Psalm 15

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;

Psalm 15:1-2 (ESV)

In this Psalm, David acknowledges the Lord’s presence and describes characteristics of those who follow Him. In verse 1, David mentions a tent, referring to the tabernacle where the Israelites entered the presence of God. The word he uses, sojourn, means “to temporarily reside.” David follows with the word dwell, which indicates more permanence, meaning “to settle or inhabit.”

Friends, we were given access to remain in Him always. If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it is that we do not need a physical building or church-related gathering to meet with God. We can be with Him any time. This passage is not naming characteristics or qualities that disqualify or qualify from relationship with Him, although the sinful behaviors described do harden our hearts towards Him and others. Rather, the passage points out ways we can cultivate a heart and life that makes room for Him every moment of our lives. When we are IN His presence, He can deal with the things that act as a barrier between us and Him. This passage was not written to draw us away or intimidate us from His presence, but rather to give us a heart that desires to draw closer to Him and walk in the light as He is in the light.

Read the qualities of someone who walks with the Lord:  
  • He who walks blamelessly and does what is right - a follower of God should be faithful through how he walks (lives) and works
  • Speaks truth in his heart; who does not slander with his tongue - our words are a reflection of our hearts (Luke 6:45)
  • Does no evil to his neighbor, nor takes up a reproach against his friend - one who dwells in Him does not do evil or speak evil, either to his neighbor or about him
  • In whose eyes a vile person is despised, but who honors those who fear the Lord - when we read the word “despised,” we usually think it means something like “loathe,” but here it means more like “contempt” - not giving the respect he deserves
  • Swears to his own hurt and does not change - makes promises and keeps promises
  • Does not put out his money at interest and does not take a bribe against the innocent - is generous with his money and maintains honesty 

Action Steps:
In light of these qualities, we can boldly approach His throne of grace with confidence at all times (Ephesians 3:12, Hebrews 4:16), knowing that it is not what we do or don’t do that gives us access to the Father.
  1. When was the last time you intentionally spent time in His presence? Does your heart, soul, and mind reveal that you dwell with Him?
  2. Prayerfully reflect on David's list. Ask the Lord to reveal thoughts, feelings, speech, or actions that don’t align with Him. Then ask Him what next steps He wants you to take, whether between you and Him or between you and someone else.
  3. End by spending time thanking Him and enjoying His presence. 

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