"I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. O when wilt thou come unto me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart."
Psalm 101 has been called “The Prince’s Psalm,”1 and “David’s Mirror of a Monarch.”2 The description of the man of integrity in this psalm is the kind of man Israel needed as her king. To be a man of integrity, and to be consistent at all times and in all places is very difficult at best. Perhaps the most difficult of situations to be a consistent man or woman of integrity is at home. Our loved ones know us better than outsiders generally do. Because they live with us, they observe us twenty-four/seven. They see the “good, bad, and the ugly” in us. How, then, should I attempt to live in the presence of my family?
“I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way.”
For anyone who has read David’s story in the Old Testament, it is quickly apparent that he did not always act “wisely” or in a “perfect way.” He wasn’t blameless in his thoughts or deeds all the time. And if we are completely honest with ourselves, we will concede that we are no better.
And yet the Lord, when He was looking for “a man after His own heart,” to be the next king over His people, He chose David. Could it be that though he was far from “perfect,” he had the deep desire to be a man of integrity, and one who chose God’s “perfect way” over man’s flawed path of life? He knew that God’s way is always best, and that was his choice for his life.
“I will behave myself wisely – In the choice of principles to guide me; in my conduct in my family; in my official relations. This expresses a ‘desire’ to act wisely, and a ‘purpose’ to do it”3 (Barnes).
Similarly, God invited Abram,
“And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect” (Genesis 17:1).
David, because of his relationship with Him, was only interested in walking with his God.
“As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him” (Psalm 18:30).
“He who does not even resolve to do well is likely to do very ill. Householders, employers, and especially ministers, should pray for both wisdom and holiness, for they will need them both”4 (Spurgeon).
We, believers, need to challenge ourselves to live wisely in the Lord.
“In a perfect way – In accordance with the perfect rules of right. I will make these my guide. I will “aim” to be perfect; I will have before me a perfect standard”5 (Barnes).
Come back tomorrow when we continue discussing how to live right at home.
1. The title was given by Keil and Delitzsch, Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament, the electronic version in eSword.
2. Martin Luther’s title for this psalm, quoted by Keil and Delitzsch.
3. Albert Barnes, Albert Barnes’ Notes on the Bible, the electronic version in eSword.
4. C.H. Spurgeon, Treasury of David, the electronic version in eSword.
5. Barnes, ibid.