Thursday, December 26, 2013

My Eyes Will Be on the Faithful in the Land

Today is the fourth day in our 50th week, reading the Bible through in a year.  Our scriptures today are:  Job 21-23; Revelation 16; Psalm 101.

I hope that you're having a wonderful Christmas, and that you're able to spend it with family and friends that you love.

In Psalm 101, David talks about his choice of people who are around him.  He knows it makes a good deal of difference, who you surround yourself with.  He chooses to allow only people who are of good reputation and behavior in his presence, because he knows that they have an influence on you.

 I will sing of your love and justice;
    to you, Lord, I will sing praise.
 I will be careful to lead a blameless life
    when will you come to me?
I will conduct the affairs of my house
    with a blameless heart.
 I will not look with approval
    on anything that is vile.
I hate what faithless people do;
    I will have no part in it. The perverse of heart shall be far from me;
    I will have nothing to do with what is evil.
 Whoever slanders their neighbor in secret,
    I will put to silence;
whoever has haughty eyes and a proud heart,
    I will not tolerate.
 My eyes will be on the faithful in the land,
    that they may dwell with me;
the one whose walk is blameless
    will minister to me.
 No one who practices deceit
    will dwell in my house;
no one who speaks falsely
    will stand in my presence.
 Every morning I will put to silence
    all the wicked in the land;
I will cut off every evildoer
    from the city of the Lord.

This psalm was likely written early in David's reign.  It might have been immediately after the death of Saul, when he began to sit as king.  Or, it may have been when he began to rule over all Israel, when the ark was brought up to Jerusalem.  Either way, it was certainly before David's "fall" from glory--his sexual sin with Bathsheba and his murder of Uriah.

David's troubles really began when he looked with longing upon the pleasures of sin.  When he invited it into his house, it only brought pain.  How much better it would have been for him, had he continued the commitment that we find in Psalm 101!

As you touch base with family and friends this holiday season, I encourage you to be careful of the connections you make.  Some relationships are good for us--they encourage our hearts, lift our spirits, and spur us on to good works.  Other relationships bring us down, opening the door to sin in our lives.  I hope that you'll share--and keep--the same commitment that David made, early on in his rule.  I hope that you'll be careful of the friendships you make, and of the influences that you allow in your life.  This is the way to keep your heart pure, and to please God in your relationships.

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