July 27, 2017

Snapshot of a Blessed Person

The Bible reading plan I’m working through includes a Psalm for almost every day. I love that. It’s so great to read a big chunk of history or prophecy, and then flip over to read a chapter of devotional poetry.

The Psalms are so encouraging and comforting — and yet they’re more than just “greeting card” sentiments. They are jam-packed with theology!

For instance, we find chapters about the inerrancy of God’s Word (Psalm 19, 119), the creation of man by the direct act of God (Psalm 139), the presence and personality of the Holy Spirit (Psalm 51, 104), and the immutability of God and His various attributes.

Psalms speaks a lot about God’s standard for righteousness, in particular. It describes the rewards for those who obey His standards — and the horrible consequences for rejecting it.

For example, chapters 10-14 are heavy with pleas for God to punish the wicked, those who have rejected God’s standard of righteousness. Over and over again, David cries out for God to destroy them — and just as quickly reminds himself that their annihilation is certain. God will destroy those who reject Him.

David also declares that “there is none who does good, not even one.” And of course, God cannot dwell with those who don’t “do good.He will not bless an unrighteous person with His presence.

But Psalm 15 marks a transition from the previous five chapters.

David asks simply, who shall sojourn in your tent? and who shall dwell on your holy hill? In other words, who is blessed to dwell in God’s presence? Who can meet God’s standard of righteousness?

Thankfully, we aren’t left wondering!

Psalm 15 gives us several snapshots of that person. It describes qualities such as honesty, brotherly kindness, purity, wisdom, trustworthiness, and goodness.  And this is what should describe every single believer! It’s like an Old Testament version of Galatians 5:16-24, or 2 Peter 1:5-8.

Take some time now to read through it, and pray through it. Note the character qualities it describes in each line. And then ask yourself whether those things describe you.

“O Lord, who shall sojourn in your tent? Who shall dwell on your holy hill?”
The person who:*

  • walks blamelessly
  • does what is right
  • speaks truth in his heart
  • does not slander with his tongue
  • does no evil to his neighbor
  • takes no reproach against his friend
  • despises the vile person
  • honors those who fear the Lord
  • swears to his own hurt – and stands by it
  • does not put his money at interest
  • takes no bribes against the innocent

He who does these things shall never be moved.
{in other words, a blessed person!}

 

REFLECTION question: What other Psalms describe the person whom God blesses? How can we take comfort from those Psalms?

Learn more about who God blesses by spending time in His Word.
Join me as I read it this week:

Tuesday: Mark 7-9, Psalm 18:25-50
Wednesday: Mark 10-12, Psalm 19
Thursday: Mark 13-16, Psalm 20
Friday: Exodus 1-4, Psalm 21
Saturday: Exodus 5-8, Psalm 22:1-11
Sunday: Exodus 9-11, Psalm 22:12-31
Monday: reflection or catch-up

*This is my own paraphrase of verses 2-5. Read the full text here.


Comments

  1. Love this!

  2. I’m going to need to take time to ponder this… The first thing that struck me was the comparison from the Old Testament to Galatians – I can see that. Thank you for laying it out so clearly.

  3. Sometimes I have a hard time with David’s cries to destroy the wicked. It seems we should be crying out in prayer for them. During the summer, I had someone truly wrong me, and I could understand those cries. But truthfully, in my heart, I would never want God to destroy an unsaved person, without me first trying to help save them. Does that make sense?

    • That totally makes sense. We’re supposed to have compassion on the lost, and to love them as Christ loved — a self-sacrificing kind of love. We certainly should be praying for them! But it’s also so discouraging when wicked men are in leadership positions and just keep doing more and more harm to those we love (or to ourselves). Like you said, it’s easy then to understand David’s cries. But there’s a balance in his prayers, too. God is always in control, and ultimately it’s up to HIM to reward or punish accordingly. I find that comforting, but it also motivates me to make sure I’m doing what pleases Him – what will be rewarded by Him.
      Does that make sense?

      • Yes that does make alot of sense!! I never thought of it in context with those in leadership and government. And I really like your point that God is always in control and makes the decisions of reward and punishment. And on that same level, it is up to the person to open their heart to Him.You can talk to someone until you are blue in the face, but it does not mean they will change or listen. Sometimes I have to remember to not feel like I can “fix” everyone. And just boldly walk my path in the way I was called to do it by Him.

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  1. […] like I’ve been writing some heavier stuff lately… about God judging the wicked, and His commands for steadfast righteousness, and the desperate need for Jesus in our country, and the spiritual battles that we face every […]