This week I have been drawn to Psalm 15 (the assigned Psalm for this Sunday, Aug. 30). I am not sure if I am preaching on this yet…I am still pondering it and praying about it. Here are some of my initial thoughts thus far, but first here’s the text:
1 Lord, who may dwell in your sanctuary?
Who may live on your holy hill?
2 He whose walk is blameless
and who does what is righteous,
who speaks the truth from his heart
3 and has no slander on his tongue,
who does his neighbor no wrong
and casts no slur on his fellowman,
4 who despises a vile man
but honors those who fear the Lord,
who keeps his oath
even when it hurts,
5 who lends his money without usury
and does not accept a bribe against the innocent.
He who does these things
will never be shaken.
Verse 1 contains a question about who may dwell in the sanctuary; who may “live on your holy hill”. Following this question the psalmist goes on to answer his own question.
Verse 2 is about faith; about what’s in the heart.
Verse 3 flows out of verse 2. What’s in our heart will dictate how we will speak to and about other people. If we live blameless lives, do what is righteous and speak truth from our heart then we will naturally speak well of our neighbor and do them no wrong.
Verse 4 – 5a flows out of verses 2 and 3. This verse talks about our actions. It is one thing to say we have faith in Christ and talk a good game, but what do our actions say. James 1:22 says, “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” (oddly enough that is part of the second lesson for Sunday).
And when all is said and done, the ending of verse 5 says, “He who does these things will never be shaken.“
I don’t know about you, but I don’t always follow the “formula” in verses 2 – 5a. So I guess I will not dwell in God’s sanctuary and live on his holy hill…
…but maybe this is not a Psalm of law or one prescribing certain behaviors before I can enter God’s presence, but rather describing how a believer lives outside the sanctuary; outside the walls of the church building. Maybe Psalm 15 is descriptive rather then prescriptive…”He who does these things will never be shaken.“
Those are my thoughts now…as I am still processing. Feel free to share you thoughts. God bless!