By Henry Law
Rules are prescribed for godly government. Advice is given to those who exercise authority. May all take heed; for to each some influence belongs.
1-2. "I will sing of mercy and judgment; unto You, O Lord, will I sing. I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. O when will You come unto me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart."
Praise is the inhabitant of the godly heart. The Psalmist engages that songs to the Lord shall be his glad employ. Mercy and judgment compose the happy theme. To think of God's mercy is the delight of delights. To utter its praise is a foretaste of heaven. Judgment, also, claims its place. The Lord is not slow to vindicate what is the right. His righteous dealings should be magnified continually.
But the mercy and the judgment, which are the attributes of the Lord, should also be the characteristics of magisterial rulers. Those who are invested with the exercise of authority should realize that they are ordained by God to represent Him. Therefore His mode of governing should be their studied pattern. But left to themselves men are poor and ignorant and weak. Every man in his best estate is altogether vanity. Hence our prayer for the teaching and indwelling of the Spirit should be earnest and incessant. Oh, when will You come unto me? His presence is light and strength and power. It never is denied to those who truly serve and seek Him.
He who has My commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves Me. And he who loves Me shall be loved of My Father, and We will come to him, and take up Our abode with him. Thus the pious man looks up for heavenly aid, and resolves that he will act with wisdom and discretion. He will diligently watch that no flaw shall stain his godly walk. His heart shall be wholly given to the Lord; and the heart is the rudder of all conduct.
3. "I will set no wicked thing before my eyes; I hate the work of those who turn aside; it shall not cleave to me."
He will guard the portal of every sense. If evil is before him, he will close his eyes, lest some pollution should gain entrance. He will utterly abhor the works of those who deviate from the path of piety. Their work shall be shunned with disgust.
4. "A perverse heart shall depart from me; I will not know a wicked person."
The world abounds with self-willed and perverse rebels. They submit to no righteous rule. These shall be banished from the sight of the righteous. No wicked man shall be among their friends. Their joy shall be in the select company of the godly.
5-8. "Whoever privily slanders his neighbor, him will I cut off; he who has a high look and a proud heart will not I suffer. My eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that he may dwell with me who walks in a perfect way, he shall serve me. He who works deceit shall not dwell within my house; he who tells lies shall not tarry in my sight. I will early destroy all the wicked of the land; that I may cut off all wicked doers from the city of the Lord."
Truth and uprightness shall adorn their attendants. The faithful and the holy shall have office in their house. Wickedness shall be utterly expelled. Surely here is a picture of the blessed household of the King of kings. It is written, Your people shall be all righteous; they shall inherit the land forever, the branch of My planting, the work of My hands, that I may be glorified. If earthly rulers should be surrounded by a godly retinue, surely this rule will order the celestial court. Have we by faith put on the garment of salvation, the spotless robe of Christ's obedience? Have we received the Spirit to sanctify each movement of our hearts? Such is the glorious company of the celestial home.