Vs. 1-5 state David’s evaluation of his efforts to please God;
Vs. 6-10 ask God to notice David has avoided sinners’ influence;
Vs. 11-12 give David’s knowledge of the safest place to be.
In verse 1, God is asked to give David a “passing grade” because of his “track record” of integrity (as a righteous man, Proverbs 20:7), trust in the LORD (Proverbs 3:5), and determination to not sin (1 John 5:18). This Psalm must have been written when the youthful David was chased by King Saul, and before David, as King, met Bathsheba!
In verse 2, David requests to be “examined” and “passed” because of his “mind and heart.”
Verses 3-5 repeat the disassociation with sinners in Psalm 1:1. Today, it never is good for Christians to run with the wrong crowd. “Do not be deceived: ‘Evil company corrupts good habits’” (1 Corinthians 15:33). One is self-deceived who thinks that by running with the wrong crowd, it will be improved and the Christian not stained with its sin! Becoming a Christian often means a change of friends: “For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles–when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries. In regard to these, they think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation, speaking evil of you. They will give an account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead” (1 Peter 4:3-5).
Verses 6-8 describe David’s awareness that he must cleanse himself to approach God in worship. This is unchanged for Christians, for James said: “Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded” (James 4:7-8). Jesus told Peter, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me” (John 13:8). Jesus cleanses sinners today through His baptism (Colossians 2:11-14).
Verses 9-10 make the appeal for the obedient to not be thrown into the same judgment with the disobedient, who are described as “sinners,” “bloodthirsty men,” “sinister” schemers, bribers. The New Testament reassurance this won’t happen is found in 2 Timothy 2:16-19.
Verses 11-12 re-state David’s will to continue doing what he knows is right and approved by God, and that sound footing is found in congregating with God’s people. Since one person is not a “congregation,” it is evident that associations with others who strive to please God should replace socialization with sinners. The New Testament “assembly” (church) who “sing” (not “and play” musical instruments!) are called “brethren” by Jesus in Hebrews 2:11-12. One who is converted to Christ should attend all the church he can!
All Scriptures and comments, unless otherwise noted, are based upon the New King James Version.