Psalms 101

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“I will refuse to look at anything vile and vulgar” (Psalm 101:3 NLT).

October 29, 2018

David wrote this psalm, beginning nearly every verse with the personal pronoun, “I.” The psalm shows his desire to have a predetermined and settled code of conduct in facing certain situations that might tempt him to sin. In verse 3, he declared a determination to practice a discipline of the eyes. When anything vile and vulgar crossed his path, he would refuse to look at it. The Hebrew word here translated “vile and vulgar” is “belial,” which can also be rendered “wicked, ungodly, evil, or worthless.” David couldn’t help it if something “belial” appeared before him, but he could refuse to set his eyes upon it for any length of time.

The temptation to look too long has plagued us from the beginning. Didn’t Eve gaze at the forbidden fruit too long, seeing that it was “pleasant to the eyes” (Gen. 3:6)? And so, she and Adam seeing it, decided to eat it, plunging all of humanity into darkness.

Holy Spirit help us to be determined as David was to discipline our eyes. We can’t help what the world and its media parades before us, but depending on Your divine power, we can decide in advance to avoid looking too long. We can refuse to set our eyes on belial.

“I will sing of your love and justice, Lord. I will praise you with songs” (Psalm 101:1 NLT)

October 29, 2014

David understood something about God’s “love and justice.” He had learned both the loving mercy and the holy righteousness of God. Some today would view God with an “either/or” perspective. They “either” focus too much on God’s love, making Him a saccharine sweet, permissive push-over grandparent with a white beard (like Santa). “Or” they see an angry judge who is to blame for every war, disease, terrorist attack and natural disaster that befalls us. However, the Lord’s character is not simply “either/or,” but “both/and.” He is “both” full of love “and” holiness. The two traits are fully and equally His. Certainly the greatest revelation of God’s love and justice is seen in the cross of Christ. It was God’s great love that sent His Son and God’s great holiness that was satisfied by Christ’s sacrifice. At the cross we see God’s love and justice intersect.