My eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land
Psalm 101 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
I will sing of lovingkindness and justice,
To You, O Lord, I will sing praises.
2 I will give heed to the blameless way.
When will You come to me?
I will walk within my house in the integrity of my heart.
3 I will set no worthless thing before my eyes;
I hate the work of those who fall away;
It shall not fasten its grip on me.
4 A perverse heart shall depart from me;
I will know no evil.
5 Whoever secretly slanders his neighbor, him I will destroy;
No one who has a haughty look and an arrogant heart will I endure.
6 My eyes shall be upon
the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me;
He who walks in a blameless way is the one who will minister to me.
7 He who practices deceit shall not dwell within my house;
He who speaks falsehood shall not maintain his position before me.
8 Every morning I will destroy all the wicked of the land,
So as to cut off from the city of the Lord all those who do iniquity.
The psalmist not only gives praise to God saying:
I will sing of lovingkindness and justice,
To You, O Lord, I will sing praises. He also professes to live righteously, blamelessly, with integrity. He says: I will give heed to the blameless way. When will You come to me? I will walk within my house in the integrity of my heart. I will set no worthless thing before my eyes. Finally the psalmist despises evil, deceit, falsehood and wickedness. I hate the work of those who fall away; It shall not fasten its grip on me. A perverse heart shall depart from me; I will know no evil. Whoever secretly slanders his neighbor, him I will destroy; No one who has a haughty look and an arrogant heart will I endure… He who practices deceit shall not dwell within my house; He who speaks falsehood shall not maintain his position before me. Every morning I will destroy all the wicked of the land, So as to cut off from the city of the Lord all those who do iniquity.
In Acts 13:22 it speaks of David, the psalmist, saying: He (God) raised up David to be their king, concerning whom He also testified and said, ‘I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My heart, who will do all My will.’ We need only to look at the accounts of David’s life, recorded in scripture to know that he did not always live that perfect, blameless life. There were times that he failed, times he fell to temptation and sin. God though said David was a man after His heart, a man who would do His will. Can we understand then that the heart of God is against evil, deceit, falsehood and wickedness? Are we to believe that like the psalmist, God would seek to destroy, to cutoff those who practice these things? That doesn’t sound like the loving, merciful, gracious God we know, the God who we see embodied in our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, who while we were yet sinners, died for us. (Romans 5:8) Jesus loved the unlovely. He fellowshipped and ate with the outcasts and sinners, He touched the unclean, defended the adulteress woman, ministered to and was ministered to by prostitutes. Jesus says: “I and the Father are one.”(John 10:30) He says: “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner. For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing.” (John 5:19-20) God says: “The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it? “I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, Even to give to each man according to his ways, According to the results of his deeds.”(Jeremiah 17:9-10)
So how do we reconcile the God of the Old Testament, the God who, like the psalmist despises evil, who gives to each man according to his ways, with the God of the New Testament, the God who is embodied in the love of Jesus? Did God change His mind about sin? Malachi 3:6 says: "I the LORD do not change.” Hebrews 13:8 says: Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. The truth is, it is not the God of the Old Testament who must be reconciled with the God of the New Testament. God never changes. God has always despised sin because it separates man from God. Yet from the beginning God, because of His love and mercy had a plan, He made a way to overcome sin. It’s not God who must be reconciled with God. It is man who must be reconciled to God. Jesus is the way that man is reconciled to God. Through the cross, God demonstrates His love to sinners. Romans 5:8 says: But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Jesus came to redeem sinners, to reconcile them to God. He did not come to redeem sin, to make sin acceptable. Sin cannot be reconciled to God. Indeed, Jesus did fellowship with outcasts and sinners, but He Himself says: “the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” (Luke 19:10) Jesus doesn’t seek out the sinners and the outcast because He embraces and tolerates sin, He seeks them out that they through the redeeming work of the cross might be saved, that they could be reconciled to God.
The same Jesus who died for our sins, like the Father, despises sin. He shares the heart of the psalmist, who says: He who practices deceit shall not dwell within my house; He who speaks falsehood shall not maintain his position before me. Every morning I will destroy all the wicked of the land, So as to cut off from the city of the Lord all those who do iniquity. Jesus Himself, the embodiment of God’s love, mercy and grace, the one who Himself instituted the New Covenant of grace, says: “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’” (Matthew 7:21-23)
If we will, like the psalmist, have a heart after God’s heart, if we will have a heart to do the will of the Father, we will despise the sin that separates man from God. We will also though, like Jesus, do what the Father is doing. Jesus says: “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.” (John 14:12) Of all the miracles He did, of all the great works of Christ, the greatest work, is the demonstration of God’s love, through the finished work of the cross. If we will have the heart of Jesus and the heart of the Father, we will, like Jesus, seek and save the lost. We will not tolerate or embrace sin, but through our love for sinners, we will point them to the cross of Christ, that they may be redeemed from sin, reconciled to God and restored to all that God intended, created in the image and likeness of God, holy, righteous and blameless.
Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ; precious Holy Spirit, thank You that You never change, that You are the same yesterday, today and forever. Thank You for the finished work of the cross, the demonstration of Your love, that though You despise sin, You redeemed us from sin. Through the cross we are reconciled to You, restored to Your image and likeness, holy, righteous and blameless. By the power of the Holy Spirit, may my heart ever be like Yours. Amen