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Bible Commentaries

Kingcomments on the Whole Bible

Psalms 101

This psalm describes the principles of lovingkindness and justice according to which the King will rule His house and His land. In it there is no room for evil. It is the last psalm in the series of psalms dealing with the King and His reign (Psalms 93-101).

In Deuteronomy 17 we find the law for the king (Deu 17:18-20). He must continually take in the Word of God to learn to fear the LORD and thereby be so formed that he will be the king after God’s heart. Psalm 101 sings of such a king, yes, the only King with a heart in which God’s law dwells, Whose heart is perfect to rule. He is the Only One Who can say: “Your Law is within my heart” (Psa 40:8b).

On this King will rest the Spirit of the LORD (Isa 11:2-5). As a result, He is perfectly suited to reign. Psalm 101 is a song of praise from and about Him. He is the Son of David Who speaks of the Lord (LORD) of David (Mt 22:41-45).

We can say that this psalm is the measuring stick and touchstone for all governments in today’s world. The same applies to the exercise of the gift of leadership in the church (Rom 12:8).

Division of the psalm

Psa 101:1-5 The King Christ.
Psa 101:6-8 The subjects in the realm of peace.

Verses 1-4

The Integrity of the Heart of the King


For “a Psalm of David” (Psa 101:1a) see at Psalm 3:1.

David says he “will sing of lovingkindness and justice” (Psa 101:1b). “Lovingkindness and justice” are the basis of his reign. This has been a desire with David, which he has not always lived up to. It is perfectly true in the Son of David, the Messiah. That is true of everything in this psalm. We see in what David says a description of the Messiah.

That the Messiah sings about lovingkindness and justice is because He finds His joy in displaying both of these features in His government. He possesses them because they are the attributes of the LORD. That is why He sings praises to the LORD. He honors Him by doing so.

It is a self-exhortation. He is actually saying: “Let me sing.” He is full of it, and from the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks (cf. Psa 89:1). The LORD has shown lovingkindness and justice, and about that the King wants to sing (Psa 101:1). That will also exhort him to reign in fear of the LORD (Psa 101:2).

A king must “give heed to”, or “behave prudently in” reigning with wise policies, not letting himself to be influenced in his reign and administration of justice (Psa 101:2). We see this with the Messiah. Just as the Lord Jesus acted wisely during His first coming to earth (Isa 52:13), so He will also act wisely (the same verb as in Isaiah 52) during His second coming, in His government.

Personally He is blameless and goes “the perfect way” or a “way of integrity”. This is necessary in the first place. A blameless way is a way that is completely in accordance with God’s will. Only the Lord Jesus has gone that way. The psalm is primarily about Him.

The King asks the LORD for His presence, His nearness. This is also perfect with the Lord Jesus. He can say “the Father is with Me” (Jn 16:32). This enabled Him to behave prudently and go a blameless way. It shows His dependence on God.

He will show that He is bent on acting and walking according to the will of God by walking in His house “in the integrity” of His heart. An integrous heart is a heart that is always bent on doing the right thing so that it is to God’s glory. His “house” is the house of Israel. ‘Integrous’ is trustworthy, honest, not corruptible. This is a prerequisite for going the way of the LORD (Psa 119:1).

For us New Testament believers, this means to celebrate the feast with unleavened bread of sincerity and truth (1Cor 5:7-8). We do this when we live for the Lord Jesus. He is the true unleavened bread. In His life on earth and His life in heaven now, there is nothing of sin, of which leaven is a picture. He lives for His Father in everything.

Integrity of heart is evident in His abhorrence of every form of evil. The Messiah begins by saying what He will not set before His eyes (Psa 101:3). He will not turn His eye to a “worthless thing”. What is in His heart, His integrity, is incompatible with is worthless i.e. with a practice that causes destruction. That He will not look at it implies that He will not even have ‘eye contact’ with it. Certainly, as King, He will see and judge corrupt practices, but here we are talking about His personal integrity toward His God (Psa 119:37; Isa 33:15-17). Job is in some respect a follower of Him (Job 31:1).

The word ‘eyes’ occurs four times in this psalm and speaks of what is present to someone, what he sees. Here in Psa 101:3 ‘set before him’ means to set as a goal in his life. In Psa 101:5 ‘a haughty look’ means that someone seeks great things in life, that is pride. In Psa 101:6 ‘my eyes upon’ is what is in a person’s surroundings and what his interest is in. In Psa 101:7 ‘before me’ means: that I will not endure in my presence.

In the heart of the Messiah there is no connection with evil. What is in His heart is “hate” for “the work of those who fall away”. Therefore, the deeds of apostates “shall not fasten its grip on me”. There is no attachment in Him by which corrupt practices and apostates could affect Him (Jn 14:30). These negative characteristics are an endorsement of His complete devotion to God (cf. Psa 1:1-2).

In Psa 101:4, the psalmist returns to the heart. “A perverse heart” is contrasted with “the integrity” of his heart of Psa 101:2. The Messiah throws the perverse heart far from Himself. This does not concern only what is in Him. He “will know no evil”. The evildoer follows the promptings of his devious heart. With him the God-fearing King, the Messiah, wants nothing to do. He does not even know him (cf. Mt 7:21-23). This evildoer is the antichrist, who leads the apostates, who are also all evildoers, in depraved practices.

Verses 5-8

Integrity in the Reign of the King


The King abhors and hates what the apostates do, which is reflected in His judgment on their actions. He cannot tolerate any form of iniquity in His kingdom. Whoever is in His immediate vicinity must be as integrous as He is, which means that such a person has His nature. Then he possesses the same integrity.

Someone with whom it is otherwise, for example, one who “secretly slanders his neighbor”, He destroys (Psa 101:5). Here we see that the King also knows what takes place in secret, even if it is a slander spoken in secret (Pro 20:8; Rev 1:14). Nothing is hidden from Him; He sees all secret sins and sees through all motives, as the history of Ananias and Sapphira demonstrates (Acts 5:1-11). False accusations prove that someone has “a haughty look and an arrogant heart”. Messiah will not “endure” that and judges it (Deu 19:18-19).

The end of the two ways of Psalm 1 is now described. Those whom He can tolerate in His environment and also use to carry out His orders are “the faithful of the land” (Psa 101:6). His eyes are on them (cf. Psa 101:3a). In them He sees the same mind that is also in Him. People can be intelligent and knowledgeable and have experience, but these important qualities are worthless if they are not faithful. Faithfulness is the most important thing in being busy for the Lord (1Cor 4:2; Mt 25:21; 23).

The faithful may sit with Him, in His immediate presence. Sitting can mean sitting at His table and eating with Him (cf. 2Sam 9:11; 13). It can also mean sitting with Him on a throne to reign with Him (Mt 19:28; Rev 3:21; Rev 4:4). To reign with Him, a believer must be faithful. The Messiah surrounds Himself with people who are going in the same way as the way He is going, that is, “a blameless way” (Psa 101:2). They may “minister to” Him by dispensing blessings from Him to all over whom He rules.

In contrast, He removes from His house him “who practices deceit” (Psa 101:7). These are the frauds, the hypocrites, the people who pretend to be integrous, but in their hearts have not bowed down to the Messiah (Psa 18:44; Psa 66:3; Psa 81:15). They are holding to a form of godliness, but deny its power (2Tim 3:5).

After doing justice in His own life and in His reign, the King does justice in “the land” and “the city of the LORD”, which is Jerusalem (Psa 101:8). In the realm of peace, although the devil is bound, man is still able to sin (Isa 65:20). Getting rid of the wicked and all who do injustice is an activity with which the Messiah begins each day in the realm of peace (Jer 21:12; Zep 3:5; cf. 2Sam 15:2). In this regard, the history of Ananias and Sapphira is an example of the swift justice (Acts 5:1-11) that will take place during the realm of peace.

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Kingcomments on the Whole Bible © 2021 Author: G. de Koning. All rights reserved. Used with the permission of the author
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Bibliographical Information
de Koning, Ger. Commentaar op Psalms 101". "Kingcomments on the Whole Bible". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/kng/psalms-101.html. 'Stichting Titus' / 'Stichting Uitgeverij Daniël', Zwolle, Nederland. 2021.