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Bible Commentaries

Sermon Bible Commentary

Psalms 101

Verse 1

Psalms 101:1

I. Of mercy and judgment. And who among us has not the same mingled strain to utter? Who can say that his mercies have not been tempered with the gentle but solemn remindings of judgment at God's hand? Our very proverbs tell us of this: no day without its cloud; no rose without its thorn. And who can say, on the other hand, that his judgments have not been most tenderly mixed with mercies? Our song may well then be of mercy and judgment: of His dealings towards us who, when He blesses, also chastises, lest we should forget Him; who, when He chastises, also blesses, lest we should distrust Him.

II. The world's song of mercy and judgment is a very different strain from the Christian's song of mercy and judgment. The world, in fact, sees not mercy on the one side nor judgment on the other. The fountain from which all blessings flow is unknown to the ungodly man. It is because such persons abound, and ever will abound, among us that we are exhorted on such occasions as these to sing, not of fair and foul chance, but of mercy and judgment: mercy from One who shows mercy; judgment from One who exercises judgment.

III. Let us endeavour to make use of the present wonderful manifestation of God's mercies combined with His judgments to show our sense of His presence and our humility and thankfulness towards Him. We know of no mercies out of Christ. In Him we have every blessing. It is His satisfaction which has caused the Father to smile on this our world, His blood which has cleansed creation from its defilement.

IV. The joy of the Christian in God's mercies is never a barren joy, never only an inward feeling, a mere paroxysm of selfish exultation; but out of it ever springs from the fountain of his inner life the question, "What shall I render to the Lord for all His mercies to me?"

H. Alford, Quebec Chapel Sermons, vol. ii., p. 107.

Reference: Psalms 101:1 . Spurgeon, Evening by Evening, p. 258.

Verse 2

Psalms 101:2

David's subject in this Psalm is the ordering and hallowing of family life by bringing it under the influences and sanctions of religion.

I. That which strikes us first of all in this Psalm is that the qualifications for continuing in the household of David are to be moral qualifications. That which shall disqualify men from living with him is not want of ability or want of distinction, but want of loyalty to goodness and to God.

II. The qualifications for membership in David's house are chiefly negative. He is more careful to say who shall not than who shall enjoy the privilege. David hopes that with the coming of the sacred ark to Jerusalem in other words, that with a nearer contact with the presence of God he will be able to effect a great change. If people are not to be expelled, they must be improved; they must be converted. The restored sense of a sacred presence among them, the active works of the ministers and the sanctuary, the pervading atmosphere of worship and praise these things would in time make the reformation which David had at heart easy and natural.

III. In Christendom the family is a different and a more beautiful thing than it was in David's time. Each father of a family can, by God's help, say, with David, that he will walk in his house with a perfect heart. To every head of a household has been committed a great power of influencing those about him for good. Influence them in some way he certainly will: if not for good, then for evil.

Two lessons would seem to be suggested by this Psalm of King David. (1) Observe the order and method of David's proceeding. He began by improving himself. (2) The improvement of the family can only be procured by religious, as distinct from merely moral, influences.

H. P. Liddon, Christian World Pulpit, vol. xxvii., p. 241.

References: Psalms 101:2 . Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xxi., No. 1230. Psalms 101:6 . J. Irons, Thursday Penny Pulpit, vol. xvi., p. 401.Psalms 101:0 J. Keble, Sermons from Easter to Ascension Day, p. 323.Psalms 102:13 , Psalms 102:14 . Spurgeon, Evening by Evening, p. 199. Psalms 102:15 . G. S. Barrett, Old Testament Outlines, p. 132.Psalms 102:17 . Spurgeon, Sermons, vol. xix., No. 1141.Psalms 102:18 . Bishop Alexander, Bampton Lectures, 1876, p. 105.

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Bibliographical Information
Nicoll, William R. "Commentary on Psalms 101". "Sermon Bible Commentary". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/sbc/psalms-101.html.