1 (A Psalm of David.) Judge me, O Yahweh; for I have walked in mine integrity: I have trusted also in Yahweh; therefore I shall not slide.

2 Examine me, O Yahweh, and prove me; try my reins and my heart.

We must read the Psalms in the right way

...we must not think of them as merely the utterances of David or Christ.

...They were written for the generations of the children of God to come give us a form of exercise by which we may both try and develop ourselves.

They furnish to ourselves a test and a standard as to where we are in true spiritual life - a kind of mould into which we can fit ourselves to see if we correspond to the shape.

David was a man after God,s own heart; Jesus was the Father's well- beloved Son. Here in the Psalms, then, we have the sentiments and the forms of speech acceptable to God. Let us read them as if they were our own.

Can we speak in their language? Can we utter their thoughts? Are we at home in their feelings and sentiments? Here is where they are useful to us - not only informing us as to David's state of mind and his Greater Son, but giving a lesson in the etiquette of heaven, by which we may learn how acceptably to comport ourselves in our approaches to the majesty of heaven and earth, and how to walk before Him in our daily ways, so as to be well-pleasing to Him.

..."Judge me, . God, for I have walked in mine integrity; I have trusted also in the Lord. Examine me, . Lord, and prove me; try my reins and my heart, for Thy lovingkindness is before mine eyes, and I have walked in Thy Truth."

Are we prepared to testify these things of ourselves? And to make these requests? Do we walk in the right way? Are we anxious to be divinely inspected and exhibited? While it is Pharisaical to be boastful, and while a broken and a contrite heart is the reasonable state for the best of mortal men, yet there must be a measure of what Paul calls

"the answer of a good conscience."

We must be able to declare integrity the rule of our action and the truth of Yahweh the way of our path. We must not be in the case of the Church of England confessors who always say, "We have done those things we ought not to have done, and we have left undone those things that we ought to have done."

Those of whom this is true are without hope; for while it is true that

"there liveth not a man upon earth that sinneth not,"

and that our hope is in the Lord's mercy, it is also true that that mercy is reserved for

"such as keep His covenant, and to those who remember His commandments to do them" (Psalm 103:18).

As Jesus says:

"Except your righteousness exceed the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the Kingdom of Heaven."

Seasons 2: 24

3 For thy lovingkindness is before mine eyes: and I have walked in thy truth.

4 I have not sat with vain persons, neither will I go in with dissemblers.

5 I have hated the congregation of evil doers; and will not sit with the wicked.

6 I will wash mine hands in innocency: so will I compass thine altar, O Yahweh:

7 That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all thy wondrous works.

8 Yahweh, I have loved the habitation of thy house, and the place where thine honour dwelleth.

9 Gather not my soul with sinners, nor my life with bloody men:

To David was the great promise that the Saviour of mankind should come from his loins, and be known for eternity as his son. And looking back at his incredible record of faith and courage and suffering and patience and kindness to his enemies, and tremendous accomplishments for God of war and government and music and praise, he could almost be entitled to feel that he had earned his high distinction in the purpose of God.

And in a limited sense, in a relative, comparative sense, he had. He alone, a boy, had stood in perfect faith, when all Israel's mighty men had cowered before the huge man of flesh. And from that point on he had served God with preeminent distinction, and had been made the medium of the Spirit's deepest and most beautiful songs of praise and holiness.

But he must learn to the fullest and bitterest depths the natural depravity of the human heart, and the great need for that Saviour who, by the grace of God was to come through him-not only to eternally establish his (David's) kingdom, but to conquer and destroy his sin, and the sin that lies at the root of all mankind's sorrow and suffering and evil.

David was not caused to sin-either in the numbering or in the case of Bathsheba. But he was permitted to sin. He was put in a position where his weakness would be exposed and tested. God could have sent an Abigail to stop him, if He had so chosen. But this time he was allowed to fall.

Bro Growcott - Strength and weakness

10 In whose hands is mischief, and their right hand is full of bribes.

11 But as for me, I will walk in mine integrity: redeem me, and be merciful unto me.

12 My foot standeth in an even place: in the congregations will I bless Yahweh.