Honest to God

Psalm 26

An EasyEnglish Translation with Notes (about 1200 word vocabulary) on Psalm 26


Gordon Churchyard

Words in boxes are from the Bible. Words in brackets, ( ), are not in the Hebrew Bible.



Psalm 26

   (This is a psalm) of David

v1   LORD, say that I always walk with you.
  Say that I will never stop trusting in the LORD.

v2   Examine me, LORD, and see what I am.
  Look inside me, at my feelings and thoughts.

v3   I will always walk in your good ways,
  because I can see that you are loving and kind.

v4   I do not sit with worthless men.
  I will not go with people that say that they are good, but they are not.

v5   I hate bad people that meet together.
  I will not sit with godless men.

v6   I will wash my hands to show that I have done nothing wrong.
  I will stand near your altar, LORD.

v7   I will say with a loud voice that you are great.
  I will tell people about all the wonderful things that you have done.

v8   LORD, I love the place where your house is.
  It is the home of your glory.

v9   Do not put my soul with sinners,
or my life with murderers.

v10   In their hands are bad plans.
  Their right hands are full of bribes.

v11   But I will always walk with you.
  Make me free and be kind to me.

v12   My foot stands in a flat place.
  In the congregation I will say that the LORD is wonderful.

Word list

examine ~ study in a very careful way

feelings ~ whether you are angry, happy, or sad, and so on

worthless ~ something that has no value

altar ~ a kind of table. There were two altars. On the big altar, they killed animals. They burnt their bodies as a gift to God. On the small altar, they burnt incense. It made a nice smell. The small altar was inside the house of God.

murderer ~ someone that kills somebody

bribe ~ money that you give to someone to make them do something wrong

congregation ~ a group of people often, but not always, in church

The Story of Psalm 26

We do not know when David wrote Psalm 26. He wrote Psalms 2-41 when his enemies were fighting him. So, he probably wrote Psalm 26 when he was fighting someone. He did not feel safe. He asked God to show him that he was safe because he was honest to God.

What Psalm 26 means

Verses 1 3: We can walk with God when he makes us new, whole people. Only God can make us whole. When we are right with God then we can start being right with people. We become right with God, or honest to God, when we become Christians. We ask God to excuse us and we promise to become his servants. Then we are whole people . . . . . on the inside to God and on the outside to people.

In Psalm 26:3 David wrote about God's good ways. These are the rules that God gives to us in the Bible. If we do not obey these rules we can start again. We ask God to forgive us and he does. Look after Psalms 1 and 5.

Verses 4 7: A part of the Bible is called Deuteronomy. In Deuteronomy 21:6-7 we read about people washing their hands. This was to show that they had not done murder. We find the same idea in verse 6. Here it is not murder, but anything that is wrong. In verse 6 we also read about the altar of the LORD. There were two altars. On the big one they killed animals. They burnt their bodies as a gift to God. On the small one they burnt incense. It made a nice smell. The small one was inside the house of God.

Verses 8 12: The house of God was a tent. A tent was a small building made of animal skins. The Jews carried it with them. When David was king he took it into Jerusalem. In verse 8 David says that he loves the place where they put this tent. He did this because he believed that God was there as well as in his home in heaven. In verse 9 David means that when he dies he does not want to be with sinners. He wants to be free, as David wrote in verse 11. This means free after he dies. He wants to be with God in heaven, not with sinners. The flat place in verse 12 is a safe place.

How Good Am I?

In Psalm 26 David says that he is a good man. But some Bible stories tell us that David was not always a good man. He had sex with the wife of another man He had that man killed to stop him from finding out. Why does David say, "Do not put my life with murderers"? (Psalm 26:9)

To find the answer we must read other parts of the Bible. Zechariah was a prophet. He told people what God was saying. He wrote one of the books of the Bible. Here is a part of Zechariah 3.

Zechariah 3:1-4

v1 Then he showed me Joshua. Joshua was the leader of the servants of God. Joshua stood before the angel of the LORD. Satan stood on the right of him. Satan wanted to say how bad Joshua was.

v2 The LORD said to Satan, "The LORD is angry with you, Satan. The LORD that chose Jerusalem is angry with you. This man (Joshua) is a burning stick. Someone pulled him out from the fire".

v3 Now Joshua was wearing very dirty clothes. He stood by the angel.

v4 The angel said to those standing near, "Take away his dirty clothes". Then he said to Joshua, "Look! I have taken away your sin. I will put rich clothes on you".

An angel is a servant of God in heaven. Satan is the enemy of God. Joshua was wearing very dirty clothes. This is a picture of the bad things that Joshua did. But the LORD took away the dirty clothes. He gave Joshua rich clothes. This means that they were clean and beautiful. When God looked at Joshua he did not see the bad things. God saw good things. This is the wonderful thing about Christians. When men look at them they see the bad things that they do. But when God looks at them he sees them as clean and good.

David was honest to God. He told God that he was bad. In Psalm 51 he told God that he was sorry for the bad things that he did. God forgave David and forgot those bad things. God saw David as good. He will do the same for you if you ask him.

Something to do

1.  Read Psalm 1. Does it say the same things as Psalm 26?

2.  If you have a Bible, read all of Zechariah 3.


2001, Wycliffe Associates (UK)

This publication is written in EasyEnglish Level A (1200 words)

January 2001

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