The way of the guilty is devious,
but the conduct of the innocent is upright.
What is within us will come out in our behavior. The guilty’s way will be crooked; the conduct of the pure will show in their very demeanor – standing upright with a clear conscience. The guilty must lurk about, hiding in the shadows, checking their backs, slipping across from side to side of the road, never walking down the middle. The pure walk straight and tall. They have nothing to hide and are not planning wicked deeds.
What a difference there is for the two types. One sleeps peacefully at night; the other tosses and turns in worry. One looks his neighbor in the face; the other averts his eyes. One walks with a sense of purpose and confidence; the other slinks about wary of his enemies. One is moved by the mercy of God, desiring to please him; the other despises God, wanting to escape him.
Being pure in heart is understanding that it is Christ who makes us righteous before God; it is the Holy Spirit sanctifying us; it is the mercy of God that makes it all happen. With that kind of knowledge, we will find walking straight and standing upright more natural to do.
I will exalt you, Lord,
for you lifted me out of the depths
and did not let my enemies gloat over me.
2 Lord my God, I called to you for help,
and you healed me.
3 You, Lord, brought me up from the realm of the dead;
you spared me from going down to the pit.
4 Sing the praises of the Lord, you his faithful people;
praise his holy name.
5 For his anger lasts only a moment,
but his favor lasts a lifetime;
weeping may stay for the night,
but rejoicing comes in the morning.
6 When I felt secure, I said,
“I will never be shaken.”
7 Lord, when you favored me,
you made my royal mountain[c] stand firm;
but when you hid your face,
I was dismayed.
8 To you, Lord, I called;
to the Lord I cried for mercy:
9 “What is gained if I am silenced,
if I go down to the pit?
Will the dust praise you?
Will it proclaim your faithfulness?
10 Hear, Lord, and be merciful to me;
Lord, be my help.”
11 You turned my wailing into dancing;
you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
12 that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent.
Lord my God, I will praise you forever.