|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
101:1-8 David's vow and profession of godliness. - In this psalm we have David declaring how he intended to regulate his household, and to govern his kingdom, that he might stop wickedness, and encourage godliness. It is also applicable to private families, and is the householder's psalm. It teaches all that have any power, whether more or less, to use it so as to be a terror to evil-doers, and a praise to them that do well. The chosen subject of the psalm is God's mercy and judgment. The Lord's providences concerning his people are commonly mixed; mercy and judgment. God has set the one over against the other, both to do good, like showers and sunshine. When, in his providence, he exercises us with the mixture of mercy and judgment, we must make suitable acknowledgments to him for both. Family mercies and family afflictions are both calls to family religion. Those who are in public stations are not thereby excused from care in governing their families; they are the more concerned to set a good example of ruling their own houses well. Whenever a man has a house of his own, let him seek to have God to dwell with him; and those may expect his presence, who walk with a perfect heart, in a perfect way. David resolves to practise no evil himself. He further resolves not to keep bad servants, nor to employ those about him that are wicked. He will not admit them into his family, lest they spread the infection of sin. A froward heart, one that delights to be cross and perverse, is not fit for society, the bond of which is Christian love. Nor will he countenance slanderers, those who take pleasure in wounding their neighbour's reputation. Also, God resists the proud, and false, deceitful people, who scruple not to tell lies, or commit frauds. Let every one be zealous and diligent to reform his own heart and ways, and to do this early; ever mindful of that future, most awful morning, when the King of righteousness shall cut off all wicked doers from the heavenly Jerusalem.
Verse 3. - I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes; or, no base thing (Revised Version); "no villainous thing" (Cheyne, Kay); comp. Deuteronomy 15:9. I will set before me nothing of this kind, "as an object either of imitation or of attainment." I hate the work of them that turn aside; literally, the doing of acts that swerve; i.e. "that depart from the right way." It shall not cleave to me. If such a thing "seized on him unawares, he would shake it off as a thing accursed" (Kay); comp. Deuteronomy 13:17.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes, Either the eyes of the body, which are the inlets of lust and are easily caught with objects that inflame the heart, and should be turned aside from beholding vanity; or the eyes of the mind; so the Targum,
"I will not propose to my heart;''
or, as Kimchi,
"in my thought'',
that is, I will not set up an evil thing in my imagination, to dwell upon in my thoughts, and take delight and pleasure in meditating upon it; or set it before me, to imitate as a pattern, to work by, and copy after: Christ did not so; he set the Lord always before him, Psalm 16:8, not anything of Belial (k) or Satan, as the phrase here may be rendered; no, he always bid Satan, or anything of his, be gone, and get behind him, Matthew 4:10.
I hate the work of them that turn aside; from God, and from his law; from the paths of religion, truth, and virtue; and from the Gospel, and a profession of it; such are not fit for the kingdom of God, and in these God and Christ have no pleasure, Hebrews 10:38,
it shall not cleave to me; neither the wicked thing, or thing of Belial, nor the work of apostasy; that is, he would have no familiarity nor fellowship with it; not come near it, nor connive at it, but hate and abhor it: the Jews said, an evil disease, or a thing of Belial, "cleaveth fast unto him", Psalm 41:8, but they were mistaken.
(k) "verbum Belijahal", Montanus; so Cocceius, Gejerus, Ainsworth.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
3. set … eyes—as an example to be approved and followed.
no wicked thing—literally, "word," plan or purpose of Belial (Ps 41:8).
work of … aside—apostates.
not cleave to me—I will not be implicated in it (compare Ps 1:1-3).
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