Psalm 15 (February 23, 2011)

February 23, 2011

[15:1] O LORD, who shall sojourn in your tent? Who shall dwell on your holy hill?  [2] He who walks blamelessly and does what is right and speaks truth in his heart;  [3] who does not slander with his tongue and does no evil to his neighbor, nor takes up a reproach against his friend;  [4] 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;  [5] who does not put out his money at interest and does not take a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things shall never be moved. (Psalm 15 ESV)

How do you live? As a believer in Jesus, there are ways that we evidence the presence of God in our hearts. Galatians 5:22-23 talks about the fruit of the Spirit as evidence that God is at work in our hearts and lives. Psalm 15:2 gives us three additional positive traits to consider:

1. Integrity: Being blameless is always a daunting concept in the Bible. The term essentially means to be complete, or wholesome. John MacArthur says this about this term: “In the Old Testament, blamelessness is frequently associated with the upright (Psalm 37:37Proverbs 29:10) in contrast to the wicked (9:22;Psalm 64:2–4).”

2. Justice: This is not just about the character of the individual but the actions: “[He] does what is right.” Ethics are derived from character and character is shaped by the Scriptures through the power of the Holy Spirit. As we grow in our relationship with God, our character will change and our actions will follow.

3. Truth: Speaking the truth sounds simple, but it isn’t. How does this work for you? Do you ever stretch the truth in a story to make yourself look better? Do you exaggerate? Do you make promises that you never intend to keep? How about the Christian cliche, “I’ll pray for you…” Do you mean it when you say it? Speaking the truth is an action of the one after God’s heart.

Hope in the Psalms

Wayne Mack says it well: “In the Word of God, learning is never a mere academic exercise but is always dependent upon practical responses in a person’s life. The psalmist said, “It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I may learn Thy statutes” (Ps. 119:71). While he understood God’s statutes intellectually, he learned them practically by experiencing affliction. True biblical learning always comes through obedience.”

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