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A Psalm for Today’s World

Psalm 101:1 I will sing of your love and justice, Lord. I will praise you with songs.2 I will be careful to live a blameless life— when will you come to help me? I will lead a life of integrity in my own home. 3 I will refuse to look at anything vile and vulgar.  I hate all who deal crookedly; I will have nothing to do with them. 4 I will reject perverse ideas and stay away from every evil. 5 I will not tolerate people who slander their neighbors.  I will not endure conceit and pride.  6 I will search for faithful people to be my companions.  Only those who are above reproach will be allowed to serve me.7 I will not allow deceivers to serve in my house,  and liars will not stay in my presence. 8 My daily task will be to ferret out the wicked and free the city of the Lord from their grip.

We have become so weak in our direction of righteousness that we have polluted the very righteousness we have which is from God.  When we accept Jesus Christ and experience life-change all bets are off on living for the world because the controlling factor in our life is no longer the world, but Christ.  We just cannot help it.  We want to live like God’s Word commands us to live.  Don’t we?  Maybe not……  Well, we should, according to the standard David was speaking about in Psalm 101.  That standard has been hedged on by all of us at some juncture or another.  What would it take to have a “change of attitude” about living a blameless life?  This “blameless” life is not a life to put us into a position to say to each other “I am more Godly than you are.”  It is a life of purity that is based on not only the integrity of Jesus but also a life that is at its core totally surrendered to Jesus in every area and attitude of our being.  It is the “big kahuna!”  Of course, you have seen and know what the “big kahuna” is in scripture.  Well then let me esplain…    The big kahuna is my term for the “sold out”, with no reservation and holdbacks when it comes to living for Jesus.  At every level, at every ounce of our being Jesus is Lord.  Psalm 101 is just another attempt by God’s Word to lead us to that kind of life commitment.  But, it is not for the faint of heart.   This is the life that Jesus tried grooming his apostles to live, and they had a hard time understanding, just like we do today.

I mean from the first verse David lays it out.  The impressive thing for me is that being the musician he was, he grafted praise songs into the equation and then after that David “throws down” the gauntlet and specifically calls out the “blameless life” and asks when God will come and help him.  David had a desire to live this life but He knew he needed God’s help and being a king wanted to set the tone for leadership beginning with himself.  This means so much because this Psalm was written after his sin with Bathsheba and you can see the wisdom God showed him in the midst of all of that to not go back to looking at the wrong things.  Verses 3 and 4 I will refuse to look at anything vile and vulgar.  I hate all who deal crookedly; I will have nothing to do with them 4 I will reject perverse ideas and stay away from every evil.  David further emphasizes he will lead a life of integrity in his own home and part of that is not slandering neighbors which fall line with God’s command to love your neighbors as yourself (Mark 12:31). 

David doesn’t stop with what he won’t do but continues with what he will pursue.  In verse 6 he writes I will search for faithful people to be my companions.  In modern-day Christianity, the continued need for accountability is at its highest and that shows we need each other to continue to keep on track in our Christian life.  That lines up with Proverbs 27:17 As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.  Of course, cynical closed-minded people will say about David “He needed that before he got on that rooftop and saw Bathsheba and then pursued her.”  Excuse me Captain Obvious those statements try to bring the standard down and use the label “we are only human” as a basis for not doing what is being laid out here and thus kill the pursuit.  But, remember David was a “man after God’s own heart” and he couldn’t do anything else but do what it would take to continue that pursuit.  For those who know Jesus, we also cannot help but pursue the life God wants us to live and that pursuit is driven by the fact that the Holy Spirit is the one driving this life, not us.  

This Psalm is a standard for a king who was ruling God’s people and David was that king and he knew that these characteristics were supremely necessary for him or anyone in leadership.  He had learned from his mistakes and this was the outflow of that learning process. For the modern-day believer, this laundry list of what it takes to pursue Godliness is a wake-up call and a tall order, if we try to do it on our own.  But unlike David we have the Spirit of God to direct our steps in every situation and the Holy Spirit is at our beckoned call when it comes to living this blameless life, otherwise known as the Christ-like life.   Here is how Paul wrote it to the church at Thessalonica in 1 Thessalonians 4:1 Finally, dear brothers and sisters, we urge you in the name of the Lord Jesus to live in a way that pleases God, as we have taught you. You live this way already, and we encourage you to do so even more. 2 For you remember what we taught you by the authority of the Lord Jesus.3 God’s will is for you to be holy, so stay away from all sexual sin. 4 Then each of you will control his own body and live in holiness and honor— 5 not in lustful passion like the pagans who do not know God and his ways. 6 Never harm or cheat a fellow believer in this matter by violating his wife, for the Lord avenges all such sins, as we have solemnly warned you before. 7 God has called us to live holy lives, not impure lives. 8 Therefore, anyone who refuses to live by these rules is not disobeying human teaching but is rejecting God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.

May we be people who try to find ways to be “more” like God and not “less” like God.  That pursuit is the heart of Psalm 101 and I believe it should be a “wake up” call for a generation that is waffling in their pursuit of Godliness.  Paul could see it, so can we.  Begin today and see what great things God will show you.

The Pilgrimage continues…..

David Warren

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