Psalm 15 is a Good Psalm. You Should Read It.

Last night, the fam and I read and reflected on Psalm 15, which is quite short yet packs a punch. I commend it to you for reading and study.

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

He who walks blamelessly and does what is right
and speaks truth in his heart;
who does not slander with his tongue
and does no evil to his neighbor,
nor takes up a reproach against his friend;
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;
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.

Psalm 15 ESV

The psalm begins with a rather simple question: who can dwell with God? What kind of person gets to do that? The rest of the psalm answers the question by listing the qualities of such a person: he is blameless and does what is right, he doesn’t slander, he does no evil, he honors those who fear the Lord while despising vile people (ouch!), and he’s smart with his money and his mouth.

Now, we can look at that and think, well gee, I don’t really measure up to that standard; does that mean I can’t dwell with God? This is where the good news comes in. This psalm is really about Jesus. Jesus was the blameless, righteous Son of God, fulfilling all of these qualities for us. We could never measure up to this standard on our own, so Christ did it for us, and when we believe, we are united with him. Our union with him is our great hope, because unity with Christ means we dwell where he dwells. Christ dwells on God’s holy hill; Christ sojourns in his tabernacle. And so do we, if we believe.

Obviously, this psalm also reflects for us a standard of living to which we should strive. Having been saved by Christ, we have the freedom to walk blamelessly, to do what is right, and to speak the truth; to refuse harmful slander, to do no evil to our neighbor, nor take up a reproach against our friend. All of these qualities and more are ours because we have been united with Christ.

As you walk through your day, look for opportunities to be like the person described in this psalm. Because that person is, of course, our Savior Jesus Christ, and we are called to imitate him.

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