These days, anything 101 means it's a introduction and must-read for anyone researching a subject. For instance Personal Finance 101, Art 101, Computers 101. They compel us to read them, and feel we could make a mistake if we don't. Psalm 101 could be renamed Spiritual Clarity 101.
King David, like every follower of the Lord, had to make a choice for his life. As with us, there were two gates to choose from. One gate satisfies the soul, taking the chooser on a path of trials and adversity with Satan. The other gate satisfied lusts, taking the chooser on a path of adversity with God.
David chose the one which pleased his Saviour.
Psalm 101 is for nations, leaders and individuals. If our nation's leaders followed David's choice we would not see one line of wicked legislation, a fraction of the police forces, hardly any prisons, and no ungodly community sectors seeking equality.
King David is clear about the direction of his heart and will. Do we still wonder why God called him a man after his own heart? (Acts 13:22).
David's writing cannot be mistranslated. It’s as if God wrote it himself. David chose to follow and to alienate the wrong people. God called priests and kings to put a difference between holy and unholy. In bringing that to pass, kings were to use the civil law and ensure the priests used the ceremonial law, and both were to use various laws personally to ensure judgment started in their own hearts — in the house of God which house they were (1 Peter 4:17)
As we read, let’s think of the three things that derail our walk. 1 John 2:16: “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.”
David's Policy (his intentions)
1 I will sing of mercy and judgment: unto thee, O Lord, will I sing.
2 I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. O when wilt thou come unto me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart.
David's Procedures (How he will carry out his intentions)
3 I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.
4 A froward heart shall depart from me: I will not know a wicked person.
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.
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.
7 He that worketh deceit shall not dwell within my house: he that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight.
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.
When we read the Psalms, we see David's heart is mapped out. He shows us his pathway, which was always one of righteousness and holiness, even when he faltered. Humbly, he has included Psalms of repentance and also those where he calls for help. He sought to dwell with the Lord, caring neither if he were king or doorman, so long as he dwelt in the courts of his Lord and Saviour.
The aspirations written in Psalm 101 are reflective of Psalms 145-150, where all he did was praise from a pure heart.
Psalm is a 101is truly a 101 for our own lives, as it sets out our choices. We cannot cross between gates and paths because they face opposite directions. David made it clear which gate he wanted to enter, and turned his back on everything else.