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  Bro. Tom’s Weekly Bible Study
  Week #94
Posted: September 1, 2006

PSALM 26:1-3

Let us turn in our study time this week to Psalm 26.  All we know from the title is ‘A Psalm of David’.  Many believe it finds its roots in II Samuel 21.  It is here God brings a three-year famine upon the nation for Saul’s unholy dealings with the Gibeonites.  In order to stay the famine David had to give seven of Saul’s sons for the Gibeonites to hang.  Surely David was not the most popular king during theses hours.  It is here most believe he offered himself to the Lord for examination and penned this Psalm.

Let us look at what I call the first stanza of this song. (Vs. 1-3)  I have entitled it ‘A Holy Openness’.  The text says,Judge me, O LORD; for I have walked in mine integrity: I have trusted also in the LORD; therefore I shall not slide. Examine me, O LORD, and prove me; try my reins and my heart. For thy lovingkindness is before mine eyes: and I have walked in thy truth.”

In these verses David offers his inward man for a thorough search.  There are several phrases used to expose this search.  They are ‘judge me’ and ‘examine me’.  The phrase ‘judge me’ means to put one to the test of your all knowing and all seeing eye.  Oh, let us be sure of our inward state before we ask for such a test.

The phrase ‘examine me’ means to scrutinize or look closely at every detail.  It has the idea of look me through and through, make a minute survey of every point.

The phrase ‘prove me’ in verse 2 means put me to the test for reality and genuineness.  LORD, see if I am real.  The phrase ‘try my reins’ means look into my inmost being and see who is on the throne of my life.  How can one have such holy openness?  Spurgeon said this about David’s words, “What a comfort it is to have the approbation of one’s own conscience.  If there be peace within the soul, the blustering storms of slander which howl around us are of little consideration when the little bird in my bosom sings a merry song, it is no matter to me if a thousand owls hoot at me from without.” 

In verse 3 we find the key to David’s holy openness during this dark hour.  David speaks of his focus and faithfulness.  His focus has been the ‘lovingkindness’ of the LORD.  The word means the stooping of a superior to an inferior for the purpose of lifting up the inferior to the realm of the superior.  It is clear from the text this lovingkindness has caused a faithful walk in truth.  This focus and faithfulness has given David the freedom to open himself to holy examination.

I was thinking of the power of God’s love to change the heart.  It was so powerful in the life of David.

I am reminded of a story I read in the writings of John Phillips.  Years ago the government of India was having a problem with the Hindu and Muslim tribal wars.  They brought havoc to the country.  Sir John Hewitt, the British governor, contacted General William Booth of the Salvation Army about what could be done.  General Booth replied, “You cannot make a man clean by washing his shirt.”  John Hewitt allowed General Booth to send a team in to preach the gospel of the love of God.  Many were gloriously saved and brought to peace with God, which infuriated the Hindus.

I was wondering what would happen if our President would send in teams to the Muslim countries to preach the unsearchable riches of the gospel.  It is still the power of God to change the lives of men.  Oh, how this would hair-lip the liberals of our day.  May God awaken us to the power of the gospel of His lovingkindness.  It will cause a holy openness in our lives.