A Tall Order

Psalm 101:2 “I will walk in my house with blameless heart. I will set before my eyes no vile thing” (NIV).

Observation: In this brief psalm David beautifully expressed a heart set on pursuit of God alone. He promised to sing of God’s love and justice (v. 1) and to lead a blameless life (v. 2). He declared devotion to relationship with those who were faithful and who themselves walked blamelessly. And then this: to set before his eyes no vile thing.

Application: David committed himself to a tall order. Line upon line, his words of commitment and devotion tumbled forth, leaving not the smallest opportunity for compromise. There is in David’s writing a sense of one who has tasted the sweet presence of the Lord and can now settle for nothing less. The parched throat once slaked by pure, cool rains will never again find full satisfaction in a stale jug of even the finest libation. In the same way, David’s pursuit of great gulps of God led him to covenants of blamelessness and purity regarding whom he spent time with and what he allowed his eyes to gaze upon. He longed to be so filled with the presence of God that there would be room for none else.

There is abundant evidence that David had already tasted the counterfeit. He had known faithless men with perverse hearts and slanderers with haughty eyes and proud hearts; these he determined to foreswear.

I, too, have known such men and women—people who have kept God at arms’ length while trying to succeed in the strength of their gifting and the fleshly attractiveness of well-honed skills. Indeed at times, I have myself pranced in the giftedness of that miserable troupe.

But David here revealed an important principle: it is never enough to merely recognize vileness and then covenant to walk away. I lack sufficient strength of character to ever fully abandon those self-aggrandizing, dark traits designed to make me attractive in others’ eyes. It is not in choosing to leave the bad that I can ever hope to succeed, but only in embracing the good. I can never permanently abandon destruction until I have committed myself irrevocably to wholehearted love of Him alone. Only in cleaving to what is supremely good can I finally leave that which would destroy me.

Prayer: Father, thank You for the example of David’s solution to mediocrity and evil. Stir me to wholehearted devotion to Your dear Son.

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