Scripture reading – Psalm 101; Psalm 105
Singing and thanksgiving remain our theme as we continue our Scripture reading in the Book of Psalms. The title of Psalm 101 credited David as its author. The writer of Psalm 105 was not named. Psalm 101 is the focus of this devotional.
Imagine living under a ruler whose passion was not his career or legacy but, foremost, his love and gratitude for the LORD. Such were the “golden years” of David’s reign in Jerusalem. This psalm’s date and setting are unknown, but I believe it was in the early years, if not the beginning of the king’s reign over Israel.
The purpose and overriding theme of Psalm 101 was a song of praise for the “mercy and judgment” of the LORD (Psalm 101:1). Notice the king’s assertions concerning his conduct and choices (Psalm 101:2-8). You will notice nine assertive “I will” statements and six “shall” statements.
David Vowed to Live a Righteous Life (Psalm 101:1-3)
After David declared, “I will sing of mercy and judgment” unto the LORD (Psalm 101:1), he vowed to “behave [himself] in a perfect way” [blameless] and conduct his life with a “perfect [innocent] heart” (Psalm 101:3). The king modeled a conviction we should all embrace and declared, “I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes.” He was resolute in his conviction and said, “I hate the work of them that turn aside” (Psalm 101:3).
Think about it: How much would your life and family change if you dedicated yourself to David’s standard of personal holiness and righteousness? Have you set your heart to take a higher moral road, even if it means walking alone? Remember, what you tolerate in yourself, you will accept in others. Your leniency will inevitably infect and affect your life and family.
David Adopted Guiding Principles and Convictions (Psalm 101:4-5, 7)
Though Psalm 101 was penned 3,000 years ago, the guiding principles observed in the king’s psalm should resonate in the hearts of all believers. David’s “I will” and “I shall” statements leave no room for uncertainty. He was a man of conviction, and as king, there were always those who desired his favor and sought power and position in his administration. David understood those closest to him would influence him with their counsel and character.
Psalm 101:4-5, 7 recorded the character and manner of men the king determined not to tolerate in his court. The following character traits were cause for disqualification in the king’s government. David would not indulge the company of “a froward [crooked, deceitful] heart” or a “wicked [evil] person” (Psalm 101:4). The slanderer [gossip], proud and self-indulgent had no place in his household (Psalm 101:5). All liars and deceivers were unwelcomed in the king’s court (Psalm 101:7).
Spiritual Qualifications for the Servants to the King (Psalm 101:6)
So far, Psalm 101 has focused on qualities the king determined were undesirable and cause for disqualification in his inner circle. We find in Psalms 101:6 two prerequisite qualities the king required in his servants: “6 Mine eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me: he that walketh in a perfect way, he shall serve me” (Psalm 101:6).
The men David desired in his fellowship and company were faithful, tried, and true men of conviction. He asked of those who served him what he demanded of himself, to walk [live] “in a perfect way” (Psalm 101:6). The word “walketh” gives an accurate insight into the character of the servants of the king. Regardless of their talents, gifts, or birth, the standard to serve in David’s household was a blameless testimony and the laws and judgments of the LORD.
Closing thoughts –
David did more than declare the qualifications and disqualifications of those who served him. He determined to oppose wickedness actively and said, “I will early destroy [silence] all the wicked of the land; that I may cut off [exterminate] all wicked doers from the city of the LORD” (Psalm 101:8).
Can you imagine how different our world would be if political and spiritual leaders were bound to that same standard? If we had leaders who were not only intolerant of sin in themselves but actively opposed the sins and wickedness of others. The greatness of our nations would be restored if spiritual and political leaders were men and women of integrity (Psalm 101:2). In fact, every government in the world would have to “clean house” if “We the People” refused to tolerate liars, slanderers, the proud, and deceivers.
Tragically, the failed character of leaders is essentially a reflection of those they serve. Let us follow David’s example and adopt spiritual principles and Biblical convictions to guide our lives and families. Let us determine to live blameless lives and keep our hearts pure and innocent (Psalm 101:3). But remember, you have the responsibility to decide who or what influences your life and family (Psalm 101:4-5, 7).
Who are the influences and influencers in your life?
Copyright © 2023 – Travis D. Smith
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