I have led a blameless life (NIV)
David begins Psalm 26 with this amazing statement. How can anyone claim to be blameless? Is anyone blameless?
Verse 1 and verses 11-12 function as bookends in that verses 11-12 repeat the concepts expressed in verse 1. David starts by saying he has lived a life of integrity and and ends by saying he will continue to walk in his integrity.
The central four verses are David's defense of his innocence. This central section is surrounded by two sections of 22 words in Hebrew - verses 1-3 and 8-10. The final two verses function as a conclusion declaring David's continued integrity and confidence in God. The final verse is set apart even further by a sudden change of address from praying to God to talking about God and functions as a coda.
The Blameless Life - The Primary Characteristic
I have trusted God without wavering
The number one characteristic of a blameless life is faith. We are not blameless because of a perfect life. We are blameless because of our faith in God and His Son, Jesus. David trusted God without wavering. David then clarifies why He trusts God:
- He trusted God's love - David lived with God's love always before him. (Psalm 26:3a)
- He trusted God's faithfulness - David knew that God was faithful. God would not fail him. (Psalm 26:3b)
If you want to be blameless before God then you must live a life of faith.
The Blameless Life - 5 Secondary Characteristics
David now lists five characteristics of a life of integrity:
- Reject Deceivers (Psalm 26:4) - David would not spend time with deceitful people. What people say matters.
- Reject Evildoers (Psalm 26:5) - David refused to associate with wicked people. What people do matters.
- Confession (Psalm 26:6) - David washed his hands in innocence. Although this may primarily be referring to the David's confidence in his innocent lifestyle, I think the word washed is a word picture pointing to the act of cleansing which we receive when we confess our sins. When we confess, there is nothing between us and God.
- Praise (Psalm 26:7) - David is constantly praising God. God responds to those who lift up His name.
- Worship (Psalm 26:8) - Finally we see that David loved to spend time in God's presence. God responds to those who love Him.
Notice that the last 3 characteristics involve some form of worship: confession, praise and spending time with God. Salvation is not about perfection but about our relationship with God.
David then contrasts the life of integrity with the life of sin. The sinner is violent, a doer of evil and deceitful.
Do you wish to live a blameless life before God? Then be a person of faith, who refuses to be influenced by evil people, stays pure through confession, and loves to worship God. With this type of lifestyle you can join with David and say:
My feet stand on level ground;
in the great congregation I will praise the Lord.