Psalm 26 (Listen)

26:1   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 my mind.
  For your steadfast love is before my eyes,
    and I walk in your faithfulness.
  I do not sit with men of falsehood,
    nor do I consort with hypocrites.
  I hate the assembly of evildoers,
    and I will not sit with the wicked.
  I wash my hands in innocence
    and go around your altar, O LORD,
  proclaiming thanksgiving aloud,
    and telling all your wondrous deeds.
  O LORD, I love the habitation of your house
    and the place where your glory dwells.
  Do not sweep my soul away with sinners,
    nor my life with bloodthirsty men,
10   in whose hands are evil devices,
    and whose right hands are full of bribes.
11   But as for me, I shall walk in my integrity;
    redeem me, and be gracious to me.
12   My foot stands on level ground;
    in the great assembly I will bless the LORD.


“Prove me, O Lord, and try me; test my heart and my mind . . . But as for me, I shall walk in my integrity; redeem me, and be gracious to me” (Psalm 26:2, 11).

In Psalm 26:2 David prays: “Prove (or test) me, O Lord, and try me; test my heart and mind.”  We might hesitate to pray that prayer — fearful that we would fail the test. So how can David pray this prayer? He can because he is grounded in God’s steadfast love for him, because he lives in reliance on God’s faithfulness. David does not say, “Test me and try me because I always do what is right.” He is aware that there are times when he fails. But even as God tests and tries him, David does not despair because God forgives, because God is gracious. As you strive to honor God today, may you remember that when you fail, God forgives. “For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, abounding in steadfast love to all who call upon you” (Psalm 86:5).