Psalm 18:20 “The LORD has dealt with me according to my righteousness;”
[O Lord, praise you that you deal with us according to your imputed righteousness, not our own, for I have none; you would have to condemn me instantly to hell if my goodness were the measure. But praise be to your glorious name that you have made me to stand before you in your all-cleansing righteousness: forgiven, transformed, accepted, adopted, beloved!]
“according to the cleanness of my hands he has rewarded me.”
[My sin-stained hands are now washed in your blood, cleansed of guilt, purified in forgiveness and empowered for good. Praise you that you see me as your dearly loved child, delighted in, cherished and deeply cared for. The cleanness is there because of your great work, Lord Jesus.]
Psalm 18:21 “For I have kept the ways of the LORD; I have not done evil by turning from my God.”
[By your grace, by your power, by your obedience, Lord Jesus, I am counted as having kept your ways. What my old nature could not do in that is was weak, you did, my Savior. And you, Heavenly Father, in spite of what I am, have qualified me to be a partaker in the inheritance of the saints in the Kingdom of Light.]
Psalm 18:22,23 “All his laws are before me; I have not turned away from his decrees. I have been blameless before him and have kept myself from sin.”
[Again, I cannot say any of this, for in myself I continue to be blameworthy, struggling with the sinful, selfish ways of my old nature—but you, Holy Spirit, also continue in transformation, love and grace, so I stand before you, Lord Jesus, blameless in your love, a new creature, dearly loved, doted on and deeply cared for. Praise be to you! You are our hope, our holiness, our purity, our power. In you are goodness, grace and glory, all of which you generously, whole-heartedly share with us, unconditionally, contra-conditionally. Praise be to you!]
Psalm 18:24 “The LORD has rewarded me according to my righteousness, according to the cleanness of my hands in his sight.”
[It is wonderful that you have rewarded me, Lord, not according to my righteousness, but according to the righteousness of Christ, to the cleanness of His hands, for in your sight I am in Christ, I am cleansed, claimed and commissioned as your dearly beloved child.
Praise you, Lord Jesus, for your great and, humanly speaking, impossible, unspeakable work, far beyond what any created being could do. You reward your enemies! You pour out on your foes who come to you eternal life, eternal relationship, eternal love and unending goodness, when we deserve the opposite! Praise be to you.
Help us to revel in your love, to bask in your grace, to rejoice in your forgiveness—and to forgive and accept ourselves as you have us. May we grasp the greatness of your love which surpasses knowledge so that we might be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God (Eph. 3:19).]