Scripture reading: Psalm 15
Our previous devotional considered five characteristics of the “blessed” man’s life (Psalm 1:1-3). Today’s devotional will observe seven character traits that define the hearts of those whose citizenship is with the LORD (Psalm 15:1-5). The brackets within the following verses are by this author and present a broader amplification of word definitions and meanings.
As you read, remember that the Psalms are worship songs and not merely poems. In Psalm 15, David invited the congregation of Israel to ponder two questions in the opening stanza (Psalm 15:1).
Psalm 15:1 – 1 LORD [Yahweh; Jehovah], who shall abide [dwell] in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell [remain; continue] in thy holy hill?
In essence, the psalmist asked, Lord, what manner of man or woman desires to “abide in [dwell in] thytabernacle?” [i.e., where the Ark of God was located]
David had prepared a new tent (1 Chronicles 16:1) to shelter the Ark when it arrived in Jerusalem, and it remained there throughout his reign. The king expressed in other psalms his preference to worship the LORD in His sanctuary over the opulence and comforts of his palace.
David asked, “Who shall dwell [abide] in thy holy hill? (Psalm 15:1b)
What manner of man seeks and longs to abide on Mount Zion, where the Ark was located? (The Ark represented the throne of God and His presence amid His people.) David answered that question and stated seven characteristics of those who sincerely seek, worship, and enjoy the company and favor of the LORD.
Seven Characteristics of Those Who Abide in the LORD’s Presence (Psalm 15:2-5)
Integrity – They “walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness” (Psalm 15:2a). They are trustworthy, sincere, and morally upright (Psalm 15:2a).
Truth-Speakers and Keepers – The second characteristic of one who seeks the company of the LORD is that he “speaketh [declares] the truth in his heart” (Psalm 15:2b; Ephesians 4:15).
Loving – They are neither mean-spirited nor vengeful (Psalm 15:3). They are loving toward others in their words and deeds.
Revere the Righteous – Those who dwell in the presence of the LORD find the sins of the wicked are loathsome, and they have no desire for their company (Psalm 15:4a; Psalm 1:1). They honor and respect those who fear the LORD, walk according to His Law, and in the likeness of Christ (Psalm 15:4b; Philippians 2:2-8).
Promise Keepers – They remember and keep their promises even if it is at their own expense and hurt. They do not change or vacillate (Psalm 15:4b).
Compassionate – The righteous have compassion for the poor and do not charge them the excessive interest the poor can ill afford (Psalm 15:5a; Exodus 22:25; Leviticus 25:35-37).
They are Above Reproach – They will not be bribed nor swayed in their judgments (Psalm 15:5b; Exodus 23:8; Deuteronomy 16:19; Proverbs 17:23).
Notice the summary answer to the questions that introduced Psalm 15, (“1Lord, Who shall abide in thy tabernacle? Who shall dwell in thy holy hill?”), are satisfied in the last phrase of Psalm 15:5.
Conclusion – “He that doeth these things shall never be moved” (Psalm 15:5c).
Those who abide in the presence of the LORD have integrity, speak the truth, hate the sins of the wicked, are not vengeful, keep their promises, have compassion for the less fortunate, and live above reproach.
Are those traits true of you? Do you have integrity in what you say and do? Do you speak the truth and never lie? Do you hate the sins of the wicked and find them loathsome? Are you forgiving? Do you keep your word? Do you make a vow, sign a contract, and commit to sacrificing your interests? Do you show compassion for the less fortunate? Are you above the influence of a bribe?
An Invitation – If your answer to any of those questions raises a sense of guilt and conviction, I urge you to confess your sins and vow to the LORD to make right your wrongs with others. I conclude with the words of the apostle John when he exhorted believers: “9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us” (1 John 1:9-10).
Copyright © 2023 – Travis D. Smith
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