scales of justice

Psalm 26 – Judge Me!

 May 28, 2024

Psalm 26 – Judge me, Lord, and so it begins. Who has the nerve to pray this? Such is the confidence of the writer in God’s loving kindness and righteousness. He is so confident that he is willing to be judged.

Psalm 26

Psalm 26 is a short prayer of a person who has been falsely accused. He is looking for justice, so he starts by inviting God to judge him.

Judge me, O Lord; for I have walked in 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 your lovingkindness is before my eyes: and I have walked in your truth.” (1-3)

He goes on to say how he has lived his life, citing evidence of the sincerity of his religious life:

I have not sat with vain persons, neither will I go in with dissemblers. I have hated the congregation of evil doers; and will not sit with the wicked. I will wash mine hands in innocence: so will I compass thine altar, O Lord: That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all thy wondrous works.” (4-7)

He then asks God to not include him with sinners:

Lord, I have loved the habitation of your house, and the place where your honor dwells. Gather not my soul with sinners, nor my life with bloody men: In whose hands is mischief, and their right hand is full of bribes.” (8-10)

He concludes with repeating how he will walk in integrity. He stands in an even place, he insists.

But as for me, I will walk in integrity: redeem me, and be merciful unto me. My foot stands in an even place: in the congregations will I bless the Lord.” (11-12)

On Being Judged

I regularly work out at Planet Fitness. I appreciate that it is a “No Judgment Zone.” No judging others about how they dress or how many weights they lift. There are to be no comparisons to others. Just work on yourself. I like that. I don’t like being judged, especially since it usually implies that I come out lacking in the process.

Our court system provides that a person be judged by a jury of their peers. Still, it is hard to be judged. Peers or not, we are human and subject to human error. Even the best of us fall prey to this. Jesus tells us to judge not lest we be judged. Amen to that.

Psalm 26 – Judge Me!

Not so our God. If you have to be judged, let it be by God. The writer of Psalm 26 was wise. To be judged by God is … wondrous! Only God knows us better than we know ourselves. Only God can see beyond the masks we wear and our own tendencies to deceive ourselves. God knows how to help us see our blind spots in such a way that we come out better for having been judged.

Other translations of this psalm begin with vindicate me. Personally, I prefer judge me. To vindicate is to predetermine the outcome you want. You are already certain of your innocence. Judge me leaves it up to God, the great judge, to determine the outcome. I would rather have God in charge than an earthly judge or even myself.

So yes, I say with the writer of Psalm 26 – Judge me! I welcome God’s judgment for I know I will become a better person from it.

What has been your experience of being judged? Have you ever been judged unjustly?

(For another take on this psalm, see Psalm 26 – Help when Falsely Accused – Patricia M Robertson)


This post is part of a series of blog posts on the Psalms. Sign up to follow this blog and and receive a free copy of  Still Dancingthe second book in my Dancing through Life Series.      click here to sign up

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