Read: Psalm 101:1; Isaiah 16:5, 30:18; Zechariah 7:9; Matthew 23:23, 37 – 38;
2 Corinthians 5:10; James 2:13
Psalm 101, identified in the Hebrew psaltery as a “Psalm of David,” can be read as an inaugural address in which David states the values, ideals and intentions of his kingship. David’s values are reflected in Psalm 101:1 – he sings of God’s mercy and judgment. These are two opposing aspects of how we experience God. David committed himself to act as king in the same way God acted towards His people: not in mercy only, not in judgment only, but in mercy and judgment.
Think About It: Why does God not act in mercy only, or in judgment only, towards His creatures? Is there any way to escape God’s judgment? How can I be assured of experiencing God’s mercy?
Prayer: Praise God for His mercy.
Read: Psalm 101:2; Genesis 3:1 – 10; 2 Timothy 4:7 – 8; Titus 2:13; Revelation 22:20
In Psalm 101:2 David committed himself to the ideal of integrity. The “perfect way” to which he committed himself can only mean one thing: Psalm 19:7, the perfect way described in the Law of the Lord. David committed himself to the kind of behavior that invited the Lord’s scrutiny and looked forward to being in His presence.
Think About It: Why did Adam and Eve hide themselves from the presence of the Lord? Do I live in an awareness of and a sense of comfort with the Lord’s scrutiny? Do I love the idea of Christ’s return?
Prayer: Even so, come Lord Jesus.
Read: Psalm 101:2, 3; Psalm 19:12; 1 Kings 9:4; Genesis 6:5; Matthew 5:28
In Psalm 101:2 David committed himself to walk within his house with a perfect heart. This meant his private life and public persona would be in agreement; he would have integrity. He further committed himself to set no wicked thing before his eyes. He didn’t have to deal with the modern temptations of the media, but he still had to control the “eyes of his heart,” his imagination. David’s ideal of integrity extended even to his innermost thoughts.
Think About It: Why is what I think important for my integrity? See Proverbs 4:23. Am I keeping watch over my heart, in the sense of being accountable for my thoughts? Am I committed to putting no wicked thing before my eyes?
Prayer: For integrity in thoughts, words, and actions.
Read: Psalm 101:3b – 5, 7; John 17:14 – 17; Romans 16:17; 1 Corinthians 5:9 – 13;
2 Corinthians 6:14 – 17
In Psalm 101:3b – 5, 7 David committed himself to the ideal of separation. He promised to have no part of “those who turn aside” (backsliders); to know no wicked person; to cut off slanderers; to suffer not the haughty and proud; to not dwell with the deceitful and the liars.
Think About It: What was David’s ideal of separation supposed to accomplish? How does the ideal of separation apply to me as a Christian? How am I doing at being in the world, but not of the world?
Prayer: For grace to be in the world, but not of the world.
Read: Psalm 101:8; 1 Corinthians 5:1 – 8; Ecclesiastes 10:1
In Psalm 101:8 David committed himself to the destruction of the wicked (using the Hebrew word for “guilty, criminal”) so that the “wicked” (using the Hebrew word for “vanity, idolatry“) would be cut off from the city of the Lord. David served notice that he meant to put teeth into his commitment to separation. David would actively pursue the wicked and root them out.
Think About It: David was king, and so could apply his commitment to separating the wicked from the city of the Lord in the civil realm. Based on 1 Corinthians 5, how does this principle of rooting out evil apply in the church? Why is it so important? Am I committed to cleansing the leaven of unrighteousness from my own life?
Prayer: For a deeper concern for personal holiness.
Read: Psalm 101:6; Isaiah 66:2; John 13:15; 1 Timothy 4:12
In Psalm 101:6 David committed himself to fix his eyes on the faithful of the land. Those who were faithful to the Lord would receive his attention and blessing; they would be his examples and source of direction.
Think About It: To whom do political leaders often give their attention and blessing? To whom do they look for their example and direction? And with what results? To whom do I look for my example and direction? Am I a good example?
Prayer: For our leaders to have the wisdom to fix their eyes on the faithful.
Read: Psalm 101:1 – 8
David’s commitment to high ideals reflected good intentions. It is a good thing to have good intentions and high ideals; unfortunately, these things will not save us.
Think About It: How did David’s plan work out? Compare Psalm 101:2 – 3 with 2 Samuel 11:1 – 4; Psalm 101:4 with 2 Samuel 13:1 – 21; Psalm 101:5 with 2 Samuel 18:33 and 19:4; Psalm 101:8 with 1 Kings 2:5 – 6. Then read (once again) Ephesians 2:8 – 9 and Titus 3:5.
Prayer: Thank God for His grace which abounds to sinners like David, and me.