January 26 Bible Reading:
**Click to read Christine Miller’s Bible study for today.
Shavua tov! Good week to you!
I’ve been looking forward to writing about Psalm 26, where we read a little more about what we must be like to be in YHVH’s presence.
I had a conversation recently with a friend about what it means when people say they have the righteousness of Christ. Does having a relationship with Yeshua the Messiah make me automatically righteous?
When we repent of our sin and trust in the blood of Yeshua to cleanse us of the sin we confess we have committed, “He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). But this isn’t a one-time “washing.” As we have already seen, we must confess our sin on a daily basis, so that our fellowship with Him isn’t broken.
“After Adam and Eve sinned, they had to be clean before coming into the Father’s presence, and that cleanliness was obtained for them by the shed blood of the animal that died to clothe them. We can enter into the presence of the Father through Yeshua’s shed blood, but in our daily walk, we must stay clean — or we cannot fellowship with the One who loves us most.”
David isn’t being proud when he says that he has done no wrong. He’s just looking inside his heart (like Job has been doing) and honestly stating what’s going on. (We will see in the future, in Psalms such as in Psalm 51, that when he finds sin inside his heart, he is honest and admits that also.)
“Vindicate me, YHVH,
For I have walked in my integrity.
I have also trusted in YHVH;
I shall not slip.
Examine me, YHVH, and prove me;
Try my mind and my heart.
For Your lovingkindness is before my eyes,
And I have walked in Your truth” (Psalm 26:1-3).
Now he is going to list specific sins that he has not committed:
“I have not sat with idolatrous mortals,
Nor will I go in with hypocrites.
I have hated the assembly of evildoers,
And will not sit with the wicked” (Psalm 26:4-5).
Idolatry is a big deal to YHVH — and we will see much, much more of this in the weeks to come.
But just hanging around with idolators is enough to make us unclean. Why is this so? Well, what would happen if you got yourself all cleaned up for a special occasion, like a wedding, by taking a shower, doing your hair and makeup, and dressing in a beautiful gown — but that your dog rolled in something smelly in the backyard and then rubbed all over you, right before you were ready to go out the door?
You didn’t roll in something unclean yourself, but just rubbing up against your dog is enough to make you smell bad.
YHVH’s Temple and altar are places of absolute purity and holiness, and we must be utterly clean to enter His presence.
“I will wash my hands in innocence;
So I will go about Your altar, YHVH,
That I may proclaim with the voice of thanksgiving,
And tell of all Your wondrous works.
YHVH, I have loved the habitation of Your house,
And the place where Your glory dwells” (Psalm 26:6-8).
There are many reasons why David would want to go before the altar of YHVH — for instance, all the men of Israel were to appear with offerings before YHVH three times a year, at the Feast of Unleavened Bread, the Feast of Weeks, and the Feast of Tabernacles. They were also to bring offerings when children were born, or when they touched a dead human body, or when they sinned. And I haven’t even listed them all! As King of Israel, living in a palace very close to the altar of YHVH, David had even more opportunities to go before His altar. And think of all the times David would need direction and guidance as a king, which he could find by going into the presence of YHVH!
So David made sure his hands were “washed in innocence.” Why? Because he loved the presence of YHVH!
“For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome” (1 John 5:3).
It’s all about who we love! Our love for YHVH is shown in our actions — both in what we do (cleansing our heart of sin, proclaiming His works with thanksgiving, blessing Him) and in what we do not do (making friends with idolators, sitting with them, and assembling together with those who are bloodthirsty, bribing sinners).
When we love Him, our feet stand in an even place. In other words, nothing shakes us (Psalm 25:12). His presence goes before us and with us, and He surrounds us with His mercy.
It’s a very good reason to stay clean!
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture in this blog post taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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