Vindicate me, O Lord,
for I have walked in my integrity,
and I have trusted in the Lord without wavering.
Prove me, O Lord, and try me;
test my heart and mind.
For your steadfast love is before my eyes,
and I walk in faithfulness to you.[a]
I do not sit with the worthless,
nor do I consort with hypocrites;
I hate the company of evildoers,
and will not sit with the wicked.
I wash my hands in innocence,
and go around your altar, O Lord,
singing aloud a song of thanksgiving,
and telling all your wondrous deeds.
O Lord, I love the house in which you dwell,
and the place where your glory abides.
Do not sweep me away with sinners,
nor my life with the bloodthirsty,
those in whose hands are evil devices,
and whose right hands are full of bribes.
But as for me, I walk in my integrity;
redeem me, and be gracious to me.
My foot stands on level ground;
in the great congregation I will bless the Lord.
God in a true sense never needs vindication, but in the end God will vindicate God’s name. God does that various ways, and ultimately in and through Jesus. But God also vindicates God’s people, God’s servants. Although none of us are worthy of complete vindication.
To vindicate is simply to prove one to be in the right, in what’s good, in the clear. We could see it as judicial or perhaps helping people to see that such is the case in real life by good works and the good results which follow.
In this life God and God’s people and servants will be not only questioned, but doubted, and sometimes even cast out as evil.
It is interesting that this is a Davidic psalm, attributed to, of all people, David. Which is true of many of the psalms. But the idea of vindication and integrity (or blamelessness, NIV) seem pretty far removed from reality when we consider David. What is the first thing that comes to mind when we think of David? The gospel does not hide his sin since right from the beginning in Matthew David’s sin with Bathsheba which involved what amounted to murder as well is mentioned. We know that repentance followed. Some might think of Psalm 23 which David may have penned (“The Lord is my shepherd…”). And in Acts David is remembered as a man after God’s own heart (also 1 Samuel) who would do all God wanted him to do. As well as serving God’s purpose in his generation.
This should be encouraging to us. There are times when we doubt ourselves, and maybe even doubt the Lord’s relationship to us and work in our own lives, never mind the fact that others doubt us. Vindication from God is entirely from God’s grace and goodness to us. We can’t and shouldn’t try to do this ourselves. That will amount to no vindication at all. Notice of course that it’s a prayer here. We need to remain low, and let God do what only God can do.
And in doing so, it is God who will be glorified, even while God chooses to glorify God’s servants as well. In the end certainly all the glory rightfully goes to God. Yet somehow God lifts us up into that same glory, might we say glorification? which indeed will happen in a final sense.
So we need to entrust ourselves, our reputations, all of us including the dark places in our lives into God’s hands. Believing that God will work it out for good, not just for ourselves, but for and including everyone else as well. In and through Jesus.