Study from God’s Word… Psalms 13, 17, 23, 26, 28, and 31 … Passage for Reflection: Psalm 26: 1 … NIV Vindicate me, O LORD, for I have a blameless life; … I have trusted in the Lord, without wavering.
My Journal for Today: In studying the Psalms, especially those of David, God’s ancient song-writer, we can run into some puzzling points of seeming confusion; and one of them is in the raw comparison of Psalms like Psalm 26 and 51.
On many of the Psalms of David, we don’t have time markers in our Bible . Some give us historical time stamps by what is said in the song. For example, when we know what David got into later in his life … all that business with Bathsheba, his putting out a hit on Uriah, and his cover-up of his sin for more than a years, it seems obvious to me that David penned Psalm 26 some time before Psalm 51 (or an even a later one in Psalm 32). Otherwise, how could David claim, in today’s highlight passage, that he “led a blameless life” or that he “trusted in the Lord without wavering?”
To me studying in the Psalms and historical Scriptures, like those found in 1st and 2nd Kings or 1st and 2nd Chronicles, we see the human complexity of a man, like David, who was labeled by God as a “man after God’s own heart.” And I can identify with David, in Psalm 26, being in a place in his life where he feels, deeply and internally, a strength of faith and confidence in His God. Then later, in Psalm 51, after he has failed deeply and is in the process of honest repentance, we read of how he owns up to his weakness and pleads for forgiveness and strength from God. Then, in Psalm 32 (not in my readings for today), we read of God lifting David back up again and restoring his confidence, … not only in God, but in himself as well.
Psalm 26 is a red flag of warning for me. It tells me that I mustn’t get overconfident of my own faith or personal strength. Peter, in the NT, was also a good example of one who felt confident in God and himself, … too confident to recognize his own potential to fall. And with David, when we read/study Psalm 51, we see he came to recognize just how he could let his guard down and how one unGodly choice could bring disaster into his life. But then, going to Psalm 32, we read how a loving, caring, and capable God can (and did) restore the weakened warrior to shine God’s light of strength in the midst of his own (and our own) human foibles. That’s what Paul discovered as well, when we read 2nd Cor. 12: 7-11, … that great passage of God providing His enabling grace in the face of mankind’s recognized and acknowledged weakness.
My friend, … It’s great to have confidence and be on a roll of spiritual victory with faith and confidence in our unseen, but ever present, God. But, dear one, be aware that we have an enemy who stalks those who get overconfident and lack vigilance (see Psalm 10: 9-10 or 1st Peter 5: 8). Almost everyday I recognize and pray against my own personal weaknesses, doing all I can to dress myself in God’s cloak of righteousness and His full armor, carrying his Spirit-sword, and going to the high ground of prayer for the battles I face everyday. I know that, even though I have great head-confidence in my God, I can be – and often am – blinded by my own selfishness or my fleshly desires. So, I need to be, like David, a man after God’s own heart; but at the same time, I need to be, like Paul, a man who recognizes that I am only strong when I allow God’s strength to cover my weaknesses.
My Prayer for Today: LORD, I have ultimate confidence in You; but little in me. Help me to walk, in Your steps, Lord, having confidence that Your path is my path. Amen