The 26th Psalm was written by David when he was being persecuted by Saul before his anointing as king of Israel by the Prophet Samuel.
It was an incredibly difficult period in David’s life, when everyone turned their backs on him and abandoned him.
The main idea, the core of the Psalm, is the glorification of the Creator, Who defends and protects all those who believe in Him from harm.
The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? (Ps. 26:1).
To become the Lord’s own—this is our eternal goal. It means putting all your trust in Him, drawing strength solely from His strength and love, and being faithful and loyal to Him to the end, and He will reward us a thousandfold.
When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell. Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident (Ps. 26:2-3).
If we rejoice in communion with God, as plants do with the sun, if we are blissful when He is near and we long for Him more than for any other being, it is a sure sign that we are those whom He protects as His own.
One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in his temple (Ps. 26:4).
Trials are salvific. They change a man and his life. As the darkness thickens, the saving light brightens to the same measure.
Hear, O Lord, when I cry with my voice: have mercy also upon me, and answer me. When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek. Hide not thy face far from me; put not thy servant away in anger: thou hast been my help; leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation (Ps. 26:7-9).
The Psalms are lifegiving water, strengthening food for the soul; we need them just as a traveler needs the strength of food and water.
The Psalms are our covenant with God, the covenant of our unity with Him. If we are with the Lord, we should fear nothing. He will protect, strengthen, and comfort us.
God is our only support, fortress, and ensign.
When reading the Psalms, we shouldn’t seek for any special feelings or rapture. We mustn’t give free reign to our feelings, because they are deceptive and fleeting: We can be influenced by a recent conversation with someone, a film we watched, a book we read, the weather, or our physical condition.
We must plunge deeper than our feelings in prayer. Let our will, through effort, clumsiness, awkwardness, resistance, and bewilderment, lead us consciously to communion with God.
“God sometimes speaks most confidentially to us when He takes us unawares” (C. S. Lewis).