Taking the Epistle

A biblical journey through the epistles

Psalms Saturday #6 – Psalms 15 – Who Shall Dwell on Your Holy Hill?

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Psalms Saturday #6 – Psalms 15 – Who Shall Dwell on Your Holy Hill? – 01/16/2016

Psalm 15:1 (ESV) O LORD, who shall sojourn in your tent? Who shall dwell on your holy hill? 2 He who walks blamelessly and does what is right and speaks truth in his heart; 3 who does not slander with his tongue and does no evil to his neighbor, nor takes up a reproach against his friend; 4 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; 5 who does not put out his money at interest and does not take a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things shall never be moved.

This is a Psalm of David known as the man after God’s own heart and I love this Psalm due to its simplicity and humble let’s look it all five verses on a verse by verse basis.

V1 O LORD, who shall sojourn in your tent? Who shall dwell on your holy hill?

What a question asked by David… who can sojourn (or abide) in your tent? It is a tremendous theological question and really shows the heart of David, the desire to be in step with God, step by step and day by day shows a great desire in the heart of David to be close to his God.

Israel had a “church and state” kind of deal also where in the tent went the Levites and the priests who were the servants of the Lord and as King he was entitled to many things but he was not entitled to offer sacrifices to God. (The Tabernacle was spoken of in Exodus 25-31 and was a temporary meeting place while the Exodus from Egypt was happening.

David examines the heart of the one who wishes to dwell with God in the next few verses, interestingly the first time in the tent it is more of a guest, when he speaks of the “holy hill” it is more of a dwelling, a living there as if it is as home to the person as it is God.

V2 He who walks blamelessly and does what is right and speaks truth in his heart; 3 who does not slander with his tongue and does no evil to his neighbor, nor takes up a reproach against his friend; 4 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; 5 who does not put out his money at interest and does not take a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things shall never be moved.

Here are the attributes of this man of God…

• Walks blamelessly – What business does God have with one who is disobedient and refuses to walk according to his ways? (See Leviticus 26 & Deuteronomy 28 for ideas on blessings and curses for disobedience)

In the Christian life we see that conversion is only the first step on a journey with our redeemer and we have certain attributes that we will display as a child of God and follower of Jesus Christ, whilst we all fall short of the glory of God, we have to have our heart right when we do mess up, true repentance is key to walking blamelessly with God.
• Does what is right – David goes further and states that this man of God will do the right things in actions and show by is actions evidence of his faith. Although we are not saved by works, we will have fruit of the spirit as evidence of a changed life in Jesus.
• Speaks the truth in his heart and does not slander with his tongue – Amen and I wish this was more common in today’s church where we spoke the truth and do not slander. Having been in teaching ministry I have to confess that we would have much less drama and much less division if we were more careful with how we use our tongues. Jesus himself stated that the tongue is a good indicator of where you are in your heart in the Gospel of Matthew 12:34 when he said “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.”
• Does no evil to his neighbor – Basic Ten Commandment stuff here where he does not seek to do harm to his neighbor, perhaps not one who he has strong affinity for but certainly one who he has a sphere of influence in and can observe how “authentic” his relationship with God is.
• Does not take up reproach against his friend – Someone who he has let in as a friend and not just a friend in name, he is commanded to be a good friend, to have that friends back to be that true friend, in both this category and the last we see this also taught in the words of Jesus in Matthew 5:44 when we are commanded to “love both our friend and enemy”
• Despises vileness & honors those who fear the LORD – This has been misinterpreted a lot and is used by Christians as a stick to beat others who haven’t quite given up all of their vices but starting off in the Christian life. It is true that in order to stand for good we have to oppose evil however we are to oppose those who are living in open rebellion to God. Ones who are open and unrepentant in their wickedness. We have to respect those who fear the LORD, it does not say those who are perfect, or those who are blameless but those who fear the LORD.
• Swears to his own hurt and does not change – What a man huh? He does not change even though it may hurt him or he may not gain and most probably lose out of the interaction. That is true steadfastness and to be honored.
• Does not extort/lends money for profit – On the flip side that he does not do transactions for gain, extort or con others for profit. So if a brother gets knowledge that another brother has to sell things on the cheap, he does not take advantage and low ball offer him, he gives a fair price for what he is buying.
• Does not take a bribe/perjure the innocent – Again another Ten Commandment basic instruction, he does not take money to defame someone’s name, he does not lie or spread false witness against someone. This of course is a foreshadow of what happened to Jesus in his trial. Why would any of his followers want to do to someone what happened to their Messiah?

What a list huh? David states that “He who does these things shall never be moved” he shall be steadfast; he will be secure in the Lord. We are not called to love the world or the things of the world, we read this confirmed lastly in 1st John 2:15…

1st John 2:15 (ESV) Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world. 17 And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.

God bless and I pray this was a blessing and please feel free to like, share or comment on here or whatever social media platforms you use as the Lord leads you to, as always I love questions about this or any other article so please feel free to fill in the form below, all comments are moderated to avoid profanity.
TTE
TGBTG
SDG

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