Not Guilty! To be tried and found innocent, all charges dropped, that is the hope of every defendant, but not necessarily what is deserved. But that is what David is claiming in this Psalm.
David uses several phrases in this passage which show God he wants to be shown innocent of whatever charges are being laid against him. In verse 1 he says, “Vindicate me, O Lord, for I have led a blameless life.” In verse 2, “Test me, O Lord, and try me, examine my heart and my mind.” Verse 6 says, “I wash my hands in innocence.” He is trusting God for judgement because only God knows his heart and mind, his thoughts and motives.
Verses 4 and 5, “I do not sit with deceitful men, nor do I consort with hypocrites; I abhor the assembly of evildoers and refuse to sit with the wicked,” remind me of Psalm 1:1, “Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked, or stand in the way of sinners, or sit in the seat of mockers.” (NIV) I’ve heard and old saying, “If you lie down with dogs, you’ll get up with fleas.” In other words, if you hang around all the time with the wrong people, their behavior, words, and motives are going to rub off on you and you’ll eventually start acting like them. David knew better and stayed away from those people.
Instead he focused on what he knew would make him the man, the king God wanted him to be. “I have trusted in the Lord.” (vs 1) “I walk continually in Your truth.” (vs 3) “I…go about Your altar.” (vs 6) “I love the house where You live, O Lord, the place where Your glory dwells.” (vs 8) What an example of how to remain “blameless.” David isn’t saying he didn’t sin; he did! But he tried not to make it a habit, a lifestyle.
We need to say with him, “redeem me and be merciful to me.” (vs 11) The we also can claim, because of Calvary, the “blameless life.” And we can say with him, “My feet stand on level ground; in the great assembly I will praise the Lord.” (vs 12)