Daily Family Worship

Psalm 15: The Great Question and Its Answer

by | Apr 9, 2024

psalm 15

“Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill?” Who shall be permitted to have fellowship with You? The heavens are not pure in Your sight, and You even charged some of Your angels with folly; who then, among mortal man, can dwell with You? A sense of the glory of the Lord and of the holiness which is fitting for His house, His service, and His attendants will excite the humble mind to ask the solemn question before us. Where holy angels bow with veiled faces, how shall sinful man be able to worship at all? The unthinking person may imagine it to be a very easy matter to approach the Most High; but truly humbled souls often shrink under a sense of utter unworthiness, and would not even dare to approach the throne of the God of holiness if it were not for Jesus – our Advocate Who can abide in the heavenly Temple because His righteousness endures forever. “Who shall abide in thy tabernacle?” Who shall be admitted to be a member of the household of God? Who shall be privileged to dwell under His roof, and to enjoy communion with Himself? On the grounds of law, no mere man can dwell with God; for there is not one person upon earth who answers to the just requirements mentioned in the following verses. The questions in the text are asked of the Lord. He clearly lays down the qualifications for His service; and when we have been taught by Him, we shall clearly see that only our spotless Lord Jesus – and those who are conformed unto His image – can always stand with acceptance before the Majesty on high.

In answer to the great question of verse 1, the Lord Himself informs us of the character of the person who can dwell in God’s holy Tabernacle. In perfection, this holiness is found only in Jesus; but in a limited yet ever-increasing measure, it is worked in all His people by the Holy Spirit. Observe the accepted man’s walk, work, and word. “He that walketh uprightly” – he keeps himself straight and tall, as those do who traverse tightropes; if they lean on one side, over they must go! He is like those who carry precious but fragile merchandise in baskets on their heads, who lose everything if they lose their balance. True believers have the strong backbone of the vital principle of grace within; and being upright themselves, they are able to walk uprightly. Walking is of far more importance than talking. A person is in the right way only when they are upright in walk and downright in honesty. God’s house is a hive for workers, not a nest for drones. But see also how the Lord’s accepted person “speaketh the truth in his heart.” The fool in the last Psalm spoke falsely in his heart; observe the striking contrast between him and the saints, who not only desire to love and speak truth with their lips, but also seek to be true in the closet of their hearts, where God alone can listen.

After the description of the things that the Lord’s accepted person does, we have the details of the things that he or she will not do (verse 3). He “backbiteth not with his tongue.” Some people’s tongues bite more than their teeth, and serve as the devil’s bellows to blow up the fire of contention. “Call a policeman!” we exclaim when we come upon a thief engaged in his wicked business; ought we to feel indignation, too, when we hear a gossip at work? “Fire! Fire!” is an alarming cry, but the talebearer’s tongue is set on fire from hell; and those who indulge it had better mend their manners and learn to imitate our Savior, Who spoke evil of no man, but breathed a prayer even for His foes.

In the accepted person’s eyes, “a vile person is contemned” (verse 4); “but he honoureth them that fear the Lord.” Such a person also “sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not.” The promise of the Lord’s saints is as good as an oath, even when engagements have been entered into which turn out to be unprofitable for them. Moreover, the Lord’s accepted person “putteth not out his money to usury,” and he is not one who “taketh reward against the innocent.” Bribery is a sin – both in the giver and in the receiver. Even today, this sin survives in various forms, which we do not need to mention; and under every shape, it is loathsome to the true child of God. He remembers that Jesus – instead of taking reward against the innocent – died for the guilty!

“He that doeth these things shall never be moved.” No storm shall tear him from his foundations, drag him from his anchorage, or uproot him from his place. Like the Lord Jesus, Whose dominion is everlasting, the true Christian shall never lose his crown. He shall dwell in the Tabernacle of the Most High, and neither death nor judgment shall remove him from his place of privilege and blessedness. O for grace that we may imitate Christ and become such a person!

Lord Jesus, thank You for fulfilling the just requirements of God, mentioned in this Psalm! Help us to become more and more conformed unto Your image. Amen.

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