Psalm 15

Psalm 15 begins with David asking a couple questions of God.  “O Lord, who shall sojourn in your tent? Who shall dwell on your holy hill”?  David wants to know who gets to spend time with God.  The ‘tent’ here refers to the tabernacle of God which was the great tent of meeting that God had told Moses and Israel to build for Him during the Exodus.  The ‘tent’ survived through the centuries and was where man met God through the help of the priests and sacrifices.  David wants to know how he could live a life that allowed him to just live with God there, a more permanent kind of abiding.

The rest of the chapter describes the character of the person who can live in God’s presence.  It begins with a couple general descriptions:

  • He who walks blamelessly
  • And does what is right

At a high level, it comes down to obedience.  That was the reality of the Covenant God gave to Abraham.  If you live in obedience, you will be blessed.  However Jesus changed that and the New Covenant gives us a different ground for blessing and relationship with God: the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross. Under the New Covenant, faith and not performance is the basis for our blessing.

Nonetheless, David’s answer here was right for his time.  And even today, the way we conduct life moment by moment is a reflection of our relationship with God.  We’re going to stumble and fall – we’re all sinners as scripture reminds us – but there is no question that how we live reflects how we walk with Christ.  David does give us some specific actions that indicate we’re walking in obedience and lock step with Jesus:

  • speaks truth in his heart
  • does not slander with his tongue
  • does no evil to his neighbor
  • does not take up a reproach against his friend
  • in whose eyes a vile person is despised
  • honors those who fear the Lord
  • swears to his own hurt and does not change
  • does not put out his money at interest
  • does not take a bribe against the innocent

While the performance against this list no longer determines our blessing like it did under the Old Covenant, these are still obviously things that mattered to God then, and do today as well.  The difference is that the shed blood of Christ and the New Covenant is the foundation of our eternity now.

The chapter ends with these words.  “He who does these things shall never be moved”.  David has in mind the basic performance-based system of the Old Covenant. The one who has pleased God with this kind performance can expect blessing from God.  In the Old Covenant system, this stability of life is a blessing from God given to the obedient. Under the New Covenant the promise of stability and security is given to those who abide in faith, such faith being evident through a life lived in general obedience.  Today blessing is related to our relationship with Jesus, not our performance against a set of standards.  How we live still matters, but eternity is about faith in Christ, not performance of self.  We’re still talking about eternity here though, and it is absolutely critical we address the reality of our need for a Savior.  Have you secured your eternity?  Today is the day to take that step!

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