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Psalm 15- Who Shall Dwell on your Holy Hill?

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Intro- How do you prepare yourself for worship?
Reading passages of scripture that emphasize God’s greatness ()
praying
singing
meditating on Heaven
Reflecting on God’s blessings
This Psalm is beautiful/powerful in that it asks two important questions, and it also reveals the answer.
Psalm 15 ESV
A Psalm of David. 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, nor takes 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; 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.
Who shall Sojourn in your tent?
Sojourn - carries with it the meaning of being an alien, stranger foreigner… someone who doesn’t belong where they are.
Tent- Reference to formal worship, tabernacle setting
Exodus 29:42 ESV
It shall be a regular burnt offering throughout your generations at the entrance of the tent of meeting before the Lord, where I will meet with you, to speak to you there.
In essence what we are reading, is the question, “Who is allowed to worship?”
Notice the idea of a soujourner.. Someone who doesn’t belong. Who has earned the right to approach the throne of God? No one. We don’t belong.
Who shall dwell on your Holy Hill?
Now the wording is changed slightly in the questioning.
Dwell- Indicating a permanent residence
Holy Hill- some believe that is a reference to heaven, others believe it is a reference to Zion, the resting place of the ark of the covenant () regardless of which way you look at it , the question David is asking, is “who can dwell (permanently) with God, in His presence?”
The answers:
David in all, gives 11 answers to these questions. 5 things that we must do and 6 that we should not do.
He walks blamelessly
The word used here for blameless is also translated as “integrity”
Job was described as blameless… He was not perfect, he did however, walk in integrity.
He who does what is right
This sounds so simple and elementary, but is it?
There is a world of difference between knowing right, and doing right.
There are many things that are right, that are hard (saying no to family because our savior comes first.)
James 4:17 ESV
So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.
If you ask most people to name some sins, they almost always list “bad things” rarely will they say, “Not attending worship, not helping my neighbor, not being an encourager, etc...”
It isn’t enough to know right, we must do right.
Speaks truth in his heart
David reveals for us that there is a real depth and genuineness in the soul of the one who can come before God.
Not only to they speak truth, but they speak truth in their heart. Meaning they are true, through and through. there is no deception in them.
Charles Spurgeon wrote- “Saints not only desire to love and speak truth with their lips, but they seek to be true within; they will not lie even in the closet of their hearts, for God is there to listen.”
Does NOT slander with his tongue
pretty self- explanatory… not a gossip
Not someone seeking to spread rumors, and hurtful things about others.
There is a sad number of people that get their deepest joy in life out of talking about other people’s lives… If that describes us, we are not prepared to worship, let alone dwell with God.
This directive to the child of God sometimes sadly gets lost… especially in political talk… it’s sickening. We can’t build a nation by tearing each other apart.
Does no evil to his neighbor
David speaks here of doing no evil to your neighbor.
, - Saul was seeking David’s life. David had a chance to do some real harm (kill) to Saul… He did not.
Does not take up reproach against a friend
reproach- to disgrace, or shame
Not making it a point to tear others down
In his eyes a vile person is despised
This one is a little interesting. It seems that David is advocating a hatred for sinners. - We know this to not be the case.
Rather, David is saying that the man/woman who is prepared to worship/dwell with God is one who is an adversary of evil. Someone who stands up to evil, and evildoers.
Because of their love for truth they will not tolerate sinfulness.
because of their love for the sinner, they will not just shrug their shoulders and allow the sin to continue
Honors those who fear the Lord
Not only does the individual prepared to be with the Lord, not stand for sin… they rejoice in those that are living right.
We all need encouragement.
Hebrews 10:25 ESV
not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
What is one of the purposes of us coming together? to encourage!
There are some people here at NW that are tremendous encouragers… Harold Mccray, Wanda Pennington, Ron Price…
someone preparing to dwell with the Lord will also encourage others in their walk.
swears to his own hurt and does not change
This is one of the stranger sounding things that David brings out.
Aren’t we not supposed to swear?
What David is saying is that the person who is prepared to dwell with the Lord, is a person who keeps their word, even if it hurts them.
Judges 11:30–31 ESV
And Jephthah made a vow to the Lord and said, “If you will give the Ammonites into my hand, then whatever comes out from the doors of my house to meet me when I return in peace from the Ammonites shall be the Lord’s, and I will offer it up for a burnt offering.”
Do you remember what came out of his doors? His daughter. He sacrificed his daughter… I often wonder what he expected to walk out of his house...
The point is, a man or woman of God are truly people of their word.
When they say “i do” they mean it, when they say they will.... they will.
who does not put out his money at interest
Exodus 22:25 ESV
“If you lend money to any of my people with you who is poor, you shall not be like a moneylender to him, and you shall not exact interest from him.
Under Jewish Law, they were not allowed to loan money to a fellow Jew and charge them interest. They were expected to extend a loan if possible but strive to make a profit off of the loan
We talked earlier about doing “right” They were to treat each other as family, and it certainly wasn’t “right to try to profit off of a family member’s hard time.
They weren’t allowed to suspend morality for the sake of money.
does not take a bribe against the innocent
Along the same lines of not forsaking morality for money.
The promise.
Psalm 15:5 ESV
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.
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