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Psalm 15

Jorine Johnson

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,

    nortakes 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;

whodoes not put out his money at interest

    anddoes not take a bribe against the innocent.

He who does these things shall never be moved.

David asks two profound questions that he answers within the passage. Who shall sojourn in your tent and who shall dwell on your holy hill? Sojourning means to dwell, take up residence, assemble in the Lord’s tent which represents His presence. Abraham is described as being a sojourner when he escapes the land he was in originally to take up residence in Egypt, the place of safety, physical needs are met, the place of safety and refuge, the place where the troubles of the world disappear for in place of safety (Genesis 12:10). In the same way, the human condition will be unsatisfied unless they are in the true place of safety — in the hand of God, in the presence of the living God, our strong tower, resting in the Shadow of the Almighty, being carried on wings of eagles, the place where we can have our spiritual needs met. It is in the presence of God where we must find our dwelling.

David describes how it is only the righteous person is able to dwell in the presence of God. The characteristics of the righteous are: speak truthfully, not slandering, not doing evil, not scorning friends/neighbors, not takes bribes, and not exacting interest, but instead is generous. The Israelites showed how they could never follow God’s commands whole heartedly, and why on many occasions could not enjoy the benefits of God’s presence because God is Holy. On our own, we obviously could never fulfill the righteous requirements of the Law, and that is why we have Jesus who brought us in the very near presence of God so we may be able to make our dwelling with Him. Like the story of the banquet and the King’s invitation to the outcasts, so we are brought in the presence of the King at the request and invitation of Christ, to enjoy His company and fellowship and be adopted into His family. The amazing privilege that we have is we are declared righteous by the sacrifice of Christ, and so get to enjoy being in the place of God’s dwelling, the place of safety, comfort, peace, and hope.

And the promise of God stands: We will not be moved or shaken. Like the reminder in Psalm 1, where the righteous are firmly planted by streams of water and with roots that go deep. We are firmly planted and grounded in the firm foundation of Christ, dwelling in His presence, so no scheme of the enemy or trial or tribulation, can ever move us. What great joy we have in Christ Jesus!

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