“I will sing of your love and justice, Lord. I will praise you with songs. 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. I will refuse to look at anything vile and vulgar. I hate all who deal crookedly; I will have nothing to do with them. I will reject perverse ideas and stay away from every evil. I will not tolerate people who slander their neighbors. I will not endure conceit and pride. I will search for faithful people to be my companions. Only those who are above reproach will be allowed to serve me. I will not allow deceivers to serve in my house, and liars will not stay in my presence. My daily task will be to ferret out the wicked and free the city of the Lord from their grip.”
Psalms 101:1-8 NLT
What a Psalm!! Several things are declared in this Scripture!
1. Praise to God. The psalmist acknowledges the love and justice of God. He exclaims his praise in song.
We, too, should praise Him!
2. The psalmist wants to live a life of integrity. Integrity, by definition, is “soundness”. The idea is something solid, consistent, and consecrated. When someone walks in integrity they are trustworthy and above reproach. I love the way the psalmist says that he will walk in his house with integrity (“perfect heart” - King James Version). Each of us should live in private with trustworthy consecration! Our private lives should be foundational to our public living! I have heard it said like this: “Integrity is doing what is right when no one is watching!”
3. He refuses to look at vile and vulgar things. This is essential if we are to walk in holiness. Our eyes are the light of our lives. Jesus made this clear in Matthew 6:22-23. “Your eye is like a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is filled with light. But when your eye is unhealthy, your whole body is filled with darkness. And if the light you think you have is actually darkness, how deep that darkness is!” Matthew 6:22-23 NLT It was Eve’s eye that led her into temptation in Genesis 3:1-7. She saw that the fruit “looked” good. In 1 John 2 we are warned about this same thing. “Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world.” 1 John 2:15-16 NLT May God help us reject vile and vulgar things as well!!
4. Hate for the crooked ways of men. We, too, must hate the crooked character and conduct of this culture. We must live by what is true and just! “For the Scriptures say, “If you want to enjoy life and see many happy days, keep your tongue from speaking evil and your lips from telling lies. Turn away from evil and do good. Search for peace, and work to maintain it. The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right, and his ears are open to their prayers. But the Lord turns his face against those who do evil.”
1 Peter 3:10-12 NLT We must not hang out with wicked people. Yes, we should love them, and pray for their deliverance, but we must not get tangled up in their pernicious ways! “Don’t be fooled by those who say such things, for “bad company corrupts good character.”” 1 Corinthians 15:33 NLT We must be very careful who we make our closest friends. These people must be of godly character if we are to walk pleasing to God!
5. Ridding the city of ungodliness. We must engage the culture with the light of Jesus Christ and allow His light to dispel the darkness from our homes, our churches, our communities, our businesses, our houses of government, and every crevice of our land. “You are the salt of the earth. But what good is salt if it has lost its flavor? Can you make it salty again? It will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless. “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.”
Matthew 5:13-16 NLT Salt must be shaken out of the container and light must be exposed to the darkness. We, as the body of Jesus Christ, the church, must engage and impact the culture for the cause of Christ Jesus our Lord!! Oh if only we had more godly men and women of character!! My heart aches with this contemplation! “Help, O Lord, for the godly are fast disappearing! The faithful have vanished from the earth!” Psalms 12:1 NLT
I encourage you to read the whole chapter of Psalm 12.
Rev. Curtis Norris