It was certainly a prayer of David’s back then. Is it to be a prayer for today? Chewing on it.
Read between the lines in Psalm 26 (vv. 4-5), and it sounds like the accusations were flying against David. He hangs out with “the worthless”, they said, his buddies are those marked by emptiness, vanity, and falsehood — no substance in them or him. What’s more, he pals around with hypocrites — find those who are playing games and living secret lives, and you’ll find David. Wanna know where he abides when no ones looking? Find the wicked and you’ll find him.
The word was out. The shadow of suspicion cast. No taking it back. No corralling it to minimize the compounding, collateral damage of questioning his character. For, while the original accusers may have only “shared the truth” with one or two, those one or two, in turn, passed it on to one or two. Reputation in ruins.
So, what’s a guy to do? Commence prayer . . .
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,
and I live by Your truth.
(Psalm 26:1-3 CSB)
Vindicate me. Set the record straight. Clear my name. How come? Because I have lived with integrity.
David wasn’t claiming perfection, he knew better. But, as much as he knew his own heart, he tried to lived in sincerity. And what he didn’t know about his heart, he invited God to reveal to him. Walking in integrity equaled walking in truth.
So, he prays, Vindicate me.
A prayer for here and now? I’m thinking. To be realized in the here and now and just how we want it to be realized? Not necessarily. That’s why David knew that the way of vindication was the way of trusting in the LORD without wavering. That having the record set straight could be left with the One who had promised to guide David with faithful love. True of David and true too of the Greater David.
For you were called to this, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in His steps. . . . when He was insulted, He did not insult in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten but entrusted Himself to the one who judges justly.
(1Peter 2:21, 23 CSB)
Mine, it seems to me, is to seek to live with integrity. His is to assess it. Mine is to entrust myself to Him.
But I live with integrity;
redeem me and be gracious to me.
My foot stands on level ground;
I will bless the Lord in the assemblies.
(Psalm 26:11-12 CSB)
By His grace. For His glory.