The last article considered Psalm 101 as the basis for making spiritual resolutions for our lives this year. The first five resolutions of this psalm declared our resolve to praise the Lord, pay carefully attention to the blameless path, walk with integrity, not set our eyes on worthless things, and to be pure. Consider the final few verses of Psalm 101 as the psalmist continues to declare what he will do for the Lord.
“Whoever slanders his neighbor secretly I will destroy. Whoever has a haughty look and an arrogant heart I will not endure. I will look with favor on the faithful in the land, that they may dwell with me; he who walks in the way that is blameless shall minister to me. No one who practices deceit shall dwell in my house; no one who utters lies shall continue before my eyes. Morning by morning I will destroy all the wicked in the land, cutting off all the evildoers from the city of the LORD.” (Psalm 101:5–8 ESV)
I Will Destroy Slanderers and Proud (101:5)
We are not going to participate or tolerate slander and pride. We will not secretly gossip and slander others. We will not speak about others. Further, I will not participate when others are gossiping and slandering. It is so tempting to jump in and participate in this kind of talk. We must remember that such language reveals a corrupt heart. The mouth speaks from the abundance of one’s heart (Matthew 12:34). I will not participate. I will speak well of people, not badly of them. I will assume the best in them and not the worst. I will seek out their good and not their ill. Further, I will not be proud nor will I spend time with the proud. Christianity is not about showing ourselves. There is nothing about servanthood and discipleship that makes the actions about ourselves. It is all about Jesus. We must have humble hearts before the Lord. There is no room for pride. What we can be proud of? We are nothing without God. Do not walk with the proud. Do not spend time with them.
I Will Look With Favor On The Faithful (101:6)
We should consider our attitude toward the family of Christ. What do we think about the other Christians to which we are joined? Do we desire to be with them? Do we think favorably of those with whom we work and worship? Rather than spending our time with the wicked who are trying to pull us away from God, we should desire to spend our time with the faithful people of God. We will love the brotherhood of Christians. We will think well of them. We will consider their words and watch out for one another. We will let other Christians teach us, help us, correct us, and build us up.
I Will Despise Evil (101:7-8)
Finally, David says that he will have nothing to do with evil. “No one who practices deceit will be in my house.” We will not tolerate or excuse sin in our home. We will make the covenant before the Lord as Joshua did that as for our house, we will serve the Lord. We are not going to have lying in our home. We are not going to have sinful behavior going on in our family. The reason is that we will have such a distain for evil that we will not want it near us. We will adopt the character of God that cannot stand to dwell in darkness. We will separate ourselves from evil and evildoers. How can light spend time with those who have no interest in the light and are trying to shut out the light? We will surround ourselves with those who help our faith and not those who undermine our faith.
This psalm appears to be the psalm of David when he was king since he speaks about the power he has to enact these moral reforms throughout the land. Unfortunately, David failed at keeping these resolutions before his God. We know about his moral failures and many grievous sins. In the same way it will not be long before we also fail at these resolutions. This is not to be a reason for us to not make this commitment to God. We cannot look at God’s word and decide we can’t do it and then no longer try to live godly, holy lives. The reason Jesus came to the world is because God knew we could not do what is required of us. Jesus did what none of us could do. Jesus is the fulfillment of this psalm. Jesus lived a life of integrity and paid careful attention to the path of righteousness. Jesus did not set his eyes on worthless things but maintain a covenant of purity in his heart and actions. He is the one who cuts off the wicked but looks with favor on the faithful. We will conclude with the words of Isaiah, who is speaking about the coming of the Messiah, Jesus who would save the people.
There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit. And the Spirit of the LORD shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD. And his delight shall be in the fear of the LORD. He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide disputes by what his ears hear, but with righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; and he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked. Righteousness shall be the belt of his waist, and faithfulness the belt of his loins. (Isaiah 11:1–5 ESV)
Let us have the resolve this year to follow in the steps of our Lord and Savior.