Psalm 101

Psalm 101
I Will Walk with Integrity
A Psalm of David.

(1) I will sing of steadfast love and justice; to you, O LORD, I will make music.
(2) I will ponder the way that is blameless. Oh when will you come to me? I will walk with integrity of heart within my house;
(3) I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless. I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cling to me.
(4) A perverse heart shall be far from me; I will know nothing of evil.

(5) Whoever slanders his neighbor secretly I will destroy. Whoever has a haughty look and an arrogant heart I will not endure.

(6) I will look with favor on the faithful in the land, that they may dwell with me; he who walks in the way that is blameless shall minister to me.

(7) No one who practices deceit shall dwell in my house; no one who utters lies shall continue before my eyes.

(8) Morning by morning I will destroy all the wicked in the land, cutting off all the evildoers from the city of the LORD.

A Psalm of David. The New King James Version titles Psalm 101, Promised Faithfulness to the LORD. The New American Standard Bible titles it, The Psalmist’s Profession of Uprightness. And the International Children’s Bible titles it simply, A Promise to Rule Well.

Psalm 101 has sometimes been called a “Prince’s Psalm.” Some commentators believe that David wrote this as he was set to become king. After years of suffering under the tyranny of Saul, David was to take the throne promised to him. David was God’s chosen king for His people, “a man after His own heart.”

After removing Saul, he made David their king. God testified concerning him: "I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do."
Acts 13:22 NIV

God was faithful to His people. He was faithful to David. Samuel anointed David as God’s chosen king over Israel when he young, scholars believe somewhere between ten and fifteen years old. David was crowned king at the age of thirty, then reigned for forty years in Jerusalem. For fifteen to twenty years of his life, David waited. He waited for God’s promise. And during that time, he ran and hid and fought for his life. Some believe that this song is David’s promise upon the day he finally took the throne.

Others believe this song was penned as David brought the Ark of the Covenant into Jerusalem. Either way, David realizes his need to get things right as he took the steps into Godly leadership, whether as king or as the one to bring God’s Ark home.

A Psalm of David. This is just such a psalm as the man after God’s own heart would compose when he was about to become king in Israel.

Charles Spurgeon, English preacher, 1834-1892

Other leaders since then have used this psalm as their promise to rule well.

I will sing of your love and justice; to you, LORD, I will sing praise.
I will be careful to lead a blameless life- when will you come to me?

I will conduct the affairs of my house with a blameless heart.
Psalm 101:1-2 NIV

David promised to sing the praises of the Lord. In our day, when a man or woman takes a seat of power, they will sometimes “sing” of those who helped them along the way, but that is not common. Mostly a person in power “sings” of their own accomplishments, of their own hard work and perseverance.

David promised to sing of the Lord’s faithfulness to him.

He promised to live a blameless life and hold a blameless heart. Who can say that? David certainly couldn’t. What does he mean then?

The NKJV says, “I will behave wisely,” “with a perfect heart.” The ESV says, “I will walk with integrity of heart within my house.” The ICB says, “I will be careful to live an innocent life.”

David was dedicating his life, his heart, and his service to the Lord. But like you and I, he was a sinner, and because of David’s sin, he had pain and suffering in his life. Not unlike the rest of us. But David’s heart sought God, and God loved David. And here, at the beginning of his reign, David promises that his house and heart are God’s.

Reader, how fares it with your family? Do you sing in the choir and sin in the chamber? Are you a saint abroad and a devil at home? For shame! What we are at home, that we are indeed.

Charles Spurgeon, English preacher, 1834-1892

How is your heart? How is your home? Why are these the two places that we hide our sin? It’s interesting that these are the two places that David dedicates to God. These are the two places that God must be, and often, these are the two places we “pretend” are a lot better than they are. Today, invite God into your heart and into your home like David did.

I will not look at anything wicked.
I hate those who turn against you.
They will not be found near me.
Let those who want to do wrong stay away from me.
I will have nothing to do with evil.
If anyone secretly says things against his neighbor, I will stop him.
I will not allow people to be proud and look down on others.
I will look for trustworthy people so I can live with them in the land.
Only those who live innocent lives will be my servants.
No one who is dishonest will live in my house.
No liars will stay around me.
Every morning I will destroy the wicked in the land.
I will rid the Lord's city of people who do evil.
Psalm 101:3-8 ICB

David pledged his heart to God. Firstly, by shielding his eyes. We know this did not go well for David. How horrible it must be to have your sins laid open within the Word of God. David’s eyes led him to multiple wives and great sin that cost lives and caused him and others great pain and loss. We can look upon his words here and dismiss them because he didn’t live up to them, or we can be thankful for this sinful/saved man whose life can be an example to all of us.

Yet, we shouldn’t think David was a hypocrite because he failed in completely living up to these high standards. It isn’t hypocrisy to have a standard that you can’t completely meet. Hypocrisy is when you have one standard for yourself and a higher standard for others.

Pastor David Guzik,

David vowed to keep evil away from his home and only employ and befriend those who loved the Lord and proved trustworthy. This a big deal for a person in power. David was king and had the ability to appoint and remove other men from places of power. He vowed to God and to His people that he would only choose those who loved the Lord.

He listed some negative qualities that he would avoid in his friendships and co-workers; those who slander (NLT), a haughty eye and a proud heart (NIV), conceit and pride (NLT), anyone who whispers evil things about someone else (GNBDC), a high look and a proud heart (ASV).

We are called to love others, even the ones who do us wrong. Jesus prayed for those who tortured and killed Him. We are called to do the same under the Gospel of the New Testament. However, those in power who make laws and withhold the justice of the land are called to be something different. David was king over the nation of Israel. It was his job to purge the land of evil. It was his job to dispense justice to keep the Lord’s people safe.

As David was set to become king (finally), he looked around for the faithful, and those were the ones he vowed to surround himself with. A good reminder for us. We are called to love all, but when we need advice or support who do we turn to? Take David’s example and seek the faithful.

Jesus’s words directed to the Pharisees in Matthew 23 are similar. Woe to you teachers of the law, you drink from a clean cup that is dirty on the inside. You tithe your expected amount, yet you do not take care of the hurting. You look good on the outside, but your heart and your home are evil. Woe to you.

How is your heart? How is your home? Be wary of the evil that lurks around trying to find a way in to these two places that must belong to God and to God alone.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God's throne.
Hebrews 12:1-2 NLT

Father in heaven, today we promise you are heart and our home. Be Lord of both. Thank you for your promises and your faithfulness. Keep us diligent and give us strength to face whatever you lay before us today. Thank you that we are never alone. Amen.

He xoxo

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