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The central word of the song may be said to be, “So will I compass Thine altar, O Jehovah” (v.. Psa 26:6 ). On either side conditions of worship are described. First the conditions of personal life necessary to worship (vv. Psa 26:1-6 ). Afterwards the true exercise of worship is described (vv. Psa 26:7-8 ). Then the psalm becomes a prayer for preparation (vv. Psa 26:9-11 ); and ends with the declaration of assurance (v.. Psa 26:12 ).
As to conditions of personal life fitting for worship, they may be described as complete separation from evil ways and evil persons. Fellowship with Jehovah is only possible when there is no fellowship with the wicked. Moreover, the Judge must be Jehovah Himself. To Him the singer makes his appeal. In this fact there is great solemnity and great comfort. Jehovah’s standards are high, but they are ever far more reasonable than those of men. The exercise of worship at its highest is that of praise, issuing from delight in the dwelling-place and glory of God. The prayer for preparation explains the opening words. In its light they are seen to be of the nature of appeal to Jehovah’s decision rather than boasting in His presence. The final prayer for preparation is, “Redeem me and be merciful unto me.” Such a prayer is immediately answered, and this the last verse makes plain.
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Morgan, G. Campbell. "Commentary on Psalms 26". "Morgan's Exposition on the Bible". https://studylight.org/
the Fourth Week after Epiphany