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Standing on solid ground

Psalm 26 concludes: "Now I stand on solid ground, and I will publicly praise the Lord." The Hebrew word translated here as "solid ground" is mishor. It can refer literally to a "level place" or "plateau" (for example, Deut. 3:10). Yet mishor has, in biblical Hebrew, a metaphorical sense of righteousness or justice. For example, in Malachi 2:6, God says that the Levites "lived good and righteous lives." Psalm 67:4 celebrates the fact that God governs the nations "with justice." Both of these verses use the word mishor.

Thus, in the final verse of Psalm 26, David proclaims that he stands on the "solid ground" of righteousness, the result of God's mercy in his life and that which is demonstrated in his rejection of evil and his love for worshipping the Lord. Thus, in the final line of the Psalm, David proclaims, "I will publicly praise the LORD."

As Christians, we seek to build our lives on solid ground. Jesus teaches us to do this by listening to his teaching and following it (Matt. 7:24). Yet we realize that, like the psalmist, we need God's mercy to help us live out the teaching of Jesus. Thus, we stand before God and live our lives, not upon the righteousness of our own making, but rather upon the righteousness of Christ. When we put our weight down upon him, we are able to walk rightly and worship fully.

By Mark D. Roberts. Published by The High Calling, January 23, 2011.


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