Psalm 15 (February 25, 2011)

February 25, 2011

[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)

We finish up our study of Psalm 15 today with a final list of characteristics of the one after God’s heart.

The first trio of attributes describes the godly in relationships:

1. He despises the vile: The vile are characteristically those who have rejected the covenant goodness of God. This doesn’t mean that a believer should reject all unbelievers, but that a believer shouldn’t take counsel with open scoffers of God (Psalm 1; Proverbs 13:20).

2. He  honors those who fear the Lord: He respects those who cherish the covenant with God.

3. He swears to his own hurt: This basically means that he keeps his promises. He does what he says he will do, even if it is uncomfortable. I will save the “a man should do what he says he is going to do” rant for another time, but insert what you think I would say here.

The last grouping of positive characteristics comes in verse 5:

1. He does not put out money at interest: I love what the ESV Study Bible says about this: When the Pentateuch laws regulate loans, they are generally envisioning private loans to a neighbor (say, when his crops fail and he needs help buying seed for planting) rather than commercial transactions. In such cases Israelites are forbidden to charge interest to their fellow Israelites (seeDeut. 23:19–20, “your brother”); they may charge interest to a foreigner. The psalm does not mention “his brother,” which seems to suggest that the ideal person deals generously and fairly with all people; he goes beyond what the law requires.

2. He does not take a bribe against the innocent: God is a God of justice, and to take a bribe would mock God’s justice, especially against the innocent.

Hope in the Psalms

The result of a life lived in a Godward direction is the trust that God will provide stability. Psalm 55:22 says the same thing: “Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.” I pray that as you seek to live a life after God’s heart, you will trust in him to provide satisfaction and stability in himself.

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