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I Will Set Nothing Wicked Before My Eyes
Bible study on faith and sin.

David was a man after God's own heart, exemplifying the obedient service of all children of God.

As king over Israel, David determined to govern with an upright heart, punishing people for evil, and praising them for good.

Psalm 101
Psalm 101 was written by David upon either taking the throne of Israel, or bringing the ark of the covenant to Jerusalem.

In the Psalm he promises to lead Israel in the ways of goodness, and to shun evil.

In so doing, he promises not to set anything wicked before his eyes.

  • "I will set nothing wicked before my eyes; I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cling to me" (Ps. 101:3, NKJV).

Thus, he promises not to know wickedness.

  • "A perverse heart shall depart from me; I will not know wickedness" (Ps. 101:4, NKJV).

David First Set His Heart to Seek the Lord
Psalm 101 reflects the fact that David had set his heart to seek the Lord, which was different from Saul whom God rebuked.

  • "But now your kingdom shall not endure. The Lord has sought out for Himself a man after His own heart, and the Lord has appointed him as ruler over His people, because you have not kept what the Lord commanded you" (1 Sam. 13:14).

Like Saul, Rehoboam also did evil because he didn't first set his heart to seek the Lord.

  • "So King Rehoboam strengthened himself in Jerusalem and reigned. . . . He did evil because he did not set his heart to seek the Lord" (2 Ch. 12:13-14).

Before we can succeed as Christians and not set anything wicked before our eyes, we must be like David and commit our hearts to seek the Lord, and do all His will.

  • "After He had removed him, He raised up David to be their king, concerning whom He also testified and said, I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My heart, who will do all My will'" (Acts 13:22).

The Eye is the Lamp of the Body
On one occasion, Jesus cast a demon out of a mute man, and the crowds were amazed. Then the Pharisees accused Him of casting out demons by the power of Beelzebul, but were silenced by Jesus with the Scriptures.

After that, the scribes and Pharisees tested Jesus by asking for a sign from heaven. But Jesus told them the only sign they would receive was that of Jonah, who was in the whale's belly three days and three nights, as Jesus would be in the earth.

Jesus concluded by saying, "No one, after lighting a lamp, puts it away in a cellar nor under a basket, but on the lampstand, so that those who enter may see the light. The eye is the lamp of your body; when your eye is clear, your whole body also is full of light; but when it is bad, your body also is full of darkness. Then watch out that the light in you is not darkness. If therefore your whole body is full of light, with no dark part in it, it will be wholly illumined, as when the lamp illumines you with its rays" (Lk. 11:33-36).

Jesus uses an allegory involving the physical eye to teach us the importance of fixing our hearts and affections upon God and heaven (cf. Matt. 6:22).

This allegory is appropriate because of the physical eye's importance to controlling the whole body.

For example, if our eye is clear and we see with perfect vision, we can navigate a path filled with stumbling blocks without any problem. But if our eye is weak and our vision is blurry, we will stumble and fall.

Thus, sins involving the eyes are some of the most long lasting and harmful in which a person can participate.

Pornography, for example, which involves the eyes, causes great harm resulting in psychological disorders and broken homes.

Thus as a general principle, if we keep our eyes from sin, we will keep our whole body from sin.

  • "'The eye is the lamp of the body; so then if your eye is clear, your whole body will be full of light'" (Matt. 6:22).

Beware of Sins Involving Your Eyes
It's important to stay away from all sin, and to be diligent not to give in to it for a moment.

But since the eye is the lamp of the body, we should be extra diligent not to give into sins involving our eyes, which are some of the most impactful and damaging.

Besides Biblical evidence, we also know from science that sinful influences involving our eyes can be some of the most harmful. The American Academy of Pediatrics recently released a peer-reviewed study in the September issue of Pediatrics regarding the damage to teens caused by sexual messages in media, which has contributed to the United States having the highest teen pregnancy rate in the Western hemisphere.

As Christians, having hearts determined to do all of God's will, we are committed not to set anything wicked before our eyes.

This includes all forms of media, such as television, movies, books, art, and websites.

If it's wicked, we don't involve ourselves with it in any way.

  • "But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil" (1 Th. 5:21-22).

And like David, each of us can promise to God, "I will not know wickedness!"