The Pink Psalm
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Date: Thu, 27 Aug 1998 13:03:38 ‑0400
To: "Recipients of The Reformer's Fire" <trf‑firstname.lastname@example.org>
From: Christ Covenant Reformed PCA <email@example.com>
Subject: THE PINK PSALM
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THE PINK PSALM
Psalm 101: 1‑8
The Reformer's Fire ‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑‑ Max A Forsythe
Our psalm today is a royal proclamation concerning whom the King of Israel,
even David, would have serve Him in his royal household. There are three
times in David's life when this psalm could have been most appropriate.
First, it could have been composed immediately after the death of Saul when
David succeeded to the government of a part of the kingdom. The second,
could have been when the whole kingdom was again united under the dominion
of David. The third possibility is the removal of the Ark of the Covenant
This psalm has been given various titles according to the application of
the message contained. At the family level, it has been called the
Householder's Psalm. The notion here concerns the regulation of the family
and servants who are to be trained in righteousness by the example of the
Father. At the national level, this psalm has been called "The Mirror for
Magistrates" as a means of determining who will be allowed to serve the
nation's King. In this sense, Ernest the Pious who was once Duke of
Saxe‑Gotha, invented what we would call a pink slip which might appear in
the pay check of a person let go from their position. It is recorded that
on several occasions the Duke would send a hand written copy of this psalm
to unfaithful employees. It even became a proverb in that area of Germany
that when an official would do something wrong he must soon receive the
prince's Psalm to read diligently! At the heavenly level, this psalm may
celebrate the present rule of the Lord and King Jesus Christ in our very
own hearts while we prepare ourselves for eventual entry into His eternal
The psalm falls into two main parts. In the first part, King David lays
down the rule of his own conduct, and in the second part declares war
against faithless followers. His ambition is to have God's own city worthy
of its true King, prepared for His eventual rule whenever He decides to
come and dwell in it. In verse one the singer declares his purpose for his
whole life. He begins by promising to praise God for both His love and His
justice. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn once reflected upon the terrible misery
inflicted upon him by the communists for thirty years. Later in life, he
was able to dismiss that misery and suffering as necessary to discipline
him in righteousness and necessary to bring him to the saving knowledge of
Jesus Christ. And so, as we grow into the faith we may too learn in time
to give God the glory for all the pressures and sickness and turmoil that
persuaded us to fall at His feet and seek forgiveness for the sins
deserving of just punishment.
Like a parent's love in discipline so David praises God for both love and
justice. In the following verses, two and three, David resolves to lead a
life worthy of being used to praise his heavenly Father. Now we know
from the biblical record that David did not always lead an exemplary
blameless life! Whenever this psalm was composed we see the nature of
David's heart. We see his goal, his aim to please the Lord of Lords and
the King of Kings. How many of us have even made this much resolve? How
many of us are even committed to improving one little part of our earthly
life? If we, unlike King David, a man after God's own heart, are not even
willing to resolve to do well, what hope is there for improvement? Heads
of Households, Employers, Ministers and Leaders alike should pray for a
blameless life, and endeavor to improve their work and witness daily.
Now in verse two there appears to be an interruption. David asks, "When
will you come to me?" By this he desires not only divine guidance and
instruction, but also the divine presence to assist him in achieving a
blameless life. David, unlike many today realizes the impossibility of
improving the species of man without God's help and without God's presence!
Like God's people in all ages he awaits the Father's presence. Only then
can he and we continue with the following resolves. David will walk in his
house with blameless heart. Here we see that piety begins at home. We
must practice perfection at home if we are to maintain it away from home.
There are many people who appear to be most saintly out in the world, but
let them return home and the family might possibly prefer the presence of
the devil himself. If this be the case for any of you that is indeed
We should be aware that how we act in the quiet and comfort of our own home
tells us more about the real person that we are! Is there a need for you
to pray David's prayer here and to make the same resolve? We continue with
verse three. Here David vows to turn his eyes away from what is shameful.
He will not even look upon any vile thing. Several years ago a government
commission published a book describing and showing in graphic detail the
dangers of pornography. Now government publications rarely have a chance
of making the best seller list. But, this particular book sold out its
first printing almost overnight! You can imagine that David would not
have allowed any Jerusalem press to print such a report. Sadly, very many
people wanted a good excuse to see what shouldn't pollute their minds and
eyes. David knew in his heart that visual fascination could soon lead to
mental addiction. Thus, he would not set his eyes on any vile thing.
In the middle of this third verse we move on to the second portion of this
psalm where David declares what behavior he will not tolerate in his royal
court. This list is interrupted briefly in verse four by a description of
those whom he will favor in his kingdom. We will save that verse for the
end. Briefly we will consider the way of the wicked who have no promise of
increase in David's royal city.
First, David will not tolerate unfaithfulness. Men who cannot be trusted
with a little will not be trusted with much either. I once heard a story
of a grocery owner who tested prospective employees by leaving a few coins
on the floor that he would ask them to sweep up. He reasoned that if they
were honest enough to return a handful of change, than he could trust them
with the treasure of the whole store.
Second, David refused to allow perverted retainers in his house. Third,
David will not tolerate tattlers like those who made up stories to tell to
King Saul about himself. He knew well the destructiveness of such
mischief. In fact he almost forfeited his life several times. These
people will have no voice in his kingdom. Fourth, David will bar from his
kingdom any whose pride has lifted them to blue‑blooded heights. Fifth, in
verse seven David will cast out any who practice deceit and speak falsely.
He will have a sense of honor in his royal house. Very many colleges and
institutions once imitated David here. These organizations regularly
imposed an honor code. A simple one might go like this: "I will not lie,
cheat or steal, nor tolerate those who do". One college in Virginia was
compelled to abandon such a code, because it discriminated against any who
could not live up to its standards! So much for the profitability of honor
in our time!
Finally, we must focus upon those whom David will honor and seek to
minister to him. His eyes, just as our Lord's eyes will be on the faithful
in the land. David looks for those whose faithfulness to God guarantees
their fidelity to men and general reliableness. His servants should be
like himself, followers of "the way of perfectness". In David's court,
dignity and office would go, not to talent, or to crafty arts, or to birth,
but to moral and religious qualities. Years ago I had time to read the
complete session records of one church. The records went back forty years
or more. The records provided an interesting history of a church, there
were cases of discipline, causes of division and argument. In one chapter
so to speak there appeared one faithful elder whose faithfulness and
Christian charity shined like silver through the awe struck words of the
Clerk of Session. After five years, there appeared a page of memorial to
this particular man the likes of I have never seen in any other Session
Minutes. This dear Saint had departed this life and gone home and the
Session of the Church missed him terribly. These are the kind of men that
David sought to serve him. These are the types of Christian that Jesus
seeks to serve him today.
In that particular church there was another person that I knew of, a
saintly little lady who had sat at the feet of this one elder at the turn
of this century. She faithfully served her congregation for seventy‑five
years! She was not rich, she did not take a prominent position, but when
she died we wondered, who would pray for that congregation and that
community with the fervor and intensity that glorified God for those many,
many years! Great in the memory of God's people were these two saints.
Great in God's Kingdom will they be honored at our King's return. It is
servants like these that David desires. So is the desire of Jesus Christ.
We come to the last verse of our psalm this morning. Here David resolves
to weed his kingdom every morning by putting to silence the wicked of the
land. If you have or have had a garden you well know the need to weed
regularly. If you don't, very soon your garden will be polluted with weeds
and there will be very little increase in the amount of usable food. In
the same way God tests his people to see if they be faithful or unfaithful.
His eyes will be on the faithful, but the evildoer will be cut off! As
Jesus looks over His Kingdom today, what will he find in your heart of
hearts. What will he find in your mind's eye. Are you faithful in your
daily duties, in your business relationships, in your obligations to the
Kingdom of Christ? Then He will someday say, "Well done, my good and
faithful servant". If not, you have the warning in this psalm of what you
should not be doing. If you think that is the case, then like David you
need to be praying "When will you come to me" O God? We must realize that
we cannot go to Him. David anticipated the Gospel and He waited for God to
come to Him. Here in this psalm he resolved to lead a blameless life.
Yet, we know that he failed in all respects. Still, God came to him and
called him to be near to His Heart. If He has not yet done so, may the
Lord our God call you through the power of His Holy Spirit.
MacLaren, Alexander. The Psalms.
Spurgeon, C.H. The Treasury of David.