Tuesday, September 05, 2023

2023.09.05 Hopewell @Home ▫ Psalm 101

Read Psalm 101

Questions from the Scripture text: Who wrote this Psalm (superscript)? Of what does the Psalm sing (Psalm 101:1)? Unto Whose praise? How will he act in this praise (Psalm 101:2a)? What does he desire in this praise (verse 2b)? How will he conduct himself with his own family (verse 2c)? What won’t he do (Psalm 101:3a)? What does he hate (verse 3b)? What doesn’t he want such wicked works to do (verse 3c)? What won’t he indulge (Psalm 101:4a)? What does he refuse to know (verse 4b)? Whom will he silence (Psalm 101:5a–b)? Whom can’t he stand (verse 5c–d)? What, whom will he give his eyes to instead (Psalm 101:6)? What else will he give them (verse 6b)? What place will the king give them (verse 6d)? To whom will he refuse these privileges (Psalm 101:7)? What will he do to whom (Psalm 101:8a)? Why (verse 8b)? 

How does a king prepare for worship? Psalm 101 looks forward to the opening portion of morning public worship on the coming Lord’s Day. In these eight verses of Holy Scripture, the Holy Spirit teaches us that one way that kings (and all of us) must prepare for worship is by godly conduct in our ordinary callings.  

This is a Psalm of David, and it’s written from the perspective of the king. He is the one who has the duty to silence (“destroy,” Psalm 101:5Psalm 101:8) the slanderers/wicked from the land. In particular, it is king David’s responsibility to keep the city of YWHH evildoer-free.

What David wants—what we should all want—is to come to God in worship (Psalm 101:1) and have God come to us in the worship (Psalm 101:2b). And the basic point of the Psalm is that the man who wants the LORD to come to him in worship will be careful about whom and what else he lets come into his life or house. The one who wishes to act with understanding and blamelessness toward God (verse 2a) should do so in his own heart and household first (verse 2c).

First, he must live with understanding and blamelessness in his own heart. The man who wishes to stay clear of wicked desires and thoughts (Psalm 101:4) must avert his eyes  from all that is worthless (Psalm 101:3a) and determinedly set himself against the works that belong to those who backslide (verse 3b). What we allow our eyes to land upon and our hearts to dwell upon will inevitably shape us.

Second, he must live with understanding and blamelessness in his own house. He must silence slander (Psalm 101:5a–b) and refuse to permit arrogance (verse 5c–d). It is not enough that he would be truthful and humble. He also should not be passive. He should actively maintain a culture of truthfulness and humility.

Third, he must maintain truth and righteousness in every domain where he has authority. For David, this meant the kingdom as a whole, and especially Jerusalem, the holy city. Whether a man has authority in the civil sphere or in the church, let him surround himself with the godly (Psalm 101:6), avoid the presence of the wicked (Psalm 101:7), and even remove their presence from his domain (Psalm 101:8).

A believer simply must learn to guard against worldly or wicked entertainment or company. Does the believer hope that the LORD will come to him in the worship? Then let the believer be careful about what he permits to come to him in the rest of his life.

What sort of entertainment might you need to stop permitting before your eyes? How are you guarding against keeping company with those who slander or are proud? What evidence is there that you are determined to worship the Lord? In what ways are you keeping your mind and heart prepared for that worship?

Sample prayer:  Lord, we pray that You would help us to be devoted worshipers of Your steadfast love and justice. By Your grace, we have sought to walk in truth and humility. Forgive us our many sins, and grant that Your Spirit would sustain us now to worship You with understanding and godliness that are by faith in Christ, through Whom we ask it, AMEN!

Suggested songs: ARP101 “Of Loyalty and Justice” or TPH101A “Of Steadfast Love and Justice, Lord” 

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