have trusted in the Lord without wavering.
Test me, Lord, and try me;
examine my heart and mind.
For your faithful love guides me,[a]
and I live by your truth.

I do not sit with the worthless
or associate with hypocrites.
I hate a crowd of evildoers,
and I do not sit with the wicked.
I wash my hands in innocence
and go around your altar, Lord,
raising my voice in thanksgiving
and telling about your wondrous works.

Lord, I love the house where you dwell,
the place where your glory resides.
Do not destroy me along with sinners,
or my life along with men of bloodshed
10 in whose hands are evil schemes
and whose right hands are filled with bribes.

11 But I live with integrity;
redeem me and be gracious to me.
12 My foot stands on level ground;
I will bless the Lord in the assemblies.

Psalm 40

Thanksgiving and a Cry for Help

For the choir director. A psalm of David.

I waited patiently for the Lord,
and he turned to me and heard my cry for help.
He brought me up from a desolate[a] pit,
out of the muddy clay,
and set my feet on a rock,
making my steps secure.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear,
and they will trust in the Lord.

How happy is anyone
who has put his trust in the Lord
and has not turned to the proud
or to those who run after lies!
Lord my God, you have done many things—
your wondrous works and your plans for us;
none can compare with you.
If I were to report and speak of them,
they are more than can be told.

You do not delight in sacrifice and offering;
you open my ears to listen.[b]
You do not ask for a whole burnt offering or a sin offering.
Then I said, “See, I have come;
in the scroll it is written about me.
I delight to do your will, my God,
and your instruction is deep within me.”

I proclaim righteousness in the great assembly;
see, I do not keep my mouth closed[c]
as you know, Lord.
10 I did not hide your righteousness in my heart;
I spoke about your faithfulness and salvation;
I did not conceal your constant love and truth
from the great assembly.

11 Lord, you do not[d] withhold your compassion from me.
Your constant love and truth will always guard me.
12 For troubles without number have surrounded me;
my iniquities have overtaken me; I am unable to see.
They are more than the hairs of my head,
and my courage leaves me.
13 Lord, be pleased to rescue me;
hurry to help me, Lord.

14 Let those who intend to take my life
be disgraced and confounded.
Let those who wish me harm
be turned back and humiliated.
15 Let those who say to me, “Aha, aha!”
be appalled because of their shame.

16 Let all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you;
let those who love your salvation continually say,
“The Lord is great!”
17 I am oppressed and needy;
may the Lord think of me.
You are my helper and my deliverer;
my God, do not delay.

Psalm 58

A Cry against Injustice

For the choir director: “Do Not Destroy.” A Miktam of David.

Do you really speak righteously, you mighty ones?[a]
Do you judge people fairly?
No, you practice injustice in your hearts;
with your hands you weigh out violence in the land.

The wicked go astray from the womb;
liars wander about from birth.
They have venom like the venom of a snake,
like the deaf cobra that stops up its ears,
that does not listen to the sound of the charmers
who skillfully weave spells.

God, knock the teeth out of their mouths;
Lord, tear out the young lions’ fangs.
May they vanish like water that flows by;
may they aim their blunted arrows.[b]
Like a slug that moves along in slime,
like a woman’s miscarried child,
may they not see the sun.

Before your pots can feel the heat of the thorns—
whether green or burning—
he will sweep them away.[c]
10 The righteous one will rejoice
when he sees the retribution;
he will wash his feet in the blood of the wicked.
11 Then people will say,
“Yes, there is a reward for the righteous!
There is a God who judges on earth!”

Psalm 61

Security in God

For the choir director: on stringed instruments. Of David.

God, hear my cry;
pay attention to my prayer.
I call to you from the ends of the earth
when my heart is without strength.
Lead me to a rock that is high above me,
for you have been a refuge for me,
a strong tower in the face of the enemy.
I will dwell in your tent forever
and take refuge under the shelter of your wings.Selah

God, you have heard my vows;
you have given a heritage
to those who fear your name.
Add days to the king’s life;
may his years span many generations.
May he sit enthroned before God forever.
Appoint faithful love and truth to guard him.
Then I will continually sing of your name,
fulfilling my vows day by day.

Psalm 62

Trust in God Alone

For the choir director: according to Jeduthun. A psalm of David.

I am at rest in God alone;
my salvation comes from him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,
my stronghold; I will never be shaken.

How long will you threaten a man?
Will all of you attack[a]
as if he were a leaning wall
or a tottering fence?
They only plan to bring him down
from his high position.
They take pleasure in lying;
they bless with their mouths,
but they curse inwardly.Selah

Rest in God alone, my soul,
for my hope comes from him.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,
my stronghold; I will not be shaken.
My salvation and glory depend on God, my strong rock.
My refuge is in God.
Trust in him at all times, you people;
pour out your hearts before him.
God is our refuge.Selah

Common people are only a vapor;
important people, an illusion.
Together on a scale,
they weigh less than[b] a vapor.
10 Place no trust in oppression
or false hope in robbery.
If wealth increases,
don’t set your heart on it.

11 God has spoken once;
I have heard this twice:
strength belongs to God,
12 and faithful love belongs to you, Lord.
For you repay each according to his works.

Psalm 64

Protection from Evildoers

For the choir director. A psalm of David.

God, hear my voice when I am in anguish.
Protect my life from the terror of the enemy.
Hide me from the scheming of wicked people,
from the mob of evildoers,
who sharpen their tongues like swords
and aim bitter words like arrows,
shooting from concealed places at the blameless.
They shoot at him suddenly and are not afraid.
They adopt[a] an evil plan;
they talk about hiding traps and say,
“Who will see them?” [b]
They devise crimes and say,
“We have perfected a secret plan.”
The inner man and the heart are mysterious.

But God will shoot them with arrows;
suddenly, they will be wounded.
They will be made to stumble;
their own tongues work against them.
All who see them will shake their heads.
Then everyone will fear
and will tell about God’s work,
for they will understand what he has done.

10 The righteous one rejoices in the Lord
and takes refuge in him;
all those who are upright in heart
will offer praise.

Psalm 26:2 Test me, Lord, and try me; examine my heart and mind.

Many of us today can be very critical of our outward actions; those things that others see. But with our internal thoughts we tend to give ourselves a pass because we feel like we overcame the thought by not acting on it. But David asks God to test his thoughts and his heart (desires) … even deep into his mind. David’s request should challenge us today and move us to allow the Holy Spirit to transform our minds as the Bible teaches. Those times we have let our minds run free can lead to some of the worst actions later. Jesus was a revolutionary in regards to our thoughts especially with the church establishment. Read Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5:20-48 and consider how hard those words were taken by the Pharisees (a sect of people devoted to outward appearances), especially when Jesus told them “You heard it said… but I tell you…”. Jesus cancelled all of their fruitless labor in a few short statements when He told the Pharisees that their thoughts made them just as guilty as if they had committed the sin. Consider anew a familiar passage today: Matthew 6:22-23 in light of Psalm 26:2:

“The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eye is healthy, your whole body will be full of light. But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. So if the light within you is darkness, how deep is that darkness!”

Jesus refers to our inner man today and He is looking to redeem even those parts that no one else knows about.

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