October 12 2023
Today, Thursday October 12
A Psalm of David
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 will finish Psalm 101. Remember it is a psalm written by David who had just recently become King of Israel. The nation was broken, and he had a tremendous task and challenge before him as he had to deal with both internal corruption and foreign adversaries. David’s was determined to lead the nation with integrity and “drain the swamp” in Jerusalem of its deceitful liars, wicked and evil people that were in the seats of power and authority. Remember the four “D’s” from yesterday: Determined, Devoted, Discernment and Decisive!
David was determined to follow the instructions of God’s Word and be a king of “mercy and justice” (v. 1), which is a reflection of the character of God. David desired to have a “perfect heart” (v. 2). He was devoted to worship of the only true God. David also was committed to having eyes of discernment (v. 3), as to what he would and would not be looking at and for. And finally, David now could make good decisions about the kind of people that would serve in his administration (vv. 6-8).
We have moved from the leader's heart to the leader's eyes, and now we look at the leader's will. The repeated "I will" statements in the psalm give evidence of David's determination to serve God and God's people successfully and be a man of decision. He would not make excuses and he would not delay making decisions. But some of those decisions would be difficult to make and perhaps more difficult to implement. He wanted associates who were not defiled by sin, whose walk was blameless, and who would treat people with fairness. He knew that no king could build a lasting government on lies (Psalms 31:5; 43:3; 57:10). Deception is the devil's tool, and Satan goes to work whenever a lie moves in (2 Cor. 11:1-3).
Eastern kings often administered justice in the mornings at the city gate (2 Samuel 15:1-2; Jer. 21:12), so David promised to listen to these cases patiently, consider them carefully, and render judgment wisely. He vowed to God that he would punish offenders according to God's law, silencing the liars and expelling the evildoers. Jerusalem was known as "the city of God," (Psalm 46:4; 48:1) "the city of the great King," (Psalm 48:2) and the city God loved the most (Psalm 87:1-3), and David did not want to blemish that reputation.
Was David successful in maintaining the high standard of this declaration? No, not completely; but what leader besides Jesus Christ has ever maintained an unblemished record? David failed in his own family. His sin with Bathsheba set a bad example for his sons and daughters (2 Sam. 11-12), and David failed to discipline Amnon and Absalom for their sins (2 Sam. 13-15). He had problems with his generals Joab and Abishai, and his trusted counselor Ahithophel betrayed him.
Yet David reigned for forty years, during which time he expanded the borders of the kingdom, defeated Israel's enemies, gathered the wealth used to build the temple, wrote the psalms, and established the dynasty that eventually brought Jesus Christ into the world. Like us, he had his weaknesses and failings, but overall, he sought to honor the Lord and be a good leader. Jerusalem is known as "the city of David" and Jesus as "the Son of David." Could any compliment be higher than that?
Especially in this day of darkness and despair in the world, we need to pray for leaders in our homes, in our churches, in our communities, and in our state and national government, that will be decisive and determined to make decisions based on truth and not lies. In 1 Timothy 2:1-4, the Apostle Paul wrote: “Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”
Will you join me in prayer today for the leaders in our nation and in our world?