The 101st Psalm reveals to us the standards
by which David lived.
Our verse today is set in a negative tone.
There are just some things a growing Christian can NOT do!
"Will set" is a Hebrew verb that means "to
place or to put." Itís in the Qal stem and is an "imperfect" in
its sense of timing. This indicates active voice --- David will
perform the resolution. He will see to it that no wicked thing
is put before him! And the "time" sense is one of ongoing
action. He will habitually not set evil before his eyes!
"Wicked" is an unusual word. It is spelled "beliyal"
and means a thing of belial. It means "worthless" or "good for
nothing" or even "without profit!" The Old Testament terms "sons
of belial" (4 times in KJV) and "children of belial" (4 times
also) speak of worthless, wicked men and women! (Question: Can
some things be perhaps not wicked ... but just worthless? Either
way, David wants no part of them!)
"Thing" is the Hebrew noun "dabar." It
usually means "word" (807 of 1439 times)! But it can mean
matter, thing, or an action. (David will not even put a wicked
"word" in front of himself!)
The word for "eyes" often means sight as
well. David now wishes to protect his "eye" gate! (I wonder if
this is before or after Bathsheba.) Old Alexander MacLaren used
to preach that after
David's terrible sin ... he NEVER again soared as high
spiritually as he did
before that wickedness! I am telling you, adultery
costs! Proverbs 6:32 and 33 say: "But
whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh
understanding: he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul.
A wound and dishonour shall he get; and his reproach
shall not be wiped away."
To "hate" is from the word for "enemy" and
means just what it says --- to hold in aversion. It is a
"perfect" verb meaning the action is completed. He has in the
past decided to hate the works of the wicked and nothing can
change his mind!
To "turn aside" is to make "derelict." (To
swerve! To make to fall away!) If youíre going to "turn"
someone ... turn them
toward the Lord! (Not away from Him!) Daniel 12:3 says:
"And they that be wise shall shine as the
brightness of the firmament; and
they that turn many to
righteousness as the stars for ever and ever."
"Cleave" ("dabaq") means "to stick, stay
close, cleave, join to or stay close!" Talk about Bible
separation! The verb form here suggests continual action also.
In Jeremiah 13:11 itís used of a girdle cleaving to a man!
It sounds to me like David has some pretty
high principles! (I believe Psalm 101:3 is every bit as "good"
as Paulís advice: "Abstain from all
appearance of evil!" 1 Thessalonians 5:22)
Maybe we all can find a "nugget" or two here
for our personal lives.
Most of us have some form of evil (or at
least worthlessness) in front of our eyes on occasion!
And if those donít "get" you ... we certainly
let things "stick" to us that ought to be rejected!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
froward heart shall depart from me: I will not know a wicked
Here we have
even more of godly David's "convictions." At this time in his
life he certainly was a "separated" believer!
The adjective "froward" is interesting. It
comes from a Hebrew root word that means to tie in a knot or to
twist or to distort. One lexicon says: crooked! twisted! The
first use of our word in Scripture is in Deuteronomy 32:5 ---
"They have corrupted themselves, their
spot is not the spot of his children: they are
a perverse and crooked generation." Would you please
notice something about that verse. These twisted, crooked,
"bent-from-God's-standard" people were not born that way! They
have "corrupted themselves!" (Wow!)
"Shall depart" is a verb that means "to turn
aside." (To pluck away, to be diverted!) No perverted person
will be associated with David! The Apostle Paul said not even
to eat with them! 1 Corinthians 5:11 ---
"But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man
that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an
idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with
such an one no not to
And the verb "know" means to know by
experience! It can mean to know closely! We had better be
careful what (or whom) we know! Again, Paul said:
"Be not deceived: evil communications
corrupt good manners." (1 Corinthians 15:33)
Preacher, why all this "separation?" This
time listen to Solomon: "Make no
friendship with an angry man; and with a furious man thou shalt
not go: Lest thou learn
his ways, and get a snare to thy soul." (Proverbs
To spoil (by breaking to pieces)! To make
good for nothing! These are textbook definitions for the basic
word "wicked" in our verse. It's an "x-ray" study of sin. Sin
spoils! Sin crushes to pieces! It devalues whatever it
If one lives a pure life ... based upon this
verse alone (not counting the other seven verses in this Psalm)
... that person would be well on his or her way to being really
used of God!
May this be our prayer!
That's today's "nugget."
The other evening at a fast food restaurant I
ordered a 99 cent pack of chicken "nuggets!" The clerk called
for a "five pack of nuggets!" I think that's what I get on this
page sometimes. Not just a "nugget" (and certainly not of
chicken) ... but a "five pact" of "nuggets!" Praise the Lord
for His Word. Indeed it IS "exceeding
broad!" (Psalm 119:96)
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
David in Psalm
101 tells us a number of things he is just NOT going to do!
It's almost as if he listing his "convictions!"
Look with me
at verse 5. (The other 4 verses are studied in the articles
still posted below today's column.)
gives us much light in the area of godly Christian "standards."
"Whoso privily slandereth his neighbour,
him will I cut off: him that hath an high look and a proud heart
will not I suffer." Psalm 101:5
"Privily" is an older English word meaning "under cover" or
"secretly." This is done in the spirit of the "whisperer" of
Proverbs 16:28. In 2 Corinthians 12:20 Paul also uses the term
To "slander" is here a use of the Hebrew noun for "tongue"
... but placed into a verbal form. It indicates "to use the
tongue." It's only found one other time in Scripture. That's in
Proverbs 30:10 where it is translated "accuse." So ... it
represents a negative hurtful use of the tongue. The English
word "slander" means "to defame" or "to malign."
The noun for "neighbor" means a friend or a companion. It
also is "kin" to the Hebrew word for shepherd! When the 23rd
Psalm declares "The Lord is my Shepherd,"
it's really saying the He is my Friend and Companion (as well as
Now this verb for "cut off" is pretty strong! It literally
means to exterminate or put an end to or destroy! David here (I
believe) intends no physical harm ... but rather will eliminate
that person from his sight and thoughts!
The adjective for "high" means haughty. It comes from a verb
meaning "to soar" and means lofty!
While the adjective "proud" means large or broad or wide! In
Psalm 104:25 the word is used of the "wide" sea! It seems here
that God does NOT want our hearts to be so wide and vast ... but
straight and narrow! (Single-hearted ... not double-minded!)
"Suffer" as a verb means "to endure!" David is just not
going to "put up" with these things. (There are some things we
Christians are to patiently endure ... but these are not on the
list!) The verb also carries just a "shade" of the meaning:
not ABLE to endure. David literally says, "I can't stand it!"
Let me tell you something I am seeing about David in this
study of Psalm 101! (I've memorized this passage in years gone
by ... preached from it ... and even had one church I pastored
on a memory program concerning it ... BUT IT HAS NEVER IMPACTED
ME LIKE IT'S DOING THIS TIME!) I never realized just how set
David was against sin! (At least at times in his life.) David
had truly maintained a godly attitude. He truly was a "man
after God's Own Heart!"
Acts 13:22 --- "And when He (the Lord)
had removed him (King Saul), he raised up unto them David to be
their king; to whom also he gave testimony, and said, I have
found David the son of Jesse,
a man after mine own
heart, which shall fulfil all my will."
This make Psalm 101 a wonderful guide for godly living!
That's today's "nugget" from the Word of God!
Dr. Mike Bagwell
Our "Nugget" verse for this cold Monday is
again found in Psalm 101. It is the 6th verse of this great
chapter. David previously has been telling us some things he
will NOT do ... now he speaks of things that he WILL do.
"Mine eyes shall be upon
the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me: he that
walketh in a perfect way, he shall serve me."
Since David "will set no wicked thing before
his eyes" (verse 3) ... what will claim his attention? The
answer is right here before us! His eyes will be focused upon
"the faithful of the land!" Who are
The adjective "faithful" comes from the
Hebrew word "aman." It is really closely "kin" to our word "aman"
or "amen!" It means that which is established, confirmed, well
supported, upheld, made sure, or trustworthy! (It is the man on
whom you can depend. He will do what he says!) The King James
translators have beautifully rendered it as "faithful!" (When
you say "amen" to the preaching of God's Word ... you're really
affirming it to be TRUE and SURE!)
Who are your "heroes" dear friend? Some silly
character of the entertainment world? Some double-talking
politician? Some modernistic preacher? I CERTAINLY HOPE NOT!
Make heroes of those who love the Lord and are established
(faithful) in the Word of God!
To "dwell" means to sit or to remain or to
stay or to live with! It has the idea of permanent abode. David
means to keep around himself such established and trusted men!
(Read Paul's Biblical requirements for deacons and preachers and
you will see such men described in detail!)
The verb "walketh" means to come or to go and
is here in a verb stem that indicates habitual action. Someone
who regularly conducts himself in the right manner. (Throughout
all of Scripture one's "walk" equals one's conduct!)
"Perfect" means whole or complete. They are
not half-hearted in their living! (Entire! Sound! Filled with
integrity!) Here is the sincere believer! David did not care for
that hypocritical business!
"Way" is the noun ("derek") which stands for
a "path or road." Again the word is used to portray constant
behavior. (Not irregular activity!)
"Serve" is Hebrew ("sharath") for "minister
unto" or "to tend to" or even "to contribute to!" David will
have no one in his "cabinet" or on his "staff" who fails to meet
this test! The idea here of folks serving David makes me think
that he perhaps is already King when he writes this Psalm.
Wise is the person who chooses to have godly
people around him!
Our associates DO influence our lives!
Today's "nugget," if lived obediently day by
day, will prove helpful to us all!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell
On a bright
"snowy" day here in Illinois (2 to 3 inches the preacher just
told me) I greet you in Jesus' lovely Name!
It's a great
day to study God's Word!
He that worketh
deceit shall not dwell within my house: he that telleth lies
shall not tarry in my sight.
David sure did have a lot of "convictions!"
(Maybe that's partly WHY he is called the "man after God's Own
Heart!" Acts 13:22)
David here particularly "singles out" the
deceiver. But WHAT does he mean by that term? The Hebrew word
for "deceiver" is "remiyah" and means to "to hurt" or "to shoot"
and then "to betray." This is NOT simply lying. This is being
"sneaky" in order to "stab" someone in the back! This is a
covert attack in order to hurt someone (or their reputation or
testimony, etc.)! To "work" is to do or to make and indicates a
habitual practice. (Some folks you just can't trust!)
This kind of individual does not have a
chance with David! He will not be allowed to "dwell" (to sit,
to remain, to stay) in David's house. Probably by now his
"house" is a "palace!"
Then he focuses on the liar. "Telleth" means
("dabar") to speak, declare, converse, command, warn, or
threaten (any spoken communication). Again, the Hebrew sense of
timing indicated by the verb represents habitual lying.
"Lies" (Hebrew ="sheqer") is a term that
means deception, falsehood, or even fraud.
And the verb "tarry" comes from a "stem" that
means to be firm or established. (A liar may knock on David's
front door ... but he will NOT be invited in and placed at the
supper table!) Further meanings: to be made secure! To be
Today we have seen 2 more kinds of men David
plans to avoid!
It is not only important to have the RIGHT
kind of friends. It is equally important to AVOID the wrong
kind of folks who would gain access to our lives!
May I point out to you that David's two
"negatives" today approximate God's list of "seven things to
hate!" (Proverbs 6:16-19) God hates: a lying tongue! A heart
that deviseth wicked imaginations! And a false witness!
It just looks to me like GRACE gives a man a
truthful heart! (And a holy hatred for that which is
You do remember who the "father of lies" is,
don't you? (In John 8:44 Jesus says it is the devil!)
I hope you find in this little Bible study a
"nugget" for use later today!
--- Dr. Mike Bagwell