At first reading the verse for today appears quite BOLD. I’m not even sure most Christians in our day would word the prayer exactly as David has.
But you can decide that matter, as the Lord leads you. “The LORD shall judge the people: judge me, O LORD, according to my righteousness, and according to mine integrity that is in me.” Psalm 7:8
David, in the “context” of Psalm 7, has been falsely accused of undermining King Saul of Israel. Treason, a capital offense, by the way.
But David is clearly NOT GUILTY!
Yet this young man finds himself running for his life, fleeing the death squad of a backslidden King!
So … David brings his petition for safety to the Lord, in prayer.
He knows a Judge who is right in all His decisions, the God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob!
Hear his faith speak: “The LORD shall judge the people.”
Here the noun “people” is different than in verse 7. There it was “leom,” a more general word, a mixture of people, the nations even. Here the word is “am,” a more unified group, even meaning “kinsfolk” at times! The idea is that God will judge HIS PEOPLE! Those who believe in Him!
This great God (the Judge) will reveal who is right, no matter what any false accuser might allege.
Then our verse continues, as if David has joined this throng of “little ones” God is judging … “Judge me, O LORD, according to my righteousness, and according to mine integrity that is in me.”
In this case anyway (being accused of seeking harm to King Saul), David is completely innocent! And he pleads that innocence before God!
(Really, we have no righteousness of our own! Isaiah the Prophet, who lived centuries after David, penned: “But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags ….” Quoted from Isaiah 64:6. Any righteousness we Christians have has been given us because of the Cross of Calvary, the Death of Jesus. His Imputation of Purity, His Holiness placed on us when we believed in His Name. When we trusted Him for salvation.)
But David, who is already trusting in a Messiah who would come (though seeing Him through a glass darkly) KNOWS he will some day face a Judge who will not be sitting on the bench in anger! But viewing his children in amazing love!
The noun “integrity” is based on “tam” in Hebrew, meaning “whole, complete, undivided,” even being translated “clean” a few times.
Talk about God removing our fear! “The LORD shall judge the people: judge me, O LORD, according to my righteousness, and according to mine integrity that is in me.”
An old preacher from the 17th century wrote the following words about today’s verse, about David. I thought they were particularly good. “Believers! Let not the terror of that day (of Judgment) dispirit you when you meditate upon it; let those who have slighted the Judge, and continue enemies to him and the way of holiness, droop and hang down their heads when they think of his coming; but lift ye up your heads with joy, for the last day will be your best day. The Judge is your Head and Husband, your Redeemer, and your Advocate. Ye must appear before the judgment-seat; but ye shall not come into condemnation. His coming will not be against you, but for you. It is otherwise with unbelievers, a neglected Saviour will be a severe Judge.”
— Dr. Mike Bagwell
Verse 9 is next, the Lord willing.