October 09 2023
Today, Monday October 09
A Royal Resolve
A Psalm of David
1 I will sing of mercy and justice; To You, O LORD, I will sing praises.
2 I will behave wisely in a perfect way. Oh, when will You come to me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart.
3 I will set nothing wicked before my eyes; I hate the work of those who fall away; It shall not cling to me.
4 A perverse heart shall depart from me; I will not know wickedness.
5 Whoever secretly slanders his neighbor, Him I will destroy; The one who has a haughty look and a proud heart, Him I will not endure.
6 My eyes shall be on the faithful of the land, That they may dwell with me; He who walks in a perfect way, He shall serve me.
7 He who works deceit shall not dwell within my house; He who tells lies shall not continue in my presence.
8 Early I will destroy all the wicked of the land, That I may cut off all the evildoers from the city of the LORD.
Today we begin our journey on the last one-third of the Book of Psalms. The title of Psalm 101 tells us that David is the writer of it. Many believe that David wrote this psalm about the same time that he wrote Psalms 15 and 24. For the background that motivated David to write these psalms we need to remember a few things about the history of Israel during this time.
David had just recently become the King of Israel, first in Hebron and then at Jerusalem. King Saul had ruled over Israel for 40 years. Saul started out fairly good with a humble heart, but that all changed pretty quickly when he was overwhelmed with the pressures of leadership. He surrounded himself with corrupt, deceitful, and evil people who constantly lied to him and gave him bad advice. He spent much of his time in a jealous rage trying to kill David. Just before his death he even went to a witch go get advice about what to do with a large Philistine army attacking Israel.
To say the least, when David became king, he inherited a divided land and a discouraged people whose spiritual life was at low ebb. Goodness, even in America we know what can happen in just four years when we have a president who fills his administration with corrupt, deceitful, and evil people who are always lying about what they are doing and the real condition of the county. Imagine what it must have been like after 40 years of this kind of leadership. Asaph described the situation in Psalm 78:56-72 and named David as God's answer to Israel's problems.
We all know that everything rises and falls with leadership, and David was determined to be a good king that followed the LORD with his whole heart. No doubt, many of King Saul's officers sought to join David’s new administration and hold on to their positions of power and control. But David recognized them as deceitful and a bunch of evil, lying men. Keep all this in mind as you read this psalm.
Once David was established on the throne in Jerusalem, he had a consuming desire to bring the ark of God back to the sanctuary so that God's throne might near his throne. His question in verse 2, "When will you come to me?" reflects this desire. The ark had been in the house of Abinidab for many years (1 Sam. 6:1-7:2) and then in the house of Obed-Edom after David's aborted attempt to relocate it (2 Sam. 6:1-11).
This psalm of dedication was probably written early in David’s reign in Jerusalem. We could accurately call this psalm "Leadership 101" because in it David spells out the essentials for successful leadership in the work of God. Psalm 101 is a psalm of royal resolve. In my Bible, over this psalm, I have written, “The I Will Psalm”. Notice how many times David repeats “I will”. David's heart and mind for God are backed by his will. He is determined to be the kind of person and prince God wants him to be. And so should we!!!!
Today, let us also remember to “pray for the peace of Jerusalem” (Psalm 122:6), as Israel has been attacked by Hamas, a terrorist organization intent on destroying them. Whether we understand it or not, the Bible teaches that the nation of Israel is God’s chosen people and still have a purpose and plan in God’s future plans for the world. We need to pray for them today!