Continuing back in Psalm 18...
Jehovah rewarded me according to my righteousness,
According to the cleanness of my hands did He recompense me.
For I have kept the ways of Jehovah,
And have not wickedly departed from my God.
For all His judgments are before me,
And His statutes do I not put away from me.
I have also been perfect with Him,
And have kept myself from iniquity.
Therefore Jehovah recompensed me according to my righteousness;
According to the cleanness of my hands in His eyesight.
This is a difficult passage. David appears to be saying that he has never sinned, that he is perfect, and this is why God has blessed him. But it can also be read a little differently.
David has always been a humble man, a man who seeks God. We know of one instance of gross sin, the incident with Bathsheba. God called him down on that one, and he humbly accepted God’s correction and discipline. So we KNOW that David has not been perfect and has not kept God’s law perfectly. None of us are perfect; with David’s humility I am sure he realized this. How can this passage make sense? I believe the key is the very last line. "According to the cleanness of my hands in His eyesight." How does God view us? We know we are sinners, but when we become Christians, God no longer views us that way, He sees our hands as clean. Jesus takes our sin, and we take His righteousness. That is our ticket to Heaven – the righteousness of Christ. The focus of this psalm is on God, not David. There are other psalms where David focuses on his own sinful condition, but here I think he just wants to portray God’s awesome mercy. This psalm is the Old Testament promise of the salvation that Christ is going to bring in the New Testament.
Oh God, I am so thankful that you do not see the blackness of the sin on my hands; instead You see the blood of Jesus covering me.
Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found, was blind but now I see.
Rebecca A Givens