Honest to God
An EasyEnglish Translation with Notes (about 1200 word vocabulary) on Psalm 26
Words in boxes are from the Bible. Words in brackets, ( ), are not in the Hebrew Bible.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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