The Lord dealt with me according to my righteousness;
according to the cleanness of my hands he rewarded me.
For I have kept the ways of the Lord,
and have not wickedly departed from my God.
For all his rules were before me,
and his statutes I did not put away from me.
I was blameless before him,
and I kept myself from my guilt.
So the Lord has rewarded me according to my righteousness,
according to the cleanness of my hands in his sight. (Ps 18:20-24)
This Psalm has such vivid imagery with regard to the Lord and how he rewarded David with victory over his enemies. That is what much of the Psalm is about. But here, David reflects on why God helped him and professes his righteousness and the cleanness of his hands. This is a hard thing to understand. We know that David was a sinner, so how can he profess his innocence? I have two thoughts on this. The first is what we all might conclude as we read it from a New Testament perspective. David has been cleared of his sin through his trust in God. That’s the catchall answer. And while it is technically correct, I think David means more than that. David gives evidence of his righteousness by pointing to his keeping the ways of the Lord and not “wickedly departed” from his God. Here is where we are to note a major theme of the Psalms. He is kept the ways of the Lord BECAUSE God’s rules were always before him and God’s statutes were not put away from him. There is a conscious clinging to the Word of God. While David certainly slipped at times, this was his intentional lifestyle. It isn’t the thing, in the end, that saves him. That is clear even in this Psalm as David explains how God came down and saved him when he was on the verge of death. But keeping God’s Word close keeps David and his own heart close to God. You see, ultimately the laws aren’t about strict rules that you must keep, but reflections of the glory of God himself. They reveal His character and nature and that is a beautiful thing.
What is your view of God’s Word?
Ask the Lord to mold your view of God’s Word to match David’s view, and more so the true Christ.
Chronological Reading Plan plus Psalms: Ge 20-21, Ps 18