Weds 1st April - Psalm 15
Lord, who may dwell in your sacred tent?
Who may live on your holy mountain?
2 The one whose way of life is blameless,
who does what is righteous,
who speaks the truth from their heart;
3 whose tongue utters no slander,
who does no wrong to a neighbour,
and casts no slur on others;
4 who despises a vile person
but honours those who fear the Lord;
who keeps an oath even when it hurts,
and does not change their mind;
5 who lends money to the poor without interest;
who does not accept a bribe against the innocent.
Whoever does these things
will never be shaken.
- - -
Here is a contrast from Psalm 14 which opens with the words, ‘The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God”.’ Today’s Psalm assures us that there is a God and we can know and enjoy His presence. This is both reassuring and challenging as we face the ongoing unknown, both in the UK and around the world.
v1 sets the scene by asking two questions:
“Who may dwell in your sacred tent?”
Come back to the tent (tabernacle) in Exodus – the place of meeting with God and God meeting with His people. His tent was among the tents of His people. His presence was in the middle of His people.
This tent was also moveable - whenever the people of God moved on, the presence of God went with them. This is true for us today – His presence is with us wherever we go. The promises of Exodus 29:45-46 and 33:12-16 are still true today.
“Who may live on your holy mountain?”
Eventually the tent of meeting was brought to Jerusalem and was replaced when Solomon built the temple on the mountain – this was to be a permanent temple as a place where God would meet with His people.
This brings us forward to the coming of Jesus – ‘the Word became flesh and made His dwelling (tabernacled) among us’
Here is ‘Immanuel – God with us.’
David then gives us the characteristics of those who belong to God. Michael Wilcock writes, ‘God invites into His tent those He has already made His friends – these are not conditions for people who want to belong but descriptions of those who do belong.’
vs 2-5a - There are 6 pairs of these characteristics of those who belong to God:
1. Walk – blameless
Work – doing what is righteous
2. Speaks the truth
Doesn’t slander others
3. How to treat our neighbours
How not to speak about our neighbours
4. Is careful about the company we keep
Honours our brothers and sisters in the Lord
5. Keeps our promises
Doesn’t change our minds
6. Is generous
Is kind to the innocent
We who know the Lord will practise the presence of the Lord and proclaim the goodness of the Lord to others. In the presence of the Lord we are in a safe place. Thank you, God.
Thursday 2nd April - Psalm 16
Friday 3rd April - Psalm 17
Saturday 4th April - Psalm 18
Sunday 5th April - Psalm 19
Monday 6th April - Psalm 20
Tuesday 7th April - Psalm 21