LORD, who can dwell in your tent?
Who can live on your holy mountain?
The one who lives blamelessly, practices righteousness,
and acknowledges the truth in his heart—
who does not slander with his tongue,
who does not harm his friend
or discredit his neighbor,
who despises the one rejected by the LORD
but honors those who fear the LORD,
who keeps his word whatever the cost,
who does not lend his silver at interest
or take a bribe against the innocent—
the one who does these things will never be shaken.
Yesterday we saw the description on the sinner of “the fool” and today we are going to see the description of the Godly. Today’s psalm answers the age old question: “What sort of person experiences a deep relationship with God and a strong sense of his presence?” Psalm 15 suggests that we lose a sense of God’s presence—or may even cause God to withdraw his presence from our lives—through ungodly behavior, dishonesty and deceit, slander or selfishness. For this reason, we should examine our actions daily, confess and turn from our sin, strive to live for God’s approval and realize that to lose touch with God is to lose everything. And over the next four verses David gives us a clear picture of the kind of person who experiences a deep relationship with God and a strong sense of his presence.
Verse 2 tells us this, “The one who lives blamelessly, practices righteousness, and acknowledges truth in his heart.” The phrase “lives blamelessly” refers to a life of integrity. Which means that the “truth” of God is not just something that you can proclaim with your mouth and not believe in your heart. Because to the person who has a deep relationship with God and a strong sense of his presence the “truth” of God is not just something that they know about on an intellectual level, but it is something that know about on a much deeper level because it resides in their heart, which is their inner person or inner being.
Verse 3 tells us, “Who does not slander with his tongue, who does not harm his friend or discredit his neighbor.” Slandering and discrediting come from an attitude of hatred and a desire to harm others. And because God does not tolerate either an attitude of hatred or a desire to harm, then those who have a deep relationship with God and a strong sense of his presence will not tolerate them in their lives either.
Verse 4 tells us, “Who despises the one rejected, by the Lord but honors those who fear the Lord, who keeps his word whatever the cost.” Despising the wicked and honoring the Godly are attitudes that show we are made in God’s image—we love what he loves and hate what he hates. And now we come to the tricky part of this verse, “who keeps his word whatever the cost.”
God puts the highest priority on personal integrity (character, honesty, honor and faithfulness) as it relates to keeping our promises and commitments—to God and to others. It is better not to make promises than to make them and then break them. God is a person of his word and he expects his followers to be people of their word. This was true in the Old Testament, and it is still true for New Testament believers. Few things give Christianity a bad reputation faster than those who claim to follow Christ but who have been know to lie and break their commitments. Some examples of how we break our commitments include: not paying our bills on time; not giving our best effort at home, school or work; or not being honest in our relationships with others. We must follow through on our promises and commitments, even when they turn out to be more difficult than we expected.
And the last verse, verse 5, tells us, “Who does not lend his silver at interest, or take a bride against the innocent—the one who does these things will never be shaken.” The command against lending at “interest” was only applicable to fellow Israelites and not to foreigners. However, those who are close to the Lord will follow the spirit of the law and not just the letter of the law, because the commonality between lending with interest or better put lending with excessive interest and bribery is that they both profit from someone else’s misfortune or lack. Which is in essence doing that person or persons harm.
And finally we are told that the person who does all these things “will never be shaken.” Which means they will be secure, because they will have a deep relationship with God and a strong sense of his presence in their lives. What does your life look like? Are you “the fool”? Are you “the Godly”? Or are you somewhere in between? Ask God over the next several days to reveal to you the answers to these questions, because the answers to these questions will determine where you will spend eternity.
Tomorrow’s Bible Readings:
Genesis 37-38, Matthew 12:22-45, Psalm 16:1-11 and Proverbs 3:27-32
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