A King’s Manifesto
This teaching Psalm is thought to have been written by king David when he ascended to the throne. It is said that David was setting principles in his life so that he may rule with wisdom and example. In short, we have here a set of principles for honourable government and rule of a nation. Because righteous resolutions are written all over this Psalm penned by a man after God’s own heart, it is also known as the “Psalm of Righteous Resolutions”
Because David did his best to live a holy life and follow all God’s commandments to the best of his ability it showed just how determined David was to please the Lord in all respects. A point for us to learn is that praise without practice is of no real use at all! We MUST practice what the Scripture tells us. Without practice we stay as spiritual babes, only to drink milk but not able to eat the solid meat, and when we do get solid meat in that condition we only get indigestion.
As we go through these Psalms they must become statutes, instructions and advice in the running of our own lives. They must become something by which we live. The teaching Psalms were once called the “Householder’s Psalms” because they contain rules and regulations whereby we mould our lives on, and if we follow them then surely there will be more happiness in our homes.
If all the rulers and governments of the world would pattern their rulership on these Psalms than our political structure would be more godlike. King David here pledges to root out evil from his private life as well as the public life. This King’s Manifesto could just as well be called the “Householder’s Manifesto”
I think we should look at this Psalm verse by verse as each verse has something special to teach us.
- WE MUST GIVE GLORY TO GOD (verse 1)
David starts his resolutions the right way – by giving God all the glory for all that has happened in his life as well as in the nation of Israel. He acknowledges that God is a just God, that God acts only in a positive and not a vindictive way. God never goes back on His Word. When He promises something He always keeps to it. As God is just, so God expects us to be just and honest in all our ways. Prov. 17:13 says, “If a man pays back evil for good, evil will never leave his house.”
What the writer of this verse in Proverbs is telling us is that if we are dishonest in our dealings with others we must not be surprised if the same happens to us. The Scripture is very clear that we will reap what we sow. So if we want to be dealt with in a honest way then we, ourselves, must be scrupulously honest in our dealings with others. This brings us back to giving God the glory, for if we are not honest, then God is brought into dishonour by our actions.
- WE MUST BE BLAMELESS IN THE EYES OF THE WORLD (verse 2a)
“I will be careful to lead a blameless life.” This is one of the best decisions any believer can make. It is one of the most important. Why? Because if you take this decision then you are obeying the Lord when He said “ Be holy, because I, the Lord your God, am holy.” Lev. 19:2)
True holiness consists of conforming to the nature of God, and when the believer does this then he or she stands out from those who live in the way of the world. Prov. 7:1-3 tells us, “My son, keep my words and store up my commands within you. Keep my commands and you will live; guard my teachings as the apple of your eye. Bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart.” You can see here that there are several things we have to do before we can be blameless before God.
- We have to study and learn God’s commands;
- We are to store them in our heart;
- We are to guard them, ie, don’t let them be taken away;
- We must do them – that is what is meant by binding on the fingers;
- We must let them become part of our daily routine.
Let the world see that you are different. Let them see that you are living a different life in Jesus. Most of all let them see that you are joyful living this way.
- WE MUST BE BLAMELESS AT HOME (2b)
This is one of the hardest things to do, to be blameless at home. Why? Because here there is nobody but your family to judge you! Outside you can put on a pious face and at home you can relax it. This is what is called a hypocrite, one who wears a mask. If you can be holy at home then it is easy to be holy outside the environment of the home.
It is easy to fool the people at work and the church that you do not, for example, take a drink; yet behind the shut doors of your house you open the beer can or the brandy bottle. This type of action does not fool God, even if it does fool others.
The prophet Ezekiel was once given a vision of the temple and told to dig into the wall and go inside. There he saw the elders standing in one of the inner chambers worshipping idols in the temple of the Lord. Ezekiel was shown another twenty five worshiping the sun in another room.
Because of this God said, “I will deal with them in my anger; I will not look on them or spare them. Although they shout in my ear, I will not listen to them.” Listeners, be careful to be holy at all times, at home as well as outside.
- WE MUST KEEP THE STRAIGHT AND NARROW ROAD (verse 3)
Here we can say to ourselves, “Don’t go where I look – look where I go!” The Bedouin drivers in Israel are some of the worst drivers I have come across and one of their greatest faults is that they drive where they look instead of keeping a straight line in the lane in which they are supposed to be driving.
Many Christians are like them in many ways in their Christian journey. They cannot keep a straight line, but weave about something terrible, and when they bump into obstacles along the way they blame God and other Christians. Let us look where we are going, keeping our eyes on the road ahead, putting on the brakes when we should and passing or staying behind as the Spirit leads us.
- WE MUST HATE EVIL (VERSE 4)
We are to hate the works of darkness and to keep away from those who persist in doing the works of darkness. Paul said in Eph. 5:11-12, “Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret.” To shun evil is one of the basic rules of Christianity and we are to adhere to this because if we don’t we will not go unpunished. Ehp. 5:5 warns us, “Be very careful, then how you live.”
- WE MUST DESTROY PRIDE (verse 5)
Pride is also one of the worst things in a Christian’s life. There is the well-known expression that says “Pride comes before a fall” and this is true too in a Christian experience. Many a famous preacher has succumbed to pride and instead of staying humble they have fallen hard. Let us be very careful in taking God’s honour for ourselves. This was king Nebuchadnezzar’s downfall, just to give one example.
- WE MUST CHOOSE OUR COMPANIONS (verse 6)
David made it his responsibility to choose correct companions; companions who would not lead his astray, away from the Lord. “My eyes are on the faithful in the land that they may dwell with me; he whose walk is blameless will minister to me.” David also made sure that anyone who gave him advice was truly a child of the Lord and walking the straight line as set out by God Himself.
Unfortunately there are so many who parade as children of the light that it is sometimes very difficult to detect them. Jesus warned in Matt. 25:11 that many false prophets would appear in the last days and deceive many people. Listeners, be very careful who you let teach you the word of the Lord.
There are those who claim that Christ has already come, not physically but in spiritual form. Don’t believe them. Jesus said nothing will be done in secret. Matt. 24:30, “At that time the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky (ie, for everyone to see) and all the nations of the earth will mourn. They (ie, all the nations) will see the Son of Man coming on [in, KJV] the clouds of the sky (not WITH the cloud of witnesses, but actual clouds in the heaven, the sky),” Unfortunately Matt. 24 has been misinterpreted by many.
- WE MUST KEEP OUR HOUSE CLEAN (verse 7-8)
Listener, do not allow anything that offends God into your house. If, for example, you have a statue of Buddha even as an ornament, throw it out, break it to pieces. Search your house for the yeast that slowly brings you into evil ways. Be like king David who every morning in his prayers prayed for strength to withstand the evil one and his henchmen. He did everything in his power to rid himself of anything that was against the will of the Lord.
May Jesus and the Holy Spirit be your constant guide through this life, guiding you in the right direction in the kingdom of God, as well as through the snares and pitfalls of this life.