Have you ever been accused of something you did not do? Perhaps this is not just in an unlawful accusation, but a character assassination? I have. There have been times when people, who I thought were close to me, questioned not the actions of my heart but those of my heart. It is one thing when someone accuses you of something they saw you do, even if it is a misinterpretation of something you did. It is quite another to receive an allegation against your character and heart. Those hurt the most. Those imply a lack of trust, conspiracy for evil, and almost always convey contempt.
In Psalm 26, David is crying out to the Lord for vindication and redemption based on his innocence. He is appealing to the highest court and Judge for pardon from accusations against his soul. The Lord, Who knows everything (1 John 3:20) and sees everything (Proverbs 15:3) absolutely is witness to David’s “blameless life” (Psalm 26:1). David was not saying he had never sinned, a claim no one can make (1 John 1:8, 10). He is not innocent of sin but asks the Lord to test him in his unwavering commitment in the truest sense of our being, the inner heart and mind (v. 3). Therein lies the real us. While David is has committed sins, he trusts the Lord to know and examine his commitment to Him – is he in covenant with the Lord, has he repented of sin, has the Lord forgiven him of sin, is he harboring unrepentant sin, etc. “Test me and try me, examine me” (v. 3) asks the Lord to override the “lower courts” of David’s accusers and enemies in the unfair kangaroo court and render a just verdict in the Supreme Court of the Universe. David’s claims of a “blameless life” (v. 1, 11), “trust without wavering” (v. 2), and “continually walking in God’s truth” (v. 3) cannot stand if they are lies as the One Who is Truth cannot be manipulated or deceived.
David has disassociated himself from evil people who are deceitful, hypocrites, evil and wicked (vv. 4-5). To be found innocent by others who can truly only see and “judge us” by our outward actions, we must steer clear of those bent on evil and even the appearance of evil (1 Thessalonians 5:22). When David, who is not innocent of wrongdoing, evil, and sin as he is a fallen man, claims innocence (v. 6) it is only because of the forgiving and purging nature of the Lord’s altar. He forgives our sins and does not hold them against us even if others continue to do so. David is certain of the eternity of a sinner, one who has chosen and given themselves to sin and rebellion instead of God. God takes away their soul (v. 9) to hell (1 Thessalonians 1:8-9). In those moments when others bring a false charge against us (as we have been forgiven and redeemed), we must do as David did – trust in the Lord, praise Him and abide in His presence (vv. 7-8). We must trust He is a redeemer and full of mercy (vv. 11-12) when others are prosecuting and vengeful. God knows our hearts and we can be confident we stand firm in good company with all the saints before us God has redeemed, “the great assembly” (v. 12), who continue to praise the Lord with you.
- Why do people still bring an accusation against something from which you have been forgiven by the Lord?
- Have you truly confessed sin, turned away from it, asked the Lord for forgiveness, and been transformed in your character to give accusers confidence of a genuinely changed person in Christ?
- Are you praising the Lord, depending upon Him, and resting in His presence during (not after) the trial you are going through right now?
Lord, thank you for being a house (v. 8) of glory (v. 9) and justice that vindicates (v. 1), tests (v. 2), and loves (v. 3). You redeem and give mercy (v. 11) and I praise you (v. 12). Help me to lead a blameless life without wavering (v. 1) and walk continually in your truth (v. 3). Thank you that I can “stand on level ground in the great assembly” (v. 12) only because of your redeeming mercy (v. 11). While only Your verdict matters, help others see You through my actions, and may those who are against me turn to you as they see you in my life. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
Stephen and his wife Haley have called Arkansas home all of their lives. Stephen has served in several ministry roles over the last 25 years and as a lead pastor for the last 8 years. Stephen attended Williams Baptist College and earned a BA in Biblical Studies from Ouachita Baptist University, an MA, MDiv, and DMin in Christian Leadership and Pastoral Ministries from Liberty University. When not pastoring, Stephen enjoys running, cycling, reading, writing, camping, fishing, and spending time with his family.