Staying On Course

Having identified four qualities to cultivate, David's spiritual manifesto in Psalm 101 continues with several declarations, each intended to keep him on course in pursuit of his divine purpose. David no longer looks within, he looks around. He considers the people of his kingdom and declares his predetermined response to various types of individual.

The Slanderer

Whoever secretly slanders his neighbor, him I will destroy. (101:5a)

The term "destroy" comes from a Hebrew word meaning "to put an end to." The idea is that David would silence the slanderer, stop him from carrying out his secret smear campaign against another person. He would not tolerate backstabbing! People in powerful positions must have a strong policy to deal severely with those who try to advance their position by tearing someone else down.

The Proud

No one who has a haughty look and an arrogant heart will I endure. (101:5b)

David refuses to abide an arrogant person. You will notice that pride reveals itself in the face, "a haughty look," but its source is "an arrogant heart." Proverbs 21:4 also links the proud heart with a haughty appearance. A practical problem associated with arrogant people is the byproduct of pride: an argumentative spirit. Show me a proud person—really haughty—and I'll show you one who brings contention and arguments into almost every situation. Pride must have its say and its way! Listen again to Solomon, the wise: "Through insolence comes nothing but strife, but wisdom is with those who receive counsel" (Proverbs 13:10).

The Faithful

My eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land. (Psalm 101:6a)

I came across an interesting thought in my study of the Scriptures. On two occasions in the book of Proverbs the same question is asked—once with regard to men and the other with regard to women. The question: "Who can find . . . ?" The question suggests that something is so rare, you can hardly find an example!

Proverbs 20:6 asks, "Who can find a trustworthy man?" Proverbs 31:10 asks, "An excellent wife, who can find?" The two questions imply that it is hard to find faithfulness among men; and among women, strength of character is rare. (The term translated "excellent" refers to excellence of character.)

While David couldn't endure the proud, he longed to dwell with the faithful of the land. He had discovered that the faithful person, while not always in agreement, supports the leader's vision and agenda. Without faithful people to fulfill their roles, leadership cannot succeed.

A proud person tends to bring contention into most situations, but the wise receive counsel.

Charles R. Swindoll Tweet This

Adapted from Charles R. Swindoll, Living the Psalms: Encouragement for the Daily Grind (Brentwood, Tenn.: Worthy Publishing, a division of Worthy Media, Inc., 2012). Copyright © 2012 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights are reserved. Used by permission.

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