“But as for me, I will walk in my integrity: Redeem me and be merciful to me” (Psalm 26:11). The integrity that David claimed for himself was that he did not intend to sin. David did everything he could to keep himself from sinning and when he did sin, he confessed and repented of it.
David asked the LORD to redeem him and be merciful to him because he knew that in spite of his best effort, he could not save himself. The word translated redeem, pâdâh (paw – daw´) means to sever. “Padah indicates that some intervening or substitutionary action effects a release from an undesirable condition (6299).
At the time David wrote Psalm 26, he did not know how the situation with Absalom was going to turn out. David was confident that the LORD was on his side, but he did not assume that God would make it possible for him to return to Jerusalem. The only way that David could resume his responsibilities as king was for Absalom to be killed, and yet, David charged his men not to harm him.
David expected that if it was the LORD’s will for him to return to the throne, the LORD would take Absalom’s life through some divine action. David prayed, “Gather not my soul with sinners, nor my life with bloody men” (Psalm 26:9). The word translated gather, acaph means to take away (622), indicating David believed that God could take Absalom’s life if he wanted to.
David differentiated himself from those who deserve to be punished. It is clear in Psalm 26 that David believed he was innocent and warranted God’s protection. David’s attitude was not arrogant, and yet, he spoke as a man that had never committed a sin.
David’s relationship with the LORD was such that he could speak of himself in a way that most people, even Christians, would not dare to. In spite of the fact that David had committed two of the worst sins imaginable, adultery and murder, David saw himself as a righteous man. He said, “Judge me, O LORD, for I have walked in my integrity” (Psalm 26:1).
The key to understanding David’s confidence is what he said about the source of his righteousness. After David said, “I have walked in my integrity,” he said, “I have trusted also in the LORD” (Psalm 26:1). The word translated trusted, bâtach (baw – takh´) means security or secure (982). David was secure in his relationship with the LORD. No matter what David did, he knew if he sinned, God would forgive him, because he already had.