October 10 2023
Today, Tuesday October 10
“I Will Behave Wisely…”
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.
Psalm 101 could rightly be called Leadership 101. David had just recently become King of Israel. The nation was reeling from the poor leadership of King Saul and the Philistines were attacking them, intent on driving them out of the land or utterly destroying them. They had just recently killed King Saul and his sons in battle, beheaded them, and hung their bodies on a wall in the town of Beth Shean for everyone to see (1 Samuel 31:8-10). This sounds very similar to what is happening in Israel today by the terrorist organization called Hamas.
The people of Israel were in a state of brokenness and fear. But God had prepared a man after His own heart to lead them, whose name was David. The more I study the psalms and the life of David, the more convinced I am that he had probably memorized the first five books of the Bible, also called the Law of Moses, or the Torah. Before he became king, David was very familiar with the passage in Deuteronomy 17:14-20 where Moses was giving his final instructions to the people of Israel.
"When you come to the land which the LORD your God is giving you, and possess it and dwell in it, and say, 'I will set a king over me like all the nations that are around me,' you shall surely set a king over you whom the LORD your God chooses; …"Also it shall be, when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, that he shall write for himself a copy of this law in a book, from the one before the priests, the Levites. And it shall be with him, and he shall read it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the LORD his God and be careful to observe all the words of this law and these statutes, that his heart may not be lifted above his brethren, that he may not turn aside from the commandment to the right hand or to the left, and that he may prolong his days in his kingdom, he and his children in the midst of Israel.”
Psalm 101:1-2 reveals that David was determined to be that kind of king and he knew it began with having a devoted heart to the LORD and His Word! The king of Israel was God's representative on earth and was expected to rule the way God commanded. In later years King Josiah set his heart on being that kind of a leader and king (2 Kings 23:1-3.) The emphasis here is on the heart, for the heart of leadership is the leader's devotion to the Lord.
This devotion results in a life lived blamelessly to the glory of the Lord. David was determined to be that kind of leader, and he opened the psalm with "I will" and repeated this promise eight more times. He made it clear that there must be no separation between the leader's personal life and his or her official life, the private and the public. David wanted his reign to be characterized by lovingkindness (mercy) and justice, for this is the way God rules the world (Psalm 89:14; Isaiah 16:5).
"Perfect" or “blameless” does not mean "sinless," for David was a sinner like the rest of us. However, unlike David, we have not seen the account of our sins written down for all the world to read! "Blameless" is another word for integrity, cultivating wholeness of heart and singleness of mind, instead of a double heart and a double mind (James 1:6-8; 4:8). David vowed to live a godly life in his "house" (palace) and have an administration characterized by mercy, justice, and integrity.
Believers today should have integrity whether we are leaders or not (Psalm 119:1; Matt. 5:8; Eph. 1:4; Phil. 1:10; 2:15). Faith is living without scheming, and the way of faith is "the blameless, the perfect way" (v. 2,).