April 24, 2017

Psalm 15

“O LORD, who shall sojourn in your tent? Who shall dwell on your holy hill?”
Who is worthy to be a sojourner with God, or a visitor in His dwelling place? What are the qualifications for abiding with God? What must our lives look like if we are to be part of God’s family? A description follows:

“He who walks blamelessly and does what is right and speaks truth in his heart”
Our lives must be blameless, or perfect and complete in Him. The same word was used to describe Job, who was considered to be “blameless and upright, one who feared God and turned away from evil” (Job 1:1). Also, we must be actively doing what is right, and actively speaking the truth. These are not passive things; we must make a conscious decision to obey and honor God in our words, thoughts, and actions. Our “religion” must be rooted deep in our hearts, not merely in outward conformity to traditions and rules.

“Who does not slander with his tongue and does no evil to his neighbor, nor takes up a reproach against his friend”
Our speech must be free from slander; literally, we are to avoid ‘back-biting’ and refrain from spreading rumors about others. We are to shun gossip, always speaking kindly of one another. We are to believe the best of others, a vital part of loving our neighbors as ourselves.

“In whose eyes a vile person is despised, but who honors those who fear the LORD; who swears to his own hurt and does not change”
Our lives ought to be characterized by integrity. We are to give honor and respect to the upright, no matter what their ‘station’ in life, and to abstain from exalting the wicked,  those who reject God and His commands. In other words, who are your heroes? Who do you exalt and place as a ‘role model’ in your life? It should be those who honor God, who fear Him and are obedient to His Word. Another aspect of this integrity is that we are to fulfill our word to others. If we promise something to another, we ought to follow through with it, no matter what the cost to ourselves may be. Our word should be valued by others because they know it to be true.

“Who does not put out his money at interest and does not take a bribe against the innocent.”
We are to not take advantage of others, specifically in the financial realm. This brings to mind Philippians 2:3, which commands us to “Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.” We must esteem others better than ourselves. This requires humility (putting ourselves and our interests last), mercy (forgiving others), and love (treating them as we would want to be treated).

He who does these things shall never be moved.”
The one who does all these things – lives righteously, honestly, and humbly – will have the privilege of abiding with God, resting upon the Rock that shall never be moved. We will not only dwell with God upon His ‘holy hill’ (Mount Zion), but we will indeed be like Mount Zion, steadfast and unmoveable in Him. Only by obeying these commands can we be counted worthy to “sojourn in [His] tent” and “dwell on [His] holy hill.”