It Shall Not Cling To Me (Psalm 101 Devotion)


A Psalm of David. I will sing of mercy and justice; To You, O LORD, I will sing praises. 2 I will behave wisely in a perfect way. Oh, when will You come to me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart. 3 I will set nothing wicked before my eyes; I hate the work of those who fall away; It shall not cling to me. 4 A perverse heart shall depart from me; I will not know wickedness. 5 Whoever secretly slanders his neighbor, Him I will destroy; The one who has a haughty look and a proud heart, Him I will not endure. 6 My eyes [shall be] on the faithful of the land, That they may dwell with me; He who walks in a perfect way, He shall serve me. 7 He who works deceit shall not dwell within my house; He who tells lies shall not continue in my presence. 8 Early I will destroy all the wicked of the land, That I may cut off all the evildoers from the city of the LORD.

PSALM 101:1-8


It is a wonderful picture of God’s grace that the author of Psalm 51 should also be the author of Psalm 101. In Psalm 51 David seeks forgiveness for his sins of adultery and murder. It is obvious that at that point of his life at least he did set “something wicked before his eyes.” And he did indeed “fall away” (for a time). In Baptist life we call it backsliding. Psalm 101 and 51 are a wonderful picture or restoration and moving forward into the grace of God. I was profoundly moved by the words, “it shall not cling to me.”

David did some bad things. Real people got hurt. David’s heart was treading the path of perverseness. His heart was going more and more wicked by the moment, but then God’s grace stepped in when a prophet named Nathan told David the truth about his sin. In our culture, we seldom ever want to confront people over their sin, but what a relief it must have been to David when his sin was addressed. The charade was over. How long must He have gone singing songs he didn’t feel anymore because his heart was numb because of unconfessed sin. Now his sin was in the open and he could deal with it. He could be cleansed by the Lord.

What a renewed sense David must have had when He sang those songs, not as a king who was perfect, but as a king who was restored by the grace and mercy of God. I don’t know when psalm 101 was written, but it must have rang different after his restoration when he could sing of setting no worthless thing before his eyes. He’d been down that path before, No need to go there again. His heart belonged to the Lord.

Today celebrate both God’s mercy and justice along with king David. Like David, I need God’s mercy in my life for the sins I’ve committed (indeed without mercy none of us will see God). But that mercy invites me to want to walk in harmony with God’s justice. I want to abhor what God abhors. I want to walk in uprightness and integrity, not of my own making, but because God has seen fit to make sure that my sins of the past, “shall not cling to me.”


Father, Thank you for mercy! I revel in your soul liberating mercy that finds me at my weakest and strengthens me in resolve to follow you in all things. I am grateful that you are a God of forgiveness and all our sin issues an be dealt with in you. I am grateful that you call and empower us to live holy lives set apart unto you. Bless us this day as we seek after you! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

I’m reading and blogging the Psalms Through The Summer. I’d love for you to join me. You can find out a little more here.

2 thoughts on “It Shall Not Cling To Me (Psalm 101 Devotion)

  1. linshes

    David is after all a human king with human weakness. It is wonderful that God will not look on our past to judge us. He will not let the past sins “shall not cling to me”. God does not keep score! Praise the Lord for His Mercy and Grace. I will sing praises to Him until my life ends! Amen!
    Hope this makes sense, not feeling my best today. Asking prayers for strength to get through my son’s birthday this coming week.


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