Politics as usual?
Remember, David had to run from the king for years before taking his rightful place as the leader of the kingdom. Later, he had to run from his own son Absalom who took over Jerusalem. Politics has never been static. It is fluid, is in constant conflict. Writing this blog in the midst of a political system on hyper-alert, the contrast in this psalm is amazing. Think about how which leader we are electing compares to David's plea of integrity. It is a good measuring stick. While this psalm is indeed a political statement, yet it is full of beauty. You can't be a follower of God without being touched by His beauty, with a little bit of His glory sticking to you.
"Vindicate me, O Lord,
for I have walked in my integrity,
And I have trusted in the Lord
Examine me, O Lord, and try me;
Test my mind and my heart.
For Your lovingkindness is before my eyes,
And I have walked in Your truth.
I do not sit with deceitful men,
Nor will I go with pretenders.
I hate the assembly of evildoers,
And I will not sit with the wicked."
'Judge me, vindicate me' "Many suppose he wrote it to vindicate himself from some severe reflections on his conduct, or accusations relative to plots, conspiracies, etc. This seems to render the opinion probable that attributes it to David during his exile, when all manner of false accusations were brought against him at the court of Saul. ' have walked in mine integrity' "I have never plotted against the life nor property of any man: I have neither coveted, nor endeavoured to possess myself of Saul's crown."
"'For Thy lovingkindness' A sense of thy favour and approbation was more to my heart than thrones and scepters; and, in order to retain this blessing, 'I have walked in Thy truth.'"
Now here is how Adam Clarke sees the politics of this passage, Politics 101: "'I have not sat with vain persons.' 'men of lies, dissemblers, backbiters, etc. 'Neither will I go in with dissemblers,' 'the hidden ones, the dark designers, the secret plotters, and conspirators against the state.' 'I have hated the congregation of evil doers,' I have never made one in the crowds of discontented persons: persons who, under pretence of rectifying what was wrong in the state, strove to subvert it, to breed general confusion, to overturn the laws, seize on private property, and enrich themselves by the spoils of the country.'"
"I shall wash my hands in innocence,
And I will go about Your altar, O Lord,
That I may proclaim with the voice of thanksgiving
And declare all Your wonders.
Breathe. Politics sometimes makes you want to take a bath. "'I will wash my mine hands in innocency.' 'was sometimes an action by which a man declared his innocence of any base or wicked transaction. This Pilate did to protest his innocence of the maltreatment and death of Christ. I will maintain that innocence of life in which I have hitherto walked; and take care that nothing shall be found in my heart or life that would prevent me from using the most holy ordinance, or worshipping Thee in spirit and in truth."
Hmm. Isn't that a standard, to worship in spirit and truth, a life guide.
"O Lord, I love the habitation of Your house
And the place where Your glory dwells."
What a beautiful, beautiful verse. ""The tabernacle of thy glory.' The habitation must mean the Holy of holies, where the Divine presence was manifest: and the place of the tabernacle must refer to the mercy seat, or the place where the glory of the Lord appeared between the cherubim, upon the lid or cover of the ark of the covenant. From his dwelling there, the place where the appearance were called; the dwelling of Jehovah, or that glorious appearance which the symbol of the Divine presence.'" What's not to love?
"Do not take my soul away along with sinners,
Nor my life with men of bloodshed,
In whose hands is a wicked scheme,
And whose right hand is full of bribes.
But as for me, I shall walk in my integrity;
Redeem me, and be gracious to me.
My foot stands on a level place;
In the congregations I shall bless the Lord."
"'Gather not my soul with sinners.' 'As I have never loved their company,
nor followed their practice, let not my eternal lot be cast with them! I neither love them nor their ways: --may I never be doomed to spend an eternity with them.'"
This is something we should think about, about the company we want to be in for eternity. Thus, should we support candidates whom we would not desire or expect to spend eternity with?
"'Their right hand is full of bribes.' He speaks of persons in office, who took bribes to pervert judgment and justice.' 'But as for me, I will walk in my integrity' Whatever I may have to do with public affairs, shall be done with the strictest attention to truth, justice, and mercy.'"
Remember, these quotes are from Adam Clarke from the 1700's, before television and the internet. However, politics in his day meant the tower, the guillotine, or being banished at best. Politics.
Vote for the one who pays attention to truth, justice, and mercy. As Christians we have a responsibility to hold for with truth, even in politics. To neglect this responsibility is rolling over and playing dead while the enemy takes over.