Would you believe that I had plans to take my computer home last night and produce the blog after my daughter’s basketball game? They ended up winning by 44 and it was so exciting that I completely forgot. I know, a lame excuse, but it is all I have. I believe this is the first time in our 90+90+150 days that I forgot to post on a day. Hang in there, it will probably happen again. Now on to Psalm 26.
You find many psalms where the author, and let’s say that it is David, raises up his own righteousness and beseeches God to not count him in the number of those who will be judged negatively. He lists his positive attributes almost as reasons for why he should be seen as righteous. One of our fundamental beliefs as Protestants is what Paul tells us in Romans 3:23 which reminds us that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Many people go through life trying to do more than enough in order to compensate for that sin. Our actions and being good is often thought of as a way to make ourselves worthy before God.
But the simple truth is that we cannot do enough, ever, to compensate for our sin. There is simply nothing that we can do to make up the gap that exists between us and God, the gap created by our unfaithfulness and constant sin. So since it is out of our hands, it is not helpful for us to list the good things that we have done. The breech has been filled, the gap between us and God, by the blood of Jesus and his actions. Nothing we have done or can do will ever be able to compensate for the undoing of our sin. Only Jesus can do it, and he has.
So when we get to vs.6 and the author states that he washes his hands in innocence and he walks around the altar, we need to understand that there was an actual act which took place which allows him to say this. Once a year a lamb was sacrificed upon the altar and as a result the people’s sins were forgiven and they were able to be washed clean by the blood of the lamb. Again, in the Old Testament, this had to take place once a year and what David describes here in vs.6 is that shedding of the blood in which the hands would be washed clean. During this the people would walk around the altar as a liturgical act which contributed to the forgiveness of sins.
As a result David can write vss.7 and 8 praising God for what God has done. God has forgiven him. The resulting expression is one of extolling the beauty and the joy of being in the house of God. Today I want you to rest assured of your salvation in Jesus which does not come about by your actions, but rather by the blood of Jesus which was shed up on the cross. Praise be to God!