Psalm 15

Vs 1 asks the question: Who is entitled to live in God’s house?
Vs 2-5 show the “house rules.”

David asked God who, among so many sinners, would He permit to dwell in His tabernacle, or on His holy hill (vs. 1; Psalm 2:6; 3:4). Both terms refer to places He makes “holy” (designated, set apart). “Tabernacle” is equivalent to “tent, or temporary dwelling.” In the New Testament, distinction is drawn between the Israelite tabernacle God gave Moses (Acts 7:44), and the “tabernacle of David” which was then promised (Amos 9:11-12) but is now the church of Christ, which is the people of God in Christ, both Jews and Gentiles (Acts 15:13-19; Galatians 3:26-29). It is “the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation” (Hebrews 9:11). Individually, each Christian’s body is a “tent,” not a heavenly body, yet (2 Peter 1:13-14)! Since it is God’s house, the Father’s conditions must apply!

Though not an exhaustive list, the eleven characteristics of people whom God accepts into His tabernacle, four are positive, the rest are negative (Psalm 15:2-5). What it takes to be “righteous” (upright, obedient to God) is in verse 2. One who “walks,” “works,” “speaks,” all continuous actions, according to God’s rule, is acceptable.
(1) “Upright” (used in 23 verses in Psalms) is the: way of God (Psalm 25:8); way every person starts in life (Ecclesiastes 7:29); opposite of slavery (Leviticus 26:13) and of perversity (Proverbs 3:32; 11:3);
(2) “Righteousness” is: all commandments of God (Psalm 119:172); revealed in the Gospel of Christ (Romans 1:16-17); no longer obtained through Moses (Romans 10:1-4); to be desired (Matthew 5:6); to be worked (Acts 10:34-35; 1 John 3:7);
(3) “Truth” (used in 40 verses in Psalms) must be embedded in one’s heart. It should be the core of thoughts (Proverbs 23:23; Romans 1:24-25), words (Proverbs 12:17; 22:20-21; Ephesians 4:25), and deeds (John 3:21; 3 John 4);
(4) does not backbite: cowardly attack to harm, not help (1Timothy 5:13; Romans 1:30);
(5) does no evil to a neighbor: doesn’t harm person, character, or property of those nearest (3 John 11);
(6) reproaches not a friend: literally, “to strip bare,” spares friends (and certainly family!) from the humiliation of scandalizing them (as through Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, talebearing and all other “social media”), certainly condemned by God (Numbers 15:30; Proverbs 14:34; 18:3; Colossians 1:21-23);
(7) despises vileness: rejects very wicked people (Lamentations 1:8; Romans 1:26), thereby making “righteous judgment” (John 7:24; Ephesians 5:11-12);
(8) honors those who fear the LORD: respects the righteous (John 13:20; Luke 10:16; Romans 12:10);
(9) does not ignore oath: though painful, keeps his word (Matthew 14:6-10; Ecclesiastes 5:4-6; James 5:12);
(10) doesn’t charge usury: “a bite,” making oppressive money off loans to the poor (Proverbs 28:8; 22:16, 22; Exodus 22:25; Leviticus 25:35-38);
(11) doesn’t accept bribes against the innocent: (Deuteronomy 27:25; Proverbs 15:27; 29:4; Amos 5:4, 11-13).

Both then and now, God will not accept everyone into His fellowship without their conversion. Today, only the saved are added by God to the church of Christ (Acts 2:38-41, 47), however, all who turn from their sins to Christ, by obeying the Gospel, are the saved (1 Corinthians 6:9-11; Acts 18:8)!

#bible-study-lesson, #book-of-psalms, #daily-devotion