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Lenten Devotions from Fourth Presbyterian Church

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Today’s Scripture Reading | Psalm 26                    

Vindicate me, O Lord,
   for I have walked in my integrity,
   and I have trusted in the Lord without wavering.
Prove me, O Lord, and try me;
   test my heart and mind.
For your steadfast love is before my eyes,
   and I walk in faithfulness to you.

I do not sit with the worthless,
   nor do I consort with hypocrites;
I hate the company of evildoers,
   and will not sit with the wicked.

I wash my hands in innocence,
   and go around your altar, O Lord,
singing aloud a song of thanksgiving,
   and telling all your wondrous deeds.

O Lord, I love the house in which you dwell,
   and the place where your glory abides.
Do not sweep me away with sinners,
   nor my life with the bloodthirsty,
those in whose hands are evil devices,
   and whose right hands are full of bribes.

But as for me, I walk in my integrity;
   redeem me, and be gracious to me.
My foot stands on level ground;
   in the great congregation I will bless the Lord. (NRSV)

Reflection
When I read Psalm 26 the first few times, I didn’t like it. The New International Version translation reads, “Vindicate me, Lord, for I have led a blameless life.” This coming from King David? Is David really challenging the Lord to look at his life and claiming he has walked
blamelessly and with integrity? This makes him seem boastful and arrogant—reminds me of the Pharisee.

Looking into the background of the psalm, I found it was written when David was being hunted by Saul. David needed God’s help in a time of suffering and was confidently declaring that the reason for that suffering was not his own personal sin. He is declaring himself upright in his life with Saul, and therefore there is no rationale for his being persecuted.

At the end, David says that his feet stand on level ground. He is not going to stumble or fall. He has every confidence that God will protect and rescue him.

That’s where I need to be when I pray. I can pour out frustrations and problems, but at the end I need to have confidence that God will love, care for, and protect me.

Prayer
O Lord, I give you my worries, concerns, frustration, and anger, and I ask for your guidance. You see my life completely, including the inner turmoil. I know that you understand me. I stand on level ground knowing that I am held by grace. Direct my footsteps. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Written by Linda Gibboney, Member of Fourth Presbyterian Church


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