Psalms 15-17 (NLT) 

Discover His heart: He grants entrance into His presence for those who live righteous lives

Advice floats down through the decades, words of caution, helpful hints and all the sayings that mom passed down.  I remember hearing advice such as, if you want to know how a man will treat you after you’re married, find out how he treats his mother now.  Or, if you want to know how a man will treat his children, see how he treats his pets.  I’m not certain these would be proof-positive, but they might give an indication of future behavior.  When I’ve sought employment in the past, I will admit that I made careful observation of how the potential employer treated others in the workplace. Come to find out that in our reading today David believed that God has his own kind of litmus test, if you will, for those seeking a visit with Him. 

@ Psalm 15
“Who may worship in your sanctuary, Lord?  Who may enter your presence on your holy hill?” (1)  This is an appropriate question for someone like David who’s greatest desire was to live in the presence of God all the days of his life (Psalm 27:4)  In verses 2-5, David gave ten principles regarding worship before the Lord.  These principles are not about how much God loves us or about our freedom to call on Him at any time. They reflect David’s heart on who may worship in God’s sanctuary?  Those who:

  • Lead blameless lives. Our hearts are motivated by the desire to live a life of integrity before God and others.
  • Do what is right.  Our actions promote good.  They may not be the easy thing to do, but they are the right thing to do.
  • Speak the truth.  Our words are not clouded by little white lies and deception.
  • Refuse to gossip.  Even when it may hamper our popularity and acceptance with some, we refuse to backbite and speak unkindly about others.
  • Refuse to harm a neighbor.  We do not negatively influence how others view our neighbors, co-workers and others in order to promote ourselves.
  • Refuse to speak evil of a friend.  We treat our friends with loyalty and honor in the presence of others.
  • Show honor to God’s faithful followers, not to the ungodly.  We do not celebrate those who live ungodly lives, but honor those who are faithful to God.
  • Keep promises even when it hurts.  We are faithful to our word, and others can depend on it regardless of how it affects our own well-being.
  • Lend money without charging interest.  We lend to those who are in need without attempting to get rich off of them.
  •  Cannot be bribed to lie about the innocent. There is not an amount of money that could cause us to compromise our integrity.

It’s interesting that David’s answer to the question of who may worship in God’s sanctuary has nothing to do with how we approach God on the outset, but everything to do with how we approach our relationships with others.  It’s in our treatment of others that we show God how much we truly love Him, “He loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins…since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love each other…if we love each other, God lives in us, and His love is brought to full expression in us.” (I John 4:10-12)

Psalm 15 ends with a promise, “Such people will stand firm forever.” (5)  For those who serve God in this way, no storm can move them; no hazards can displace them because they have not given place to the enemy.  Their righteous lives of integrity will allow them to stand firm forever before Him in worship.

Moving Forward:   May nothing I do or say to others today disrupt my worship before the Lord.  I want to stand firm in His presence. 

Tomorrow @ Job 11-12