Psalms 101:4, “A froward heart shall depart from me: I will not know a wicked person.”
In the previous verses of Psalms we were told to avoid looking and thinking about evil things, immoral things, untruthful things, sinful things.
As we will see in looking at this verse what you put in front of your eyes and into your mind will effect not only what kind of person you are but what kind of people who hang out with.
In this verse we told taught two important truths: 1. That we should not know a wicked person and 2. How to not know them.
The two key words in this verse are froward and know. The word forward means perverted and crooked.
A Person who repents of their sins and trusts in Jesus changed from forward to a clean heart. This is your position in Christ. But there is also a practically daily application to how your heat should be. If you keep your heart pure and in the love of God, that is if you love God above all else then you will not know a wicked person.
The word know implies having some kind if intimate relationship with a person, like a friend, someone that influences your life somehow and the type of person you are.
The bible gives very important advice in Psalms chapter one about this same principle. Psalms one says,
Psalms 1:1-6,” Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away. Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. 1:6 For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.”
If you walk among lions they will eat you when they are hungry. If you walk among the wicked of this world, if you fellowship, with them, they will intentionally or unintentionally influence you towards evil. Jesus said a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump. If you touch fire it will burn you. If you touch poison ivy it will give you a rash. If you touch acid it will eat away your skin.
It is just not possible for Christian to every truly be a friend to an unchristian. You can never trust them. You can love them and witness to them. If you let your guard down they will lead you into sin. What you will find is if you keep your heart pure those that do not have a pure heart will not want to fellowship with you.
True friendships are based on truth and love and purity. These things are only found in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Many people in the world have had their lives destroyed by not understanding these truths and by not following them.
Love is putting another person before your own desires. But love is also giving someone the truth. If someone does wrong don’t accept the wrong, don’t tolerate the sin. To do otherwise is not friendship.
People who do not know Jesus as their Savior will always be people that live for themselves above everyone else. They will also be people that compromise when it comes to morality. Most people in the world today live by the philosophy of tolerance and indiscrimination. These ideas are really a way of people ignoring sin and not repenting of sin. Sin is never tolerable. Sin is never good. Sin is never acceptable to God. This is why a Christian can’t every truly know a lost person.
Psalms 18:26, “With the pure thou wilt shew thyself pure; and with the froward thou wilt shew thyself froward.”
Another important truth about forwardness has to do with God and what He allows people to know about him. Why are some people so blind to the love of God or the Majesty of God or any of God’s character and the great and terrible things He does? The answer is this verse in Psalms with the froward thou wilt shew thyself forward.
Psalms 101:5 Whoso privily slandereth his neighbour, him will I cut off: him that hath an high look and a proud heart will not I suffer.
To slander mean to use evil speech against someone. It Literally means to wag the tongue. The idea is that of distorted words. Lies. It’s wrong to lie about people. It damages a person’s life. In a way it is a type of murder.
America has a great problem and tremendous problem with slandering of their neighbors. One way we know this is true is by what goes on in politics. If the general population of America was not this way they would not put up what goes on in politics. There would be an outcry against all the slander.
Slander is a terrible sin. The primary reason it is is because of how it can cause opposition and difficulty against the spread of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Anyone who is a slanderer is a forward person. Such a person should not be known by Christians.
Psalms 101:6, “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.”
It is a privilege to serve God; to partake of the majesty of Christ. There are special things to experience in life by serving God; Secret joys and secret pleasures and secret knowledge. Remember that verse three says, “I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes.” This goes well with the verse, “he that walketh in a perfect way, he shall serve me.”
If you know what the rewards are of serving God then you will know that it is worth it to walk in a perfect way.
Psalms 101:7, “worketh deceit shall not dwell within my house: he that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight.”
Slander is a type of deceit. Once again in these verses we are told how important the truth. Without the truth a person cannot be saved. So the truth is vital to everything in your relationship with Jesus. To tarry means to continue in the presence of the Lord.
Some people when they turn to Jesus for salvation never grow in the Lord. One reason is because they never learn the importance of honesty. Why would a person walk into the Holy of Holies in the temple of God and behold the flame of God’s prescence then turn away and not want to tarry?
Psalms 101:8, “I will early destroy all the wicked of the land; that I may cut off all wicked doers from the city of the LORD.”
In talking about the wicked what is mentioned in Psalms 101 is people that lie. Wicked people never live as long in this world as they would if they lived a righteous life. Even a person who lives to be 100 years old, if they are wicked and unrepentant of sin still will have died sooner than they would have if they had lived a righteous life. Sin always destroys.
Psalms 34:11-14, “Come, ye children, hearken unto me: I will teach you the fear of the LORD. What man is he that desireth life, and loveth many days, that he may see good? Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips from speaking guile. Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.”
Plainly put, honest people live longer. Who doesn’t want to live longer? Life is a precious and temporary opportunity which effects eternity. The longer you live the more you can accomplish for God.
Psalms 102:1, “Hear my prayer, O LORD, and let my cry come unto thee.”
When it comes to associating yourself with the right kind of people instead of wicked and immoral people prayer is very important. There are many things to pray for: wisdom and understanding, grace and mercy, the strength to stand up and separate from the world.
Notice also in this verse that the word cry is used to mean pray. When a person is crying it means their emotions are deeply involved. God love’s to be prayed to. And He especially loves prayers that involved all the strength of a person’s will, all the desire of their heart, and all the focus of their mind.
Psalms 102:2, “Hide not thy face from me in the day when I am in trouble; incline thine ear unto me: in the day when I call answer me speedily.”
If there is any time that you need to be near to God it will be in the day of trouble. When your heart is broken, when your life is falling apart, when your enemies besiege you, such times are times you certainly seek to be close to God.
Such people fail to seek God in such times. Some people even fail to seek God during the good and peaceful and happy times. The truth is you need Jesus in both situations.
Psalms 102:3-6, “For my days are consumed like smoke, and my bones are burned as an hearth. My heart is smitten, and withered like grass; so that I forget to eat my bread. By reason of the voice of my groaning my bones cleave to my skin. I am like a pelican of the wilderness: I am like an owl of the desert.”
These verses describe the suffering, and the loneliness, and the solitude that is often experienced by those in hours when they need God close to them.
If you have never watched God’s creation then watch a pelican or an owl out in nature and you will discover the great amount of grace that God has given to them. Even in suffering, even in great suffering Jesus will be there for you if you seek Him. Jesus will be there to give you grace because His grace is sufficient for thee.
The thing to remember about grace is that we live in the age of grace so we can expect great grace to be given unto us from God.
Psalms 102:7-12, “I watch, and am as a sparrow alone upon the house top. Mine enemies reproach me all the day; and they that are mad against me are sworn against me. For I have eaten ashes like bread, and mingled my drink with weeping, Because of thine indignation and thy wrath: for thou hast lifted me up, and cast me down. My days are like a shadow that declineth; and I am withered like grass. But thou, O LORD, shalt endure for ever; and thy remembrance unto all generations.”
Thou hast lifted me up and cast me down. My days are as a shadow that declineth. When sorrow and suffering comes our way we should remember that life is temporary. And we should remember that it is God who is in control. He makes the sorrows come and go. In such times as these why is it important that we remember that the Lord endureth forever? Because we end and He does not. Too often our pride gets in the way.
Psalms 102:13-16, “Thou shalt arise, and have mercy upon Zion: for the time to favour her, yea, the set time, is come. For thy servants take pleasure in her stones, and favour the dust thereof. So the heathen shall fear the name of the LORD, and all the kings of the earth thy glory. When the LORD shall build up Zion, he shall appear in his glory.”
It is true that in King David’s time and in his son King Solomon’s time these words became true. The kingdom of Israel became the greatest nation on earth. But at the same time these words are a prophecy about the future kingdom of Israel which will be set up at the reign of Jesus Christ on this earth.
Right now Israel is a small down trodden nation, ever since it turned away from Jesus. But one day they will turn again to Jesus and in their turning to Jesus it will change the world. God has great plans for Israel as a nation. Those who choose to love Israel are making a wise decision in politics.
Psalms 102:17, “He will regard the prayer of the destitute, and not despise their prayer.” Now we are reminded that God answers prayer. The time we are mostly to doubt God’s ability to answer our prayers is in our times of desperation. God is going to answer the prayer and promise to Israel to become the greatest nation on earth. Jesus will certainly answer our prayers as well. Israel has been waiting thousand’s of years for their prayer to be answered surely we can wait on God too in our times of desperation and hours of need as we take under the shadow of his wings.
Psalms 102:18, “This shall be written for the generation to come: and the people which shall be created shall praise the LORD.”
If we keep a record of the things that God has done for us and pass them on to our children then the next generation of mankind will have at least some that turn to the Lord.
It is important to speak of the great and terrible works of the Lord. To tell our children the great gospel stories, the way Jesus has answered our prayers. And all the great things that He does when He lifts us up and casts us down for the sake of his glorious shinning gospel. If We don’t tell our children who will? The world?
Psalms 102:19-22, “For he hath looked down from the height of his sanctuary; from heaven did the LORD behold the earth; To hear the groaning of the prisoner; to loose those that are appointed to death; To declare the name of the LORD in Zion, and his praise in Jerusalem; When the people are gathered together, and the kingdoms, to serve the LORD.
These verses describe the gospel of Jesus. God looked down from heaven. He heard the groaning of the souls of men from sin. God sent His Son Jesus to die on the cross of Calvary in Jerusalem. And Jesus name has become the greatest name in the world. And in the future all the kingdoms of the world will serve Him. This is the gospel.
Psalms 102:23,-24, “He weakened my strength in the way; he shortened my days. I said, O my God, take me not away in the midst of my days: thy years are throughout all generations.”
One of the things that God does to us in life to help us turn to Jesus and stay trusting in Him is to weaken our strength in the way and shorten our days. We don’t live 900 years like they did in the days before the flood. Why? Perhaps, because we are too sinful to be able to serve God in such a fashion.
Jesus said in 2 Corinthians 12:9, “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.”
God wants His strength, the strength of His saving power to be known. When the gospel light shines, when the power of the blood of Jesus is seen and not the glory of man then great things are done for the gospel.
Sometimes our lives are decreased, some times we do not get credit for the things we accomplish in life, some times others do not think of us as highly as we think of ourself and our own abilites, sometimes we feel small compared to those that are rich and famous and powerful. But God has our lives this way so that the gospel light will be shone so that others will see so that the name of Jesus will be declared in all the world and in Jerusalem.
Psalms 102:25-28, “Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth: and the heavens are the work of thy hands. They shall perish, but thou shalt endure: yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed: But thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end. The children of thy servants shall continue, and their seed shall be established before thee.”
How much greater God is than us. He endures for ever we do not. Yet even so God makes us like him. Through Jesus we are given eternal life and we become like God we get to endure forever because of His grace. How great God is indeed.
Knowing that we live forever, the important question for the Christian is to look at all of time from the beginning of human history until the end of time and to ask yourself, who is going to be the greatest gospel at the judgment seat of Christ, the greatest gospel other than Jesus Christ?
Is it possible to be a greater gospel witness than the apostle Paul or one of the other apostles? Is it possible to be a greater witness in the gospel than those who have suffered and died for Jesus? The answer is yes. God is a God of grace. God answers prayers. And if you go by numbers then you will realize there more people in the world today than ever before. The numbers are there. So the possibility is there.
What you need is wisdom, faith, prayer, and the gospel desire. God can do it. God can plan out your life in a way you could never scheme to do. God might decide to make your name great in all the earth so that when it is heard people think of the name of Jesus.
Fight the good fight of faith the Bible says. Fight it for the sake of the gospel. Will you be the greatest gospel of all time?
Then again of you do not know Jesus Christ, if you have never turned from your sins to the gospel you can do so right now you can repent. You can trust in Jesus. You can depart from the forwardness of this world and come into the purity and joy of Jesus and His righteousness.
Copyright; 2017 by Bruce
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