Verse 12. "My foot standeth in an even place " - On the above principles I have taken my stand: to abhor evil; to cleave to that which is good; to avoid the company of wicked men; to frequent the ordinances of God; to be true and just in all my dealings with men; and to depend for my support and final salvation on the mere mercy of God. He who acts in this way, his feet stand in an even place.
"I will bless the Lord. " - In all my transactions with men, and in all my assemblings with holy people, I will speak good of the name of the Lord, having nothing but good to speak of that name.
ANALYSIS OF THE TWENTY-SIXTH PSALM
There are four general parts in this Psalm: - I. An appeal of David to God to be his Judge, ver. 1, 2.
II. The causes that induced him to make the appeal. His conscious innocence, integrity, &c.
III. A petition, ver. 9, 11.
IV. His gratitude, ver. 12.
I. He begins with his appeal to God, whom he knew to be a just Judge; and therefore desires to be dealt with according to law: "Judge me; examine me; prove me; try me; even my reins and my heart." II. Then he assigns two causes of it; his integrity and his faith.
1. His faith and confidence in God were such that he knew that the Judge of all the world would do him right. "I have trusted in the Lord, therefore, I shall not slide." I will not change my religion, though powerfully tempted to do so.
2. His integrity: "I have walked in my integrity." For which he assigns the cause: "Thy loving-kindness is before my eyes; I have walked in thy truth." I follow thy word, and the principle it lays down.
Next he sets down his integrity by an injunction of parts, which were two:
1. How he carried himself to men; 2. How he conducted himself towards God.
1. He abstained from all society, confederacy, counsels, and intimacy with wicked men; he did hate and abominate their ways: "I have not sat in counsel 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." 2. The other degree of his integrity was, his piety: "I will wash my hands in innocence," i.e., I will worship thee; and for this end he would keep his hands from blood, oppression, &c., in order that he "might publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all the wondrous works of the Lord." 3. He mentions a second act of his piety, his love to God's house, and the service done in it: "O Lord, I have loved the habitation of thy house, and the place where thy honour dwelleth." III. Upon which conscientiousness of his integrity he falls to prayer, that God would not suffer him to be polluted with the conversation of wicked men, nor involved in their punishment: "Gather not my soul with sinners." Observe the many titles he gives to wicked men: - 1. They are vain persons; void of the fear of God; irreligious, ver. 4.
2. Deep, dark men; saying one thing with their mouth, and another with their heart, ver. 4.
3. Malignant; doing all for their own ends, ver. 5.
4. Impious; regardless of God and religion, ver. 5.
5. Sinners; traders in wickedness, ver. 9.
6. Blood-thirsty men; cruel and revengeful. ver. 9.
7. Mischievous; ready to execute with their hands what they had plotted in their heart ver. 10.
8. Lovers of bribes; perverting judgment for the sake of money, ver. 10.
With such David will have nothing to do: "But as for me, I will walk in my integrity." Redeem me from such people, and be merciful to me.
IV. Lastly. He shows his gratitude. "My foot stands in an even place;" hitherto I am sure I am in the good way. I will therefore praise the Lord in the congregation; not only privately, but publicly.
My foot hath hitherto been kept right by thy grace and mercy; therefore, when thou shalt bring me back again to thy temple, I will not be ungrateful, but will sing praises to thy name in and with the great congregation. Amen.