God in the Psalms No.43 – God who Vindicates
Psa 26:1 Vindicate me, O LORD, for I have led a blameless life; I have trusted in the LORD without wavering.
There are times when we have been going through life quietly, minding our own business, when suddenly someone makes an unfounded accusation against us. We are hurt by it, but what makes it worse is that others listen to the accusation and wonder if it is true. At that point we want to be vindicated, we want the world to see that it is not true. Or it may be that a certain course of action seems obvious to us – but not to others. We take it and then start wondering. We were sure about it but it’s going to take a while for the fruit of it to be seen. In the meanwhile you’re aware that people are questioning the wisdom of going this way. You long for success to come for you want to be vindicated in the eyes of the watchers.
This is how David feels. David is aware that he lives in the midst of people who, he describes, are deceitful men, hypocrites, evildoers, wicked (v.4,5) sinners, bloodthirsty men, in whose hands are wicked schemes, whose right hands are full of bribes” (v.9,10). It seems he is conscious that he stands out among them and (implied) they point fingers at him. It’s like the Christian working in the midst of people who are unbelievers and who point fingers at them for being ‘religious’ or a ‘goody-two-shoes’! The reality is they are upset by being shown up so they make comments, or worse. It’s normal in those circumstances to cry out, “Vindicate me, O Lord!”
In his appeal to the Lord, David now lists all the things he has been doing right: “I have trusted in the LORD without wavering” (v.1), “I walk continually in your truth” (v.3), “I do not sit with deceitful men, nor do I consort with hypocrites” (v.4) and so on. It’s like he is saying, Lord, I have sought to please you in all I do. Please show the world around me that this was the right way. Please justify me!
Justify is a word that goes with vindication. To justify means to show the rightness of a person’s actions. Justification is a key theme in the New Testament. It’s all about how God has vindicated His actions, sending Jesus to the Cross, by making you right in His sight. Paul said, “The Scripture foresaw that God would justify the Gentiles by faith” (Gal 3:8). One of those Scriptures that Paul spoke about was, “my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities” (Isa 53;11). Perhaps one of the other Scriptures was simply, “the LORD will vindicate his people” (Psa 135:14). Paul was to go on and write: “we have been justified through faith” (Rom 5:1), “we have now been justified by his blood” (Rom 5:9), “those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified” (Rom 8:30) and “it is with your heart that you believe and are justified” (Rom 10:10).
This is all about God putting us right in his eyes. But what about in the eyes of the world? Well, we’re to do the same as David; we’re to seek to ensure that everything we say and do is right and glorifies God (Mt 5:16, 1Pet 2:12,15, 3:1,2). Even if we do receive opposition, says Peter in his first letter, such people “should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good” (1 Pet 4:19). Ah, have you noted the goal of this vindication in these verses? It is to ensure God is glorified. As David put it at the end of this Psalm, as he realized what his position really was: “My feet stand on level ground; in the great assembly I will praise the LORD” (v.12). That was the truth: with the Lord it was fine! Just let God be glorified.