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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 101

Dr. Constable's Expository NotesConstable's Expository Notes

Verse 1

1. David’s appreciation for God 101:1

The psalmist focused his praise on God’s loyal love and justice. These qualities are foundational to His rule (cf. Psalms 89:14). David proceeded to request that his own rule would have a similarly strong base.

Verses 1-8

Psalms 101

David voiced his desire and commitment to maintain holiness in his personal life, and in his court, in this royal psalm. One writer classified this as a psalm of dedication. [Note: Wiersbe, The . . . Wisdom . . ., p. 273.]

"The qualities of Jesus the Messiah, as given in Isaiah 11:1-5 and in this psalm, reveal a fulfillment of the theocratic ideal: concern for integrity, justice, and devotion. Similarly, the followers of Jesus must conform to his high standards (Psalms 101:6; cf. 1 Timothy 3:1-16; 2 Timothy 2:14-26; Titus 1:6-9)." [Note: VanGemeren, p. 640.]

Verse 2

2. David’s commitment to personal integrity 101:2

The writer next promised to live blamelessly before God. He was saying he would live in a way that would make it possible for God to bless him and his kingdom. His godliness would begin at home (cf. 1 Timothy 3:1-7). Most ancient Near Eastern monarchs indulged their sinful human natures by the way they lived.

Verses 3-4

More specifically, David promised God that he would guard his life and his court from sin. Worthless or vile things are things that make no positive contribution to godliness. Like God, David professed to hate departure from the right way. A perverse heart means a crooked or twisted affection, namely, one that turns away from the straight path of rectitude.

Verses 3-8

3. David’s desire for purity in his court 101:3-8

Verses 5-6

In Psalms 101:5, David promised to deal severely with even minor deviations from holiness in others’ lives. This expressed his strong allegiance to righteousness. Positively the king promised to reward people who were faithful to God. He wanted to surround himself with godly people in his court.

Verses 7-8

Professional competence was not sufficient to qualify a member of David’s staff for service. His courtiers also needed to maintain fellowship with God and walk in His ways. The king would not tolerate lying. Moreover, he would extend his requirements to all the people who lived in his kingdom. In his daily administration of justice he would cut off the wicked who practiced iniquity. "Cutting off" might be in execution, but it could also mean ending their present course of life by sentencing them to some other penalty.

Why did David tolerate a wicked man such as Joab in view of this prayer? Obviously, David went back on this promise to God, both in his personal life, and in his choice of government leaders to some extent. Nevertheless, this commitment to holiness is an admirable model for all of God’s people. Perhaps David wrote this psalm early in his reign.

Bibliographical Information
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Psalms 101". "Dr. Constable's Expository Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/dcc/psalms-101.html. 2012.
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