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Psalm 15

Psalm 15

A psalm of David.

Lord, who may dwell in your sacred tent?
    Who may live on your holy mountain?

The one whose walk is blameless,
    who does what is righteous,
    who speaks the truth from their heart;
whose tongue utters no slander,
    who does no wrong to a neighbor,
    and casts no slur on others;
who despises a vile person
    but honors those who fear the Lord;
who keeps an oath even when it hurts,
    and does not change their mind;
who lends money to the poor without interest;
    who does not accept a bribe against the innocent.

Whoever does these things
    will never be shaken.
(Psalm 15:1-5 NIV)

In today’s psalm, David ponders then asks and answers one question:

What kind of person is able to walk in close and constant fellowship with you, Lord?

If we ask the question more generically:

What does a Christ-follower’s life of integrity look like in Your eyes, Lord?

Verse 1 asks the question, and the remaining verses provide the answer.

This psalm does not tell us how to follow Christ; this psalm merely looks at the life of a person who has put their trust in Christ and is walking faithfully with the Lord.

Verse 1 uses two images to help us visualize what it is like to approach God in His holiness and righteousness.  The tent represents God’s presence, where God resides.  Remember that in David’s day, the center of worship was the tabernacle, a large tent-like structure where God made His Presence known to the children of Israel.  All the people gathered in the tabernacle to worship God.  It was not until David’s son Solomon became king that God commissioned the Temple (a permanent building) to be constructed.

The mountain represents God’s presence as well.  Remember when God gave the Ten Commandments to Moses?  God descended on the mountain with clouds, signifying His presence (Exodus 24:12-18).

Verses 2 – 5a outline character traits of a person seeking to honor the Lord.  Notice that both our inner and outer lives are called out here.

David talks about speaking the truth from our heart (v. 2), which is clearly an inner trait.  If we don’t have truth in our hearts, we are deluding ourselves into thinking we are better or worse than we are.

David also talks about keeping an oath (a promise) even when it hurts (v. 4), and lends money to the poor without charging interest (v. 5).  Those are clearly outward actions that are tied to a properly ordered inner life, where we look out for others, not just ourselves.

David concludes this psalm by saying that any Christ-follower that orders their lives in this way will never be shaken.  In other words, because we give Christ control of our lives as we follow Him, our lives will reflect His character traits in both our inner and outer lives.

May we meditate on today’s psalm, asking the Lord to show us we are walking with Him.

May we repent and confess our sins where we don’t measure up, where we need His transforming power in our lives to make course corrections so nothing hinders our walk with Him.


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