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Psalm 101, David’s spiritual manifesto in song, began with a list of admirable qualities the king desired to cultivate. He then took a good look around him to determine how he would respond to different kinds of individuals based on their positive or negative influence.
He who walks in a blameless way is the one who will minister to me. (101:6b)
David admits that there is a certain category of people who minister to him, who serve him. He says that they are the “blameless” people—not perfect people, but men and women whose conduct is above reproach. In my opinion, this is the single most important trait to be found among ministers—among all those who shepherd, counsel, teach, and serve others. Maintaining a standard of conduct that is above reproach must become an indispensable qualification of God’s servants. When integrity breaks down—or even the appearance of it—one forfeits the ability to lead in a high-profile capacity.
He who practices deceit shall not dwell within my house. (101:7a)
David’s original term for “dwell” in this verse is different from the previous verse. In this context, the term literally means “to sit.” It’s used figuratively the same way we might say a person “occupies a seat in parliament” or “has won a seat in congress.” It refers to a place of responsibility or authority. David has determined that a hypocrite or deceiver will have no authority or responsibility in his administration. Deception has to do with keeping back the full story or hiding the real motive behind an action. It is the act of deliberately causing someone to be misled. If you have ever dealt with a deceiver, you know why David felt so strongly about this.
He who speaks falsehood shall not maintain his position before me. (101:7b)
The king had a policy: anyone caught in a lie cannot keep his position of authority. Trust has been broken. A person who will lie once will most likely lie again. If you’re in business or you occupy a leadership position, you are unwise if you tolerate an untruthful employee. Leadership depends upon reliable information. How can you steer the organization without clear sight? Morale depends upon healthy relationships, and relationships are built upon trust. You cannot maintain teamwork with even one liar in the group.
Every morning I will destroy all the wicked of the land,
So as to cut off from the city of the Lord all those who do iniquity. (101:8)
This is quite a conclusion! David has mentioned several types of people and forcefully declared himself regarding each one, but this is the strongest of all. The term “wicked” is a judicial term referring to those who commit a crime and then are found guilty by a court. This is not merely someone with bad character; the “wicked” are criminals. The phrase “those who do iniquity” are people who commit crimes. The verb “destroy” translates a Hebrew term that means “to put an end to, cut off, vanish, wipe out.”
David resolves to rid the capital city of criminals by any means necessary, including execution, though not exclusively. He says, in effect, “I’m going to wipe the capital city clean of all criminals so it will be unsafe for people to commit crimes.” He promises to clean up city hall.
David’s credo promises to assemble an honest government administration, from top to bottom. He commits to a high degree of moral conduct personally, and he resolves to hold everyone in his government to the same standard. In doing this, he expects to discern the will of God—having cleared away the distractions of bad character—and to pursue his divine purpose to the end of his days.
Lest we see the sinner’s prayer as mere technique, we must remember that Christ raises the dead that they might walk. We do not mumble the magic words and then wait to die. Christianity is about spiritual growth as well. It is about work, the hard work of sanctification. Regeneration is monergistic, God’s work alone. Sanctification, the process by which we are made holy, is synergistic, God’s work with us.
God’s part is easy for Him. He needs no shortcuts because He never tires. We, though, must ever fight the temptation to seek the shortcut. No technique will make us holy. No technique of the Devil’s, though, can stop the process of Christ making us into His image. Those whom He calls He sanctifies.
Our sanctification requires the Spirit of God and, because He has so ordered His world, sanctification requires the disciplined and repeated use of the means of grace. Five minutes a day of Bible study smells like technique. Arid, it is sure to fail. We must immerse ourselves in the Word of God. Then, as Jesus promised, we will know the truth and the truth will set us free. Then we will be His disciples (John 8:31-32).
Coram Deo: Living in the Presence of God
Remember, God is at work in you. He never tires. Give thanks for the process that is underway.
This is one you should watch!
This was 47 years ago. April 3, 1965. An amazing prediction. Do you remember the famous ABC radio commentator Paul Harvey?
Millions of Americans listened to his programs which were broadcast over 1,200 radio stations nationwide.
When you listen to this, remember the commentary was broadcast 47 years ago on April 3, 1965.
It’s short…less than three minutes. You will be amazed.