(The following texts highlighted in this color of blue is taken from

The Treasury of David by Charles Haddon Spurgeon)  "Excerpted text

Copyright AGES Library, LLC. All rights reserved.  Materials are reproduced

by permission."


                                                Psalm 101




TITLE. —A Psalm of David. This is just such a psalm as the man after

God's own heart would compose when he was about to become king in

Israel. It is David all over, straight forward, resolute, devout; there is no

trace of policy or vacillation, the Lord has appointed him to be king, and he

knows it, therefore he purposes in all things to behave as becomes a

monarch whom the Lord Himself has chosen. If we call this THE PSALM

OF PIOUS RESOLUTIONS, we shall perhaps remember it all the more

readily. After songs of praise a psalm of practice not only makes variety,

but comes in most fittingly. We never praise the Lord better than when we

do those things which are pleasing in His sigh (As Jesus did   - “for I

do always those things that please Him.” – John 8:29 – Christ has

left us “an example, that ye should follow His steps.” – I Peter 2:21 –

CY – 2011).


1   “I will sing of mercy and judgment:” -  He would extol both the love

and the severity, the sweets and the bitters, which the Lord had mingled in

his experience; he would admire the justice and the goodness of the Lord.

Such a song would fitly lead up to godly resolutions as to his own conduct,

for that which we admire in our superiors we naturally endeavor to

imitate. Mercy and judgment would temper the administration of David,

because he had adoringly perceived them in the dispensations of his God.

Everything in God's dealings with us may fittingly become the theme of

song, and we have not viewed it aright until we feel we can sing about it.

We ought as much to bless the Lord for the judgment with which He

chastens our sin, as for the mercy with which He forgives it; there is as

much love in the blows of His hand as in the kisses of His mouth. Upon a

retrospect of their lives instructed saints scarcely know which to be most

grateful for—the comforts which have cheered them, or the afflictions which

have purged them - “unto thee, O LORD, will I sing.”  Jehovah shall have all

our praise. The secondary agents of either the mercy or the judgment must hold

a very subordinate place in our memory, and the Lord alone must be hymned

by our heart. Our soul's sole worship must be the lauding of the Lord. The

psalmist forsakes the minor key, which was soon to rule him in the one

hundred and second psalm, and resolves that, come what may, he will sing,

and sing to the Lord too, whatever others might do.


2   “I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way.”  To be holy is to be

wise; a perfect way is a wise way. David's resolve was excellent, but his

practice did not fully tally with it. Alas! he was not always wise or perfect,

but it was well that it was in his heart. A king had need be both sage and

pure, and, if he be not so in intent, when he comes to the throne, his after

conduct will be a sad example to his people. He who does not even resolve

to do well is likely to do very ill. Householders, employers, and especially

ministers, should pray for both wisdom and holiness, for they will need

them both - “O when wilt thou come unto me?”  - an ejaculation, but not an

interruption.  He feels the need not merely of divine help, but also of the

divine presence, that so he may be instructed, and sanctified, and made fit

for the discharge of his high vocation. David longed for a more special and

effectual visitation from the Lord before he began his reign. If God be with

us we shall neither err in judgment nor transgress in character; His presence

brings us both wisdom and holiness; away from God we are away from

safety.  Good men are so sensible of infirmity that they cry for help from God,

so full of prayer that they cry at all seasons, so intense in their desires that

they cry with sighs and groanings which cannot be uttered, saying, "O

when wilt thou come unto me?"  “I will walk within my house with a perfect

heart.”  Piety must begin at home.  Our first duties are those within our own

abode. We must have a perfect heart at home, or we cannot keep a perfect

way abroad. Notice that these words are a part of a song, and that there is no

music like the harmony of a gracious life, no psalm so sweet as the daily

practice of holiness. Reader, how fares it with your family? Do you sing in

the choir and sin in the chamber Are you a saint abroad and a devil at home?

For shame! What we are at home, that we are indeed. He cannot be a good

king whose palace is the haunt of vice, nor he a true saint whose habitation is

a scene of strife, nor he a faithful minister whose household dreads his

appearance at the fireside.


3   “I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes:” - I will neither delight in

it, aim at it or endure it. If I have wickedness brought before me by others I

will turn away from it, I will not gaze upon it with pleasure. The psalmist is

very sweeping in his resolve, he declines the least, the most reputable, the

most customary form of evil—no wicked thing; not only shall it not dwell

in his heart, but not even before his eyes, for what fascinates the eye is very

apt to gain admission into the heart, even as Eve's apple first pleased her

sight and then prevailed over her mind and hand - “I hate the work of them

that turn aside;” -  He was warmly against it; he did not view it with

indifference, but with utter scorn and abhorrence. Hatred of sin is a good

sentinel for the door of virtue. There are persons in courts who walk in a

very crooked way, leaving the high road of integrity; and these, by short

cuts, and twists, and turns, are often supposed to accomplish work for their

masters which simple honest hearts are not competent to undertake; (I fear

that many are in the Federal Judiciary of the United States of America!  Howq

else can you explain policies which the general public would have never

condoned!  i. e. abortion on demand? the glutting of religion in American

public life? – CY – 2011) but David would not employ such, he would pay

no secret service money, he loathed the practices of men who deviate from

righteousness. He was of the same mind as the dying statesman who said,

"Corruption wins not more than honesty." It is greatly to be deplored that

in after years he did not keep himself clear in this matter in every case,

though, in the main he did; but what would he have been if he had not

commenced with this resolve, but had followed the usual crooked policy of

Oriental princes? How much do we all need divine keeping! We are no

more perfect than David, nay, we fall far short of him in many things; and,

like him, we shall find need to write a psalm of penitence very soon after

our psalm of good resolution - “it shall not cleave to me.”  I will disown their

ways, I will not imitate their policy: like dirt it may fall upon me, but I will

wash it off, and never rest till I am rid of it. Sin, like pitch, is very apt to stick.

In the course of our family history crooked things will turn up, for we are all

imperfect, and some of those around us are far from being what they should

be; it must, therefore, be one great object of our care to disentangle ourselves,

to keep clear of transgression, and of all that comes of it: this cannot be done

unless the Lord both comes to us, and abides with us evermore.


4   “A froward heart shall depart from me:” -  He refers both to himself

and to those round about him; he would neither be crooked in heart

himself, nor employ persons of evil character in his house; if he found such

in his court he would chase them away. He who begins with his own heart

begins at the fountain head, and is not likely to tolerate evil companions.

We cannot turn out of our family all whose hearts are evil, but we can keep

them out of our confidence, and let them see that we do not approve of

their ways.  “I will not know a wicked person.” He shall not be my intimate,

my bosom friend. I must know him as a man or I could not discern his character,

but if I know him to be wicked, I will not know him any further, and with his

evil I will have no communion. "To know" in Scripture means more than mere

perception, it includes fellowship, and in that sense it is here used. Princes

must disown those who disown righteousness; if they know the wicked

they will soon be known as wicked themselves.


5   “Whose privily slandereth his neighbor, him will I cut off:” - He had

known so bitterly the miseries caused by slanderers that he intended to deal

severely with such vipers when he came into power, not to revenge his

own ills, but to prevent others from suffering as he had done. To give one's

neighbor a stab in the dark is one of the most atrocious of crimes, and

cannot be too heartily reprobated, yet such as are guilty of it often find

patronage in high places, and are considered to be men of penetration,

trusty ones who have a keen eye, and take care to keep their lords well

posted up. King David would lop the goodly tree of his state of all such

superfluous boughs, - “him that hath an high look and a proud heart him

will not I suffer.”  Proud, domineering, supercilious gentlemen, who look

down upon the poor as though they were so many worms crawling in the

earth beneath their feet, the psalmist could not bear. The sight of them

made him suffer, and therefore he would not suffer them. Great men often

affect aristocratic airs and haughty manners, David therefore resolved that

none should be great in his palace but those who had more grace and more

sense than to indulge in such abominable vanity, Proud men are generally

hard, and therefore very unfit for office; persons of high looks provoke enmity

and discontent, and the fewer of such people about a court the better for the

stability of a throne. If all slanderers were now cut off, and all the proud

banished, it is to be feared that the next census would declare a very sensible

diminution of the population.


6   “Mine eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell

with me:”  He would seek them out, engage their services, take care of

them, and promote them to honor: this is a noble occupation for a king,

and one which will repay him infinitely better than listening to the soft

nothings of flatterers. It would be greatly for the profit of us all if we chose

our servants rather by their piety than by their cleverness; he who gets a

faithful servant gets a treasure, and he ought to do anything sooner than

part with him. Those who are not faithful to God will not be likely to be

faithful to men; if we are faithful ourselves, we shall not care to have those

about us who cannot speak the truth or fulfill their promises; we shall not

be satisfied until all the members of our family are upright in character –

“he that walketh in a perfect way, he shall serve me. What I wish myself to

be, that I desire my servant to be. Employers are to a great degree

responsible for their servants, and it is customary to blame a master if he

retains in his service persons of notorious character; therefore, lest we

become partakers of other men's sins, we shall do well to decline the

services of bad characters. A good master does well to choose a good

servant; he may take a prodigal into his house for the sinner's good, but if

he consults his own he will look in another quarter. Wicked nurses have

great influence for evil over the minds of little children, and ungodly

servants often injure the morals of the older members of the family, and

therefore great care should be exercised that godly servants should be

employed as far as possible. Even irreligious men have the sense to

perceive the value of Christian servants, and surely their own Christian

brethren ought not to have a lower appreciation of them.


7   “He that worketh deceit shall not dwell within my house:” - He had

power to choose his courtiers, and he meant to exercise it. Deceit among

most orientals is reckoned to be a virtue, and is only censured when it is

not sufficiently cunning, and therefore comes to be found out; it was

therefore all the more remarkable that David should have so determinedly

set his face against it. He could not tell what a deceitful man might be

doing, what plots he might be contriving, what mischief he might be

brewing, and therefore he resolved that he would at any rate keep him out

of his house, that his palace might not become a den of villainy. Cheats in

the market are bad enough, but deceivers at our own table we cannot bear -

“he that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight.” He would not have a liar

within sight or hearing; he loathed the mention of him. Grace makes men

truthful, and creates in them an utter horror of everything approaching to

falsehood. If David would not have a liar in his sight, much less will the

Lord; neither he that loves nor he who makes a lie shall be admitted into

heaven (Revelation 21:8) - Liars are obnoxious enough on earth; the saints

shall not be worried with them in another world.


8   “I will early destroy all the wicked of the land” - At the very outset of

his government he would promptly deal out justice to the worthless, he

would leave them no rest, but make them leave their wickedness or feel the

lash of the law. The righteous magistrate "beareth not the sword in vain."

(Romans 13:4)  To favor sin is to discourage virtue; undue leniency to the bad is

unkindness to the good. When our Lord comes in judgment, this verse will

be fulfilled on a large scale; till then He sinks the judge in the Savior, and

bids men leave their sins and find pardon. Under the gospel we also are

bidden to suffer long, and to be kind, even to the unthankful and the evil;

(Luke 6:35) but the office of the magistrate is of another kind, and he must have a

sterner eye to justice than would be proper in private persons. Is he not to

be a terror to evil doers?  “that I may cut off all the wicked doers from the

city of the Lord.” Jerusalem was to be a holy city, and the psalmist meant to be

doubly careful in purging it from ungodly men. Judgment must begin at the house

of God  (I Peter 4:17-18).  Jesus reserves His scourge of small cords for sinners

inside the temple.  How pure ought the church to be, and how diligently should

all those who hold office therein labor to keep out and chase out men of unclean

lives.  Honorable offices involve serious responsibilities; to trifle with them will

bring our own souls into guilt, and injure beyond calculation the souls of

others. Lord, come to us, that we, in our several positions in life, may walk

before thee with perfect hearts.



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