Here we have a list of items to live a blameless life:
- Live with integrity at home
- Refuse to look at anything vile/vulgar
- Have nothing to do with liars and cheats
- Stay away from anything evil, including evil ideas
- Refuse to tolerate slander, conceit, or pride
- Only have godly friends
- Only do business with people of integrity
My daily task will be to ferret out the wicked and free the city of the LORD from their grip. v8
Are you ready to go out and exact judgment on everyone you know after reading this psalm? If so, STOP.
King David wrote this psalm, possibly at the beginning of his reign as an idea list of how to live and run his kingdom. On the surface, it looks like a great list. And many Christians try to live up to this ideal. They only have church friends. They are righteous to a fault. They are quick to condemn the faults they see in others. What this looks like to outsiders is that Christians are completely intolerant and very often hypocritical. Because, let’s face it, none of us are perfect. There are times I should free the city of the LORD from me!
So here we find some tension between the OT and NT. After all, Jesus hung out with a bunch of sinners. He failed to condemn the woman caught in adultery. He hung out with tax collectors. He dined at the house of liars and cheats. Can you see where the Pharisees had a problem with him? To their eyes, he wasn’t living up to Psalm 101. And the Messiah, the King, should do kingly things, right?
The difference is grace. We heard a sermon recently from a visiting pastor about “messy grace.” His point is that you can be right in what you believe but wrong in how you express it. Our biblical beliefs should never allow us to demean or devalue others. Why? Because we are not the king! David was responsible for shepherding the entire nation of Israel. He had the daily task of ridding his kingdom of evil. We do not. Our task is to love God more than anything else, and love others like we love ourselves.
Kindness prevents justice from becoming too harsh; justice saves kindness from becoming flabby. – H. C. Leupold