Photo Credit: Sweet Publishing
I. THE PURPOSE AND ARGUMENT OF PSALM 101
Pss 101 is a praise psalm that shares David’s love for the LORD and his desire to live obediently for him.
B. Argument (What is the author trying to accomplish and how is he doing it?)
The start of Pss 101 is about singing of the LORD’s love and justice (v. 1).
Next David shared his desire to live a blameless life as it related to his personal actions (vv. 2-5). He said he would be careful to live a blameless life (v. 2) and that careful life started in his own home (v. 2). He promised not to look at anything “vile” or “vulgar” (v. 3). David hated all who dealt crookedly and had no relationship with them (v. 3). He vowed to reject perverse ideas and to stay away from evil (v. 4). He would not tolerate people who slandered their neighbors (v. 5) and would not endure conceit and pride (v. 5).
Next David shared his intent to live a blameless life as it related to other people (vv. 6-8). David searched for faithful people to be his companions (v. 6). He decided to only allow people who were “above reproach” to serve him (v. 6) because he did not allow deceivers to serve in his house (v. 7). Liars would will not stay in his presence (v. 7) and his daily practice was to ferret out the wicked (v. 8) therefore freeing the city of the LORD from the wicked’s hold (v. 8).
II. HOW PSALM 101 FITS INTO THE OVERALL MESSAGE OF THE BIBLE
David’s desire to live a blameless life connects to God’s desire for Israel to be God’s “own special treasure from among all the peoples on earth” (Exod 19:5), for Israel would be God’s “kingdom of priests” and his “holy nation” (Exod 19:6). That plan continued until Jesus’ arrival on earth (Luke 1:26-37). God’s plan of salvation and sanctification looked a little different after Jesus left the earth (Acts 1:9) and sent the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8, 2:1-13) to regenerate believers (John 3:5-7), indwell believers (Room 8:13-14; 1 Cor 6:19), lead believers (Rom 8:9), and help believers in their weaknesses (Rom 8:26). That picture of sanctification with the help of the Holy Spirit was different for David than it is now for believers because of the difference in ministry of the Holy Spirit. In the Old Testament the Holy Spirit would temporarily come to earth and temporarily anoint believers for a short period of time. Examples of this are when the Holy Spirit came upon Gideon (Judg 6:34), Saul (1 Sam 11:6), and Isaiah (Isa 61:1).
III. HOW TO APPLY PSALM 101 TO YOUR LIFE
A. 4 Principles from Psalm 101
1. Don’t look at anything vile or vulgar
In verse 3 David said that he would not look at anything vile or vulgar. The literal rendering of “vile or vulgar” is “thing of worthlessness” related to a standard of living. As believers we need to make sure we do not look at vile and vulgar things. One common vile or vulgar things that men need to avoid are TV shows that show a lot of skin, nudity, cussing, as well as violence. Those are things that are unholy and unrighteous in the life of a believer. Additionally, they provide little benefit or encouragement as a believer to continue his righteous life.
2. Make the commitment to live righteously
David said that he was careful to live a blameless life (v. 2). That was an intentional decision that he made and he worked hard to live out that decision everyday. David’s commitment to live righteously was seen in his statements using the phrase “I will.” Those “I will” statements included his intent to live a blameless life (v. 2), lead a life of integrity (v. 2), refuse to look at immoral things (v. 3), reject perverse ideas (v. 4), not put up with people who slander their neighbors (v. 5), not entertain conceit and pride (v. 5), search for faithful people (v. 6), and not allow deceivers and liars to stay in his presence (v. 7). As believers we too need to make these strong commitments to live righteously.
3. Seek good and godly company
David says that he sought faithful people to be his companions (v. 6). Faithful people who were above reproach were the only ones allowed to serve him (v. 6). Deceivers would not be allowed to serve in his house (v. 7). Liars would be driven from his presence (v. 7).
4. Believers will not always be perfect
Anyone who has attempted to live the Christian life realizes that while Christ was our perfect example, we are fallen human beings that are not perfect. We will do things that are immoral and wrong. David certainly did his share of wrong too (2 Sam 11). However, the focus of Pss 101 is that believers need to set their eyes on God and work hard to follow the godly way of life.
B. 2 Sunday School Activities
1. Ask God to help you
David asked God for help to live a blameless life (v. 2). You can ask your Sunday School class which area they will ask God to help them in. Then you can ask them to report back to you the next week how they saw God working in their lives.
2. Who is a godly person that you can spend time with
Pss 101:6-8 is David’s decision to keep good council in order to help him live a blameless life. In your Sunday School class you can ask the students who they can seek to spend time with that will make their lives more godly. Additionally, are there people in their lives that draw them away from their godly walk? They will need to report within one month how they are doing in this area.
C. My Personal Application of Psalm 101
Above I referenced that men need to be careful of what they watch on TV because many of the things on TV would be categorized under David’s “vile or vulgar” category. Therefore, I need to do a better job at deciding what not to watch as well as closing my eyes when vile and vulgar things come on the TV. This weekend the cheerleaders came on the screen during the Cowboys game and I immediately turned the other way. This was a good response for me! I need to continue to do this. Furthermore, I also need to decide to watch less rated R-rated movies. I have a bad habit of still watching these and as a result I am going to ask my wife for guidance about which ones I need to not watch.