This is another psalm where I wish I knew when David wrote it. Did he write it during the time of his flight from Saul? Or from Absalom? Or did he write it at some other time in his life?
Looking at what he says, it would seem to make sense that this happened during his flight from Saul. For in these verses, he sings,
Vindicate me, O LORD, for I have led a blameless life I have trusted in the LORD without wavering. Test me, O LORD, and try me, examine my heart and my mind; for your love is ever before me, and I walk continually in your truth. (1-3)
Because of his failures with Bathsheba and Uriah, it would be much easier to see him singing this during his time fleeing from Saul. Certainly, he could say these things with much more confidence back then.
But what intrigues me is the idea that perhaps he wrote this song after his sin with Bathsheba. That it happened during his flight from Absalom.
And if that is so, then he truly understood the depth of God’s forgiveness. That God had indeed washed him as white as snow. That God had blotted out his iniquities as he had asked. (Psalm 51)
So when he talks about his blamelessness, he says this with confidence not based on the fact that he was. But on the basis of knowing that God had forgiven his sin and remembered his sin no more. (Jeremiah 31:34)
Now by God’s mercy, he was back on track, living the life that God had intended for him, and he could praise God saying,
I wash my hands in innocence, and go about your altar, O LORD, proclaiming aloud your praise and telling of all your wonderful deeds. (6-7)
And he could say with confidence,
My feet stand on level ground (12).
So many times we look at our lives, and we see our failures. We see our sin. And Satan would accuse us, saying, “See! You’re no good. Look at yourself. Look at what a mess you made out of your life.”
During those times, let us look Satan in the eye and tell him, “What you say is true. But God has already forgiven my sin, and no longer remembers it. You have no right to accuse me anymore when my Judge doesn’t. So get away from me Satan, and take your accusations with you. I’m God’s child now, and I’m forgiven. And in his eyes, I’m blameless.”