Psalm 101:  Covenant with Eyes

I will set nothing wicked before my eyes; I hate the work of those who fall away; It shall not cling to me.  A perverse heart shall depart from me; I will not know wickedness. Psalm 101:3 4

I Will Not Know Wickedness

 

Psalm 101 is a royal psalm.  David the king declares his purposes and asks for God’s help in maintaining righteousness.  This brief psalm has a tone of strong judgment, indicating a desire not only to preserve the innocent and protect the needy, but also to maintain the reputation of God against the attacks of His foes.  The outline of the poem is: 1. A determination to praise the Lord. 2. A determination to behave wisely. 3. A determination to abstain from wickedness. 4. A determination to discriminate between the righteous and the wicked.  David expresses his commitment to his God of “love and justice.”  David will lead a blameless life.  He will not permit his people to sin and will advance those whose walk, like his, is blameless.

Politics (101:3b).  In politics the popular wisdom says that it’s not wise to reject support.  David says he will have no association with “men of perverse heart.”  When such persons try to cling to us, we need to take just as firm a stand as David did.

“Every morning” (101:8).  David is committed to an active campaign of cleansing his administration.  He doesn’t wait till a scandal occurs, but makes sure he has “cut off every evildoer from the city of the Lord.”  We may not be able to directly appy David’s policies in theocratic Israel to modern politics.  But the principle of seeking leaders of unimpeachable moral character is valid in every society, in every age.

8  Early I will destroy all the wicked of the land, That I may cut off all the evildoers from the city of the Lord.

101:3, 4 The Hebrew expression for wicked implies utter worthlessness.  The phrase I hate indicates utter rejection.  David hated what God hated and loved what God loved.  Not know:  The Hebrew verb for “to know” here has the idea of experience or intimate relationship with something or someone.

3  I will set nothing wicked before my eyes; I hate the work of those who fall away; It shall not cling to me. 4  A perverse heart shall depart from me; I will not know wickedness.

101:6-8 David made a covenant with his eyes (Job 31:1) to observe the righteous and sustain them in their walk.  Alternatively, his eyes were also directed against the wicked.  The evildoers:  Elsewhere, this Hebrew phrase is rendered workers of iniquity (14:4).

My eyes shall be on the faithful of the land, That they may dwell with me; He who walks in a perfect way, He shall serve me. 7  He who works deceit shall not dwell within my house; He who tells lies shall not continue in my presence. 8  Early I will destroy all the wicked of the land, That I may cut off all the evildoers from the city of the Lord.

 

**  It’s not expedient to insist living a righteous life.  It’s a narrow path.  But it’s well worth it.  Because we are led by the King Himself. 

 

101 1  A Psalm of David. I will sing of mercy and justice; To You, O Lord, I will sing praises. 2  I will behave wisely in a perfect way. Oh, when will You come to me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart. 3  I will set nothing wicked before my eyes; I hate the work of those who fall away; It shall not cling to me. 4  A perverse heart shall depart from me; I will not know wickedness. 5  Whoever secretly slanders his neighbor, Him I will destroy; The one who has a haughty look and a proud heart, Him I will not endure. 6  My eyes shall be on the faithful of the land, That they may dwell with me; He who walks in a perfect way, He shall serve me. 7  He who works deceit shall not dwell within my house; He who tells lies shall not continue in my presence. 8  Early I will destroy all the wicked of the land, That I may cut off all the evildoers from the city of the Lord.