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Bible Commentaries

Spurgeon's Verse Expositions of the Bible

Psalms 101



Verses 1-8

Psalms 101. The last Psalm was a Hymn of Thanksgiving, this one is a Psalm of Thanksgiving. I suppose it to have been written by David just when he assumed the throne, when he was about to become king over all Israel and Judah. Its title is, “A Psalm of David.” This is what he said to himself, —

Psalms 101:1. I will sing —

That is right, David. In the one hundredth Psalm, he had exhorted other people to sing, now, in the hundred and first, he declares what he will himself do: “I will sing” —

Psalms 101:1. Of mercy and judgment:

It is a mingled theme; there are the treble and the bass notes: “mercy and judgment.” There are some dear friends who, if they sing at all will have to sing this way, for they have a heavy sorrow on their heart, and yet great mercy is mixed with it. Oh, you who are troubled, and bow your head in grief, say, “I will sing of mercy and judgment.” Mix the two together.

Psalms 101:1. Unto thee, O LORD, will I sing.

A second time the psalmist says, “I will sing.” It is well to make this firm resolve: “Unto thee, O Lord, will I sing.” Winter or summer, “I will sing;” poverty or riches, “I will sing;” sickness or health, “I will sing;” life or death, “I will sing.” “I will love thee in life, I will love thee in death And praise thee as long as thou lendest me breath.” “I will sing of mercy and judgment: unto thee, O Lord, will I sing.”

Psalms 101:2. I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way.

This was a good resolve; but David did not carry it out to the full. There were evil times when he was not wise, and there were sad times when he was not perfect. Still, it is well to make such a resolve as this declaration of David when he came to the throne, especially when you are newly married, or just opening a business. Oh, that every young man and young woman would commence life with such a holy resolution as this, “I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way “I but notice the prayer that follows the resolve, —

Psalms 101:2. O when wilt thou come unto me?

For I shall be neither wise nor holy without thee. “O when wilt thou come unto me?”

Psalms 101:2. I will walk within my house with a perfect heart.

There is a great deal in the way in which a man walks in his house. It will not do to be a saint Abroad and a devil at home; there are some of that kind. They are wonderfully sweet at a prayer-meeting, but they are dreadfully sour to their wives and children. This will never do. Every genuine believer should say, and mean it, “I will walk within my house with a perfect heart.” It is in the home that we get the truest proof of godliness.

“What sort of a man is he?” said one to George Whitefield, and Whitefield answered, “I cannot say, for I never lived with him.” That is the way to test a man, to live with him.

Psalms 101:3. I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes:

“I will not look at it, for if I do, I may long for it.” It is the tendency of things that are gazed at to get through the eyes into the mind and the heart, therefore is it wise to say with the psalmist, “I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes.”

Psalms 101:3. I hate the work of them that turn aside;

He means all those who practice dodges, the “policy” people, those who never go straight. Kings usually like such people as these. Do not men say that an ambassador is a gentleman who is paid to live abroad, and to lie for the benefit of his country? I suppose that is what diplomatists in David’s day generally did, but David resolved that he would have none of that sort of folk about him: “I hate the work of them that turn aside.”

Psalms 101:3. It shall not cleave to me.

“If I touch it, I will not let it stick to me. Pitch defiles, so I will keep clear of it, and if any man tries to practice a trick for my advantage, I will have nothing to do with him.”

Psalms 101:4. A froward heart shall depart from me: I will not know a wicked person.

“For, if I come to know him, one of these days I may be known myself to be a wicked person.” “Evil communications corrupt good manners.” No man can afford to be the friend of a man who is not a friend of God. If he does not love God, quit his company, for he will do you no good. Say with David, “I will not know a wicked person.”

Psalms 101:5. Whoso privily slandereth his neighbour, him will I cut off:

David was a king, and he meant to study the peace of his people by putting down slander. Oh, what mischief is wrought by backbiting tittle tattle! If we could have a race of men, — and for the matter of that, of women, too, — with no tongues, it might be of advantage, for there are some who use their tongues for very sorry purposes. David says, “Whosoever privily slandereth his neighbour, him will I cut off.”

Psalms 101:5. Him that hath an high look and a proud heart will not I suffer.

High looks and proud hearts are generally the characteristics of cruel, tyrannical, domineering persons; and King David would not have any such near him.

Psalms 101:6. Mine eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me:

Oh, that masters had more of an eye to the piety of their servants than they often have! They want “clever fellows.” Whether they are honest or not, is generally a secondary question. So long as they are profitable to their masters, they will not mind what they are to their customers; but David would not have servants of that sort.

Psalms 101:6-7. 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.

He was a king, and he could choose his company, and he meant to select the truthful and upright. Now mark this. If David would not let a man who lies tarry in his sight, you must not expect that God will let such tarry in his sight. “All liars shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone,” saith the Scripture. God grant us to have clean, truthful tongues!

Psalms 101:8. I will early destroy all the wicked of the land; that I may cut off all wicked doers from the city of the LORD.

What a practical Psalm this is! I have heard of a prince of Saxe Gotha, years ago, who, whenever he thought that one of his ministers or judges was not what he ought to be, used always to send him the hundred and first Psalm to read. It was commonly said of such a man, “He will get the hundred and first Psalm before long;” and, after reading it, if he did not mend his manners, the prince sent him his dismission, and he had to go about his business. Oh, that all who profess and call themselves Christians would act according to the tenor of this straight Psalm, which is like a line drawn by the hand of God, without a crook or a turn in it!

This exposition consisted of readings from PSALM 100. and 101.


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Bibliography Information
Spurgeon, Charle Haddon. "Commentary on Psalms 101:4". "Spurgeon's Verse Expositions of the Bible". 2011.

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