Of David. A psalm.
I will sing of your love and justice;
to you, Lord, I will sing praise.
I will be careful to lead a blameless life –
when will you come to me?
I will conduct the affairs of my house
with a blameless heart.
I will not look with approval
on anything that is vile.
I hate what faithless people do;
I will have no part in it.
The perverse of heart shall be far from me;
I will have nothing to do with what is evil.
Whoever slanders their neighbour in secret,
I will put to silence;
whoever has haughty eyes and a proud heart,
I will not tolerate.
My eyes will be on the faithful in the land,
that they may dwell with me;
the one whose way of life is blameless
will minister to me.
No one who practises deceit
will dwell in my house;
no one who speaks falsely
will stand in my presence.
Every morning I will put to silence(Ps. 101:1-8 NIV)
all the wicked in the land;
I will cut off every evildoer
from the city of the Lord.
The Psalmist portrays a singleness of mind and heart. The theme of his song is the love and justice of the Lord and he goes on to share how that theme of love and justice impacts his life. What he does in the presence of the Lord directs how he lives. Often we were we told as children to keep away from bad company. We see this advice very clearly in this Psalm.
It is the Lord’s covenant acts of love (hesed) and justice that bring the Psalmist to thanksgiving. The Psalmist will sing praise, but he will also seek to live a blameless life. This is in the wisdom tradition of seeking to live in the wise way.
While the Psalmist vows to live a blameless life, he recognises for that to be possible he needs the presence of the Lord, so he asks, ‘when will You come to me?’
In the Psalmist’s house his behaviour will be blameless. He will be careful what he sets before his eyes, because what the eyes can view could lead to sin.
As the Lord hates sin, so the Psalmist has learned to hate sin. The sinful acts of faithless people he will shun and will not allow himself to have any part in it. The people who sin are faithless and perverse. The Psalmist will keep these kind of people at a distance and not allow them to influence him.
However it is not merely enough to distance ourselves from evil there is a prophetic role to fulfil, which is to speak out against wrong. We are to silence the person who slanders in secret. The whispering accusing voice should not be heeded. For a slanderer to function they need one mouth and your two listening ears. The Psalmist will not tolerate the proud. The proud person promotes themselves, they very seldom ask about you, they talk at length about themselves and tell the stories that show themselves in a good light. Don’t tolerate or reward that behaviour by providing a listening ear.
The Psalmist desires to keep good company. His eyes are on the faithful, they will set a good example, they will encourage proper behaviour and they will call us to account for how we live. No person is an island, for us to be faithful in our Christian lives we need the fellowship of God’s people. The faithful minister to one another, we build each other up in our faith. Notice that slander is destructive, seeking to tear down, but faithful living ministers. Do our words, our telephone calls, our emails, build up or tear down?
The Psalmist so hates what the Lord hates that he has no desire to have the deceitful people in his house or part of his life. This is not the way he wants to live. Any who tell lies or half truths will not be part of his life. He wants integrity in his life. To protect that walk of integrity means seeking out the best company and having fellowship with them.
The Psalmist here is likely to be the king, and he vows that in his administration of justice that he will silence the wicked of the land. He will not give their slander or lies a hearing. He will not permit them to tear down the reputation of others or to inflict injustice by weaving a web of lies and deceit. He will seek a pure community of God’s people by removing those who are evil.
The Psalm began with praising the love and justice of the Lord and became immensely practical. As the Psalmist leaves the presence of the Lord in the sanctuary, he brings out with him the desire to live for the Lord in an upright way.
Lord we worship You the One true God. We thank You that our salvation is based on love and justice and that no one will be able to find fault with what You have done for us through the Lord Jesus Christ. Lord help us to hate what You hate. Help us not to mix with company that cause us to sin or causes us to become cold at heart. Lord protect us from wandering into the wrong company and enable us to find fellowship with Your people. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.