Today’s reading is Psalm 26.
As we recognized yesterday, David loves the Lord’s house. This sets this psalm up in the middle of a series of psalms starting with Psalm 23. The Shepherd’s psalm ends with the declaration, “I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” But who gets to actually dwell in that house? Psalm 24 provides the answer: one who has clean hands and pure heart. But wait, I’ve already messed that up. Is there any hope for me? Psalm 25, the first psalm to explicitly mention the psalmist’s own personal sin, anticipates and answers that objection. Our God is merciful, gracious, abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness (reminding us of God’s own declaration in Exodus 34:6-7). Because of God’s mercy and grace, I can climb His holy Hill and dwell in His house despite my failures and sins. And now Psalm 26 talks about life in God’s house. Before we jump to David’s integrity (a topic for tomorrow), notice how David actually got into God’s house. “Your steadfast love is before my eyes, and I walk in your faithfulness.” In whose faithfulness? David’s faithfulness? No, in God’s. This is another reference back to Exodus 34:6-7. In other words, David isn’t saying, “I’ve been so amazing, I deserve to be in Your house, Lord.” He is remembering the principles we learned in the previous psalm. He has walked in the Lord’s love and faithfulness. He has called on God’s mercy and grace. As Psalm 5:7 explained, David has entered the Lord’s house not because of his own awesomeness, but “through the abundance of your steadfast love.” It is no wonder that David’s prayer about his own integrity still ends with a request for God to “be gracious to me.” The only way to dwell in God’s house is by His grace. Don’t you just love God’s grace? David did. Praise the Lord!
Tomorrow’s reading is Psalm 26.
A Word for Our Kids
Hey kids, are you picking up on the story that is developing in the psalms we’ve been reading over the past few weeks? I mentioned it to your parents above. It will actually continue for at least two more psalms. These psalms are telling us a story about God’s house. It began in Psalm 23. That psalm moved us from being out in the pasture to entering God’s palace. That is, it took us from wandering in the wilderness to dwelling in the Lord’s house forever. In fact, that is how the psalm ended. Then Psalm 24 blatantly asked the question we should all ask. If God is the amazing creator, conqueror, and owner of all things, who actually gets to dwell in His house? The picture was pretty strict, requiring clean hands and a pure heart. That, of course, will lead us to a struggle. What if I have already defiled my hands and befouled my heart? Psalm 25 set our minds at ease, explaining we serve a merciful God. We serve a merciful, gracious God who abounds in steadfast love and faithfulness. If we seek Him humbly, He will remember us not according to our sins, but according to His love and faithfulness. If we seek Him above all other things, bringing even our sins to Him, He will draw us up to the summit of His holy hill. We will dwell in His house. Now, in Psalm 26, David is dwelling in the habitation of the Lord’s house. But he isn’t there because his love has been so perfect. He is there because he set his eyes on the perfect steadfast love of the Lord (Psalm 26:3). As David wrote in Psalm 25:15, his “eyes are ever toward the Lord.” And in 25:10, “All the paths of the Lord are steadfast love and faithfulness.” The editors of the Psalms (the folks who organized the psalms in their present order) are showing you David’s story, his dwelling in the Lord’s house, how he got there, and its blessings. May this become our story as well.