By Al Sandlin
I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. 0 when wilt thou come unto me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart. I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me. A froward heart shall depart from me: I will not know a wicked person. Whoso privily slandereth his neighbour, him will I cut off: him that hath an high look and a proud heart will not I suffer. Mine eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me: he that walketh in a perfect way, he shall serve me. He that worketh deceit shall not dwell within my house: he that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight. I will early destroy all the wicked of the land; that I may cut off all wicked doers from the city of the Lord (Psa. 101:2-8).
Let us pause for a moment of consideration of this great Psalm of David. How easy it is and how frequently we tend to blame others for our misdeeds and poor judgments! Not so with David. This man after God’s own heart takes total and complete responsibility for his own behavior rather than placing the blame on someone else.
Let us notice the sequence of things here. He first makes up his mind that the way of integrity shall be the norm for him. His declaration is, “I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way” (KJV). “7 will give heed to the blameless way” (NASV). When an individual makes up his mind to behave in a certain way, with determination he accomplishes that goal. David’s assertion is one thing, but to follow through is quite another matter. The all-important ingredient here is the resolution of the will of the individual to follow a specific course of action.
Coupled with this resolution to do right must be the de-termination to seek the right way, the way of integrity, the way of blamelessness. In all of life’s situations, the resolution demands that the right way be sought out and then perform-ed. The man of honesty will soon learn “that a man’s way is not in himself; nor is it in a man who walks to direct his steps” (Jer. 10:23). So a righteous man is made to acknowledge as did David in Psalm 19:7-8, “The law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.”
Wanting to follow in the way of righteousness not only teaches one that he must pursue after God’s way, but also that prayer to that end is a necessity. Look at a prayer of David in Psalm 25:4-5, “Show me thy ways, 0 Lord; teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.” Again, in Psalm 27:11, “Teach me thy way, 0 Lord, and lead me in a plain path, because of mine enemies.”
In order to accomplish this behavior in blamelessness, David says in Psalm 101:3, “I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.” Prior to David becoming involved with Bathsheba he did not have this determination, else his sins of the flesh would not have brought him down. The lust of the eyes has been a problem with mankind ever since Eden. How keenly aware is David of the power of sight. Paul said, “Abstain from all appearance of evil” (I Thess. 5:22). Especially in our day, our grit must equal that of David if we are to resist the temptations thrown in our path by Satan. The books, movies, plays, magazines, provocative clothing, et al, of our day are, in so many cases, designed with an appeal to sensuality through sight. Be careful little eyes what you see!
Notice in Psalm 101:3 that he hates “the work of them that turn aside.” He does not hate the doers but that which is done. We too, must be sensitive to the need of a soul, that is, to be saved. In James 5:20, the statement is made, “Let him know, that he which converteth a sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.” So many times it seems next to impossible to separate the doer from his deeds. It is imperative, dear Christian, that we develop a tenderness for lost souls. Would you be a Christian unless someone had a love for your soul? Are we so selfish that we have no interest in the eternal destiny of others? The person under consideration in verse 3 is the one who has fallen away; not the wicked per se. He mentions the utterly wicked in vv. 7-8.
Finally, in order to behave wisely, we need the influence of the faithful on our own lives. Psalm 101:6 (NASV), “My eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me; He who walks in a blameless way is the one who will minister to me.” We are known by the friends we keep. Had you rather be around the faithful or the worldly? The idea in this passage is to watch and make their ways of faithfulness my ways and to surround myself with them and their good influence. May God help us to be serious about the lives that we live while here upon the earth. Let us pray that he will lead us in the paths of righteousness and that as he leads us, we will gladly and willingly follow and bring along any and all that we can persuade on this side of eternity.
Guardian of Truth XXXVII: 14, p. 11
July 15, 1993