“A Blameless Life”
Pastor Paul Barreca
Have you ever been the victim of a crime? When I was ten years old, my parents gave me brand new ten speed bicycle. It was a genuine Schwinn, and I couldn’t have been any happier. Although I was still growing, they purchased the bike with a full frame, knowing I would soon catch up to the size of the bike and the awesome features. I really though I was “hot stuff” riding my bike to little league practice, that is until I was confronted by a much bigger teenager who threatened to kill me unless I gave him my bike.
My world was shaken, and I was devastated.
Whether or not you have ever had something precious stolen from you, all of can relate to the sense of loss that is experienced when we are robbed of something important. Today I want to share that almost everyone of us has been robbed by a subtle intruder that is in our homes. The intruder has stolen precious family time, corrupted the minds of our children and introduced them to wicked and shameful things. The intruder has halted our children’s creativity, driven a wedge between them and their parents and caused them to crave things their parents cannot provide. What is this vile intruder? It is the television set and the programing we allow into our homes every day.
Today we are studying Psalm 101. It is referred to as "The Homebuilder’s Psalm," or "The Psalm of Pious Resolutions." This Psalm is practical for us today, as it provides an exhortation to guard what comes into our lives.
In this Psalm, King David expresses his commitment to build a godly home and palace. This Psalm was most likely composed at the beginning of his reign. It served as a pledge that he would guard his home from becoming overrun by hostile intruders that would steal away the hearts of his children and family. We can learn much from David’s Psalm of commitment.
The Psalm can be examined in three parts: The Object of our Commitment (101:1), A Commitment to a Pure LIFE (101:2-4), and A Commitment to a Pure Home (101:5-8).
The Object of our Commitment. 101:1
“I will sing of your love and justice; to you, O Lord, I will sing praise" (Psalm 101:1).
David’s song is to the Lord (to you). His desire is to speak of the Lord’s love and justice. His focus in establishing a home of purity was to please the Lord who treated David according to His love, and demanded justice from all those who follow Him. These two thoughts are not contradictory to one another. God’s love never excuses sin. In His love He demands that we obey. David understood the relationship of these two attributes.
In our day of permissiveness and toleration, we must remember that God will judge sin. We ought not misinterpret His patience with thinking He overlooks our sinful behavior. When David himself sinned against God, he confesses that "to you and to you alone have I sinned” (Psalm 51:4). Had David heeded the words of his own song in Psalm 101, he would not have needed the words of confession he prayed in Psalm 51!
A Commitment to a Pure Life. Psalm 101:2-4
"I will be careful to lead a blameless life— when will you come to me? I will walk in my house with blameless heart. I will set before my eyes no vile thing. The deeds of faithless men I hate; they will not cling to me. Men of perverse heart shall be far from me; I will have nothing to do with evil." (Psalm 101:2-4)
Here, David speaks of guarding his personal life. He mentions having a “blameless life” three times in these three verses. Blameless had the idea of being "without blemish," a reference to the standard of perfection required for the animal sacrifices offered to the Lord. The root of this word dealt with something complete. Nothing could be lacking. The same word is used in Proverbs 28:18 "He whose walk is blameless is kept safe, but he whose ways are perverse will suddenly fall." David commits himself to walk before the Lord with a blameless heart.
The place to begin a blameless heart is in our home. You might put on a good front on Sunday mornings, but your family knows the real you. They see how you respond to difficulty. They know what books you are reading, and what shows you are watching. They hear your unguarded language. David commits himself to lead a life of integrity beginning in his own home.
He commits "I will set before my eyes no vile thing." The world vile means "worthless or wicked.” It is used in Proverbs 6:12 (KJV) "A naughty person, a wicked man, walketh with a froward mouth." Another occurrence of this is found in Proverbs 6:12 (NIV) "A scoundrel and villain, who goes about with a corrupt mouth.” Also, Proverbs 16:27 declares “A scoundrel plots evil, and his speech is like a scorching fire.”
Literally, this word meant "a thing of Belial." Belial was a false god. David promises not to allow false religion into his home. He promised that he would not allow himself to look upon the false gods of his day. We can learn much from David’s commitment. We should have no contact with anything associated with evil. Think about the shows on televison. They are all to often filled with false ideas contrary to our God. Our Lord is offended as we laugh at the sinful practices of this world. There is little difference between our tolerance of evil entertainment and someone in David’s world tolerating false idols in their homes.
Scripture informs us to separate from ungodly influence, (Psalm 1:1) " Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers."
Further, we are instructed to separate from carnal Christians. " It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that does not occur even among pagans: A man has his father’s wife. . .But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat." (1 Corinthians 5:1,11)
We are also told to separate from all sinful activity. "Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret." (Ephesians 5:11-12)
There was a time in my years growing up in conservative Christian circles that some objected to practicing second and third degree separation, meaning that some Christians struggled with separating from someone because they did not separate from a particular sinful activity or association. Friends, today we don’t even practice first degree separation!
Charles Spurgeon wrote, "If I have wickedness brought before me by others I will turn away from it, I will not gaze upon it with pleasure. Not only shall it not dwell in his heart, but not even before his eyes, for what fascinates the eye is very apt to gain admission into the heart," (Spurgeon, The Treasury of David). Remember that he wrote this almost 100 years before the onslaught of television! What would this great preacher say today?
Television programs like "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” and “Will and Grace" mack a mockery of homosexual lifestyles. Reality TV shows entertain their audiences by degrading marriage, encouraging confrontation and elevating wickedness. These programs are nothing more that an electronic form of voyeurism - peering into the private lives of others for personal pleasuer. It’s wickedness and we are tolerating it in our homes!
Time magazine recently described the contributing factors leading to divorce.
- 2 of 3 divorces involve porn as one of the contributing factor.
- 1 of 3 list porn as the MAIN FACTOR
Porn is a ten billion a year business. 1 of 5 video rentals is pornographic. Pornography deceives it’s victims in the following ways:
- the false assumption that it is private
- the false assumption that it is not personal ("I’m not hurting anyone")
- the false assumption that there are no consequences
Pornography is sin. If you are observing pornography and claiming that you are innocent as long as you don’t do anything sinful, you have already done something sinful! Further, it is just a matter of time before you act out what you are viewing with your eyes. Remember, stimulation without satisfaction leads to frustration. Frustration leads to compromises which will lead you into the kinds of sin you never thought you would commit.
Consider these Scriptures:
Psalm 90:8 "You have set our iniquities before you, our secret sins in the light of your presence."
Luke 12:2 "There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known."
1 Corinthians 4:5 "Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men’s hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God."
David’s Commitment to a Pure Life continues in Psalm 101:3. "The deeds of faithless men will not cling to me." He will not associate with sinful people. "Men of perverse heart shall be far from me; I will have nothing to do with evil" (Psalm 101:4).
The phrase “men of a perverse heart" meant "The perverted and twisted nature of sin." (Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament). The word “perverted referred to the braiding and twisting of hair.” My dad used to joke about people who were "so crooked that when they die you will have to screw them into the ground." That’s a visual picture of the perverted nature of people without the Lord. We are to stay away from their type of corruption.
The third section of Psalm 101 is A Commitment to a Pure Home. "Whoever slanders his neighbor in secret, him will I put to silence; whoever has haughty eyes and a proud heart, him will I not endure. My eyes will be on the faithful in the land, that they may dwell with me; he whose walk is blameless will minister to me. No one who practices deceit will dwell in my house; no one who speaks falsely will stand in my presence. Every morning I will put to silence all the wicked in the land; I will cut off every evildoer from the city of the Lord." (Psalm 101:5-8)
King David is making a public cry elevating his commitment for his palace and kingdom! He wanted everyone to know that there would be righteousness in his home. You and I cannot control what goes on in the world, but we can control what goes on in our homes!
Negatively, David expresses what he will NOT allow in his home in verse five.
1. SLANDER. Those who sin with the TONGUE
2. HAUGHTY EYES. Those who sin with the EYES
3. PROUD HEART. Those who sin in their HEART
4. Those who PRACTICE DECEIT 101:7
5. Those who SPEAK FALSELY
Positively, he expresses the things he would seek in verse six.
1. The Faithful in the land. David sought good company.
2. He sought wholesome activity.
3. He sought a blameless walk indicated in the words worthy, upright, and complete.
Years ago, I shared with a dear pastor friend that his presence in my life was a fulfillment of Psalm 101:6-7. I shared my appreciation with him for his positive influence in my life. These are the kinds of relationships we should seek. These are the kinds of people we should allow into our homes, influencing our lives and our children.
It’s Time to take back control of our HOMES. Many are failing. Divorce is rampant in the church today. WHY ARE WE SO POWERLESS? Have we failed in the areas David warns us of in Psalm 101?
We have become desensitized to sin.
For years I have been taking groups of men and teens to the Algonquin Park in Canada. There, we enjoy several days of beauty and solitude in the vastness of God’s creation. The silence of creation is powerful. There are no cars. No jet planes. No loud music. No noise pollution. When our groups finally return from their respite with the Lord, one of the first things we notice upon returning to “civilization” is the noise that constantly surrounds us. For someone who has been surrounded by noise for so long, we forget that it is even there. Until we separate from it we are unable to recognize it’s pervasiveness in our lives. That is why I call people to take at least one month every year and ‘fast” from the televison. We do not even recognize how much television invades our lives. We ought to separate from it so that we can better recognize it’s influence and control.
What about you? What are the influences in your life? Have you committed to lead a blameless life before the Lord?