Psalm 101

• This psalm came to be known as the prince’s psalm in Europe because it addresses the proper conduct of a ruler.
• According to Spurgeon, the old expositors used to designate this psalm “The Mirror for Magistrates.”
• The focus of the psalm is political ethics and depicts a righteous person serving in public office.

Of David. A psalm.

101:1 I will sing of your love [Heb., heseḏ] and justice [Heb., mišpāt]; to you, Lord, I will sing praise [“We never praise the Lord better than when we do those things which are pleasing in His sight.” (Spurgeon)].

101:2 I will be careful to lead [an expression of concern for living wisely] a blameless life [a life of integrity; “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.” (Spurgeon)] — when will you come to me [a brief prayer suggesting a need and affirming dependence on God]? I will conduct the affairs of my house [home would also be characterized by a commitment to “love and justice”] with a blameless heart [in a manner consistent with God’s ways and not the ways of the world].

101:3 I will not look [we should have the Lord before our eyes and not things that are offensive to the Lord] with approval on anything that is vile [literally “a thing of Belial”]. I hate what faithless people do [“Hatred of sin is a good sentinel for the door of virtue.” (Spurgeon)]; I will have no part in it.

101:4 The perverse of heart [a concern for what happens in the inner man, the places known only to God] shall be far from me; I will have nothing to do with what is evil.

101:5 Whoever slanders [a dangerous practice because it can injure others or lead to a wrong verdict in a court of law; cf. Ex. 23:7; Lev. 19:15-18 re false witnesses] their neighbor in secret, I will put to silence; whoever has haughty eyes and a proud [or greedy] heart, I will not tolerate.

101:6 My eyes will be on the faithful in the land [antithetical to “all the wicked in the land” in verse 8], that they may dwell with me [the kingdom would be strengthened in proportion to the integrity of those in positions of power and influence]; the one whose walk is blameless will minister to me.

101:7 [note David’s commitment to integrity and to surround himself only with people of integrity; he valued integrity more than talent in those who served in his administration] No one who practices deceit will dwell in my house; no one who speaks falsely will stand in my presence [or participate in his administration].

101:8 Every morning I will put to silence all the wicked in the land; I will cut off every evildoer from the city of the Lord.

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