“Lord, who may abide in Your tabernacle? Who may dwell in Your holy hill?” Psalm 15:1
In first Corinthians chapter thirteen the apostle Paul tells us that one day our limited and distant relationship with God will be exchanged for one in which are we see him face to face. In light of this, David’s questions in Psalm chapter fifteen have a profound pertinence. Who is able to abide and dwell in the presence of God? David spends the next four verse listing nearly a dozen separate qualities of a person who is able to enter the presence of God.
“He who walks uprightly, And works righteousness…” David starts nice and easy, nothing specific just two very general statements that pretty much cover all the bases. The thing that challenges us is that he makes sure we understand that it’s a working righteousness and not just lip service.
“And speaks the truth in his heart; He who does not backbite with his tongue…” The words we say can be some of the most damaging and hurtful things we do. But David starts by pointing out that the godly bring even the words of their hearts into submission. The heart of the righteous contains no lies and he doesn’t employ his mouth to tear down another person.
“Nor does evil to his neighbor…” The righteous wouldn’t think of doing anything hurtful to anyone.
“Nor does he take up a reproach against his friend…” It’s easy to complain about people but it takes more effort and decision to make less hurtful and more effective efforts in building relationships, correcting errors, and getting things done. A righteous person avoids complaining and doesn’t let himself get sucked into the complaining of others.
“In whose eyes a vile person is despised, But he honors those who fear the Lord…” The priority of the righteous is to honor God and in doing this they would never give their approval to an openly sinful person.
“He who swears to his own hurt and does not change…” There’s a willingness to be generous in the heart of the righteous. And once he’s made a promise he keeps it. It’s that simple.
“He who does not put out his money at usury…” Theres no interest in making money off of the needs of others or the willingness of others to overextend themselves. If you don’t earn your money by labor it’s not money worth having.
“Nor does he take a bribe against the innocent…” How much is it worth to you to hurt another person? The righteous consider the welfare of others to be priceless and their own personal integrity to be beyond value.
“He who does these things shall never be moved.”
Lord make me an immovable rock so that I can stand confidently in your presence.