Saturday, May 22, 2010

Meditation: A Vow of Integrity (Part II)

Passage
Psalm 101:5-8

Context
David continues to express his vow.

Keywords
Destroy, Secret slander, Cannot tolerate, Haughty Eyes, Arrogant Heart, faithful, way of integrity, deceitfully, lies, wicked, evildoers

Message
The second half of Psalm 101 is hard for me.  I am neither in the authority nor the position to do what David is vowing to do here.  So I wrestle to understand how this passage applies to me.  Never the less God always has something He wants us to learn from his word. 

This passage shows me the seriousness of the lack of integrity from God's perspective.  David is saying he has no tolerance for those that do evil.  The list is: slanderers, snobs, arrogant, deceitful, liars, wicked, and evildoers.  These are the ones that have no place in "the LORD's city" nor in the dwelling place of David.  As I think about this list I imagine what would happen to me taking a vow of integrity while not avoiding these type of people.  If I am around slanders am I not participating in some way even if I do not speak a word?  If I hang out with snobs or arrogant people is not a passive approval of them looking down on others?  If I interact with deceitful people and liars don't I risk becoming hurt by their ways?  If evildoers and wicked are with me then don't I stand against God and his righteousness?  Or worse do I not become like them? 

A vow of integrity is a break from personal evil, but also a break from external evil as well.  This seems a very difficult (dare I say impossible) thing to do as we live in an evil world.  I can scarcely imagine that David went through and destroyed anyone that ever engaged in these things.  If he had then he would have had no one but himself left.  So what is this getting at? 

Psalm 101:6 (YLT) I think holds the key.  David is saying his eyes are on the faithful of the land.  It seems that our heart is drawn to those things that we put our eyes on (Job 31:7).  If I surround myself with the ungodly then my heart is drawn to the ungodly.  If I set my eyes on the faithful then my heart is drawn to the faithful.  What is more who I sit (dwell) with will affect my behavior (Ps 1:1, NKJV).  David chooses those that are choosing the way of integrity.  Those are the ones that serve God with him. 

So then the condemnation of the wicked is not so much standing is place of judgment as it is a statement of self-preservation.  God desires that I take my vow of integrity seriously which would include eliminating influences that would lead me to break my vow.

Thank you Lord for Your Word.  Even those passages that are hard.  Thank you for your Holy Spirit which will guide us into all truth.  In Jesus Name AMEN

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