Thursday, 13 October 2011

Psalm 15 - An exposition

This Psalm is a psalm of David which naturally implies that the questions asked in the first verse is from David's curiosity. The question asked is directed towards the LORD of which David hereafter seeks to answer himself under the divine inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Psa 15:1  A Psalm of David. O LORD, who shall sojourn in your tent? Who shall dwell on your holy hill?

Here is a serious question concerning the character of those who may enter the holy hill of the LORD. Who is worthy to stand and dwell in his presence and maintain their stand? David is asking, LORD, let me know who shall go to heaven.  For God is holy and it stands that not everyone will be able to sojourn in His tent or dwell on His holy hill because they lack His holiness; as the writer to the Hebrews says 'without holiness no one will see God'. This question is not for the faint hearted but for those who are prepared to ascend up the hill and are ready to throw off every sin which entangles them. They are in a moment as soon as they find that wretched sin which is not of a godly character willing and determined to cast it away. Like Moses they will reject the passing pleasures of Egypt in order to march towards that heavenly city where righteousness reigns. They will forsake families and friends, fortunes and comfort to ascend the holy hill and finish their pilgrimage so that they may be worthy citizens of Zion, the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and being accompanied by innumerable hosts of angels.

Who then is worthy to dwell in God's holly hill and sojourn in his tabernacle?

David in the following verses gives us the characteristics of those who may dwell on God's holy hill and sojourn in his tent. Psa 15:2  He who walks blamelessly and does what is right and speaks truth in his heart.

What man can say in his heart that they have walked blamelessly in the sight of their God and always speak truth in their heart? David who penned this psalm cannot say this true of himself for he would remember the sins of his youth and the grievous sins of his old age when he committed that treacherous crime of murder. David is then by his own act omitted from dwelling with God and cannot go to heaven because he has not walked blamelessly. 

We also read of Job, that righteous man whom the devil inflicted and tormented that after the LORD had spoken to him he said this about himself "I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes." Job himself saw it necessary to repent thus he has not walked blamelessly in the sense of never being guilty of sin.

Who is it then who has ever walked blamelessly, always doing what is right and always speaking truth in his heart? All have fallen short of God's perfect standard and no man dare say he is without sin. Jesus posed the question to the religious leaders of his day' 'let him who is without sin cast the first stone?' None could throw a stone but each walked away. Like them so will you; you will walk away to the place where sin is punished.

But we see Jesus Christ the man of sorrows is the only one fit to meet this high criteria. He is the only sinless man in all of history and always speaks truth in his heart. My friend you have no reason to sink in despair because you are not fit for heaven by your own works. You have no reason to walk yet into hell where sin is punished but there is another place where it has been punished; on the cross, dear sinner, Christ has died for you and in as much as you will accept him, you too have been crucified with him. He has nailed to his tree all the written records which were eternally against you and paid off all your debts. A line has gone through the invoice which reads PAID. Jesus has obtained a place for you by giving you his righteousness, he has walked the blameless life for you and you are now to imitate him.

My friend you are now instructed to walk blamelessly in his sight and you need have no fear; for this is his task also for he has promised to finish your sanctification. You may be of good character and do what is right and speak the truth to your neighbor. What better truth to declare that God has so loved you and gave his Son for you. What better truth to have in your heart than to let Christ dwell richly in it. You are now to have a godly disposition like the saints of old who had such a light and sunshine around them. We read of that apostle who was always rejoicing and you are to be the same. Oh my dear sinner, now justified, walk blamelessly in the sight of your God.

Psalm 15:3 speaks of the negative qualities one must avoid. Psa 15:3  who does not slander with his tongue and does no evil to his neighbor, nor takes up a reproach against his friend. We are called to be a good Samaritan to everyone. To every race and kind we are to love, to show such grace and care for our fellow creatures that it is not found in us to slander any man nor do any evil to our neighbors. We are to be a forgiven people; forgiving others just as Our God has forgiven us. Let us have no reproach, no bitterness against the worst of our enemies but with great kindness go the extra mile for them in our goodness towards them. Let them see that we are a redeemed people who have heaven in our hearts and care not for the silly desires of the flesh which are contrary to the Spirit.

Psa 15:4  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.
As well as being a good Samaritan to all men we are to be wise as serpents. Not keeping company with those who are of a vile nature. This I mean to be not associating ourselves with their conducts and to not praise them in their wickedness. We are to avoid such people whose deeds are of the same kind of the devil. This does not mean that we do not come alongside them to be a friend or a helper in their misery; we are to be the first in their most terrible conditions but quick to flee from their deeds. If any one of them should be hungry we are the first to fly to their aid bringing abundance where others who possess not the same spirit as we may wonder why we help with such great love such vile persons who are the excrements of society. We shall tell them that once we were like excrement in the sight of our God but He loved us and gave His Son for us; so likewise we give our lives for those who persecute us and hate us. We give our lives for all of humanity so that they may know something of that message of that heavenly man who is calling them to repent, to forsake their ways and join him in his feast.

We honour the LORD and love those who honour the LORD with great excitements because they have found a good thing for their souls. They have such honourable dispositions so that if they should swear to their neighbour that they would sell to them their possessions for such a price that afterwards they will keep their promise and not change the price for gain.

Psa 15:5  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. The old testament gives us situations where the LORD has commanded interest not to be taken.
 Exodus 22:25 "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.  Also leviticus 25:35-37  "If your brother becomes poor and cannot maintain himself with you, you shall support him as though he were a stranger and a sojourner, and he shall live with you.
Lev 25:36  Take no interest from him or profit, but fear your God, that your brother may live beside you.
Lev 25:37  You shall not lend him your money at interest, nor give him your food for profit.
A wise man will heed to the word of the LORD and any who desire heaven will listen to him who speaks truth from heaven.

Jesus has done all these things and was never moved so my friend you too shall never be moved. Whilst you still remain upon these shores you are to live with these commands in mind as presented in this psalm of the godly man who may dwell on God's holy hill and sojourn in his tent. If you do this you have done well and men will find no reason to throw stones at your conduct.

K.Oni

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