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Psalm 15





This short Psalm has much to say to us that we could and should learn from.  But as we will see momentarily, we need to view this Psalm through the lens of the Gospel.  This will not change the truth of it but it will impact the application of the truth.

The Psalm starts with the question of who can be a dwell or abide in God’s sanctuary.  This literally means who can be a guest in God’s tabernacle or tent.  The second and follow-up question is who is able to live with God on His holy hill or on Zion. 

Both of these questions really are about who can be in relationship with God.  That is an incredibly important question that we all need to ask and then we all need to seek a Biblical answer.

As the Psalmist contemplates this, he gives us two requirements of who can be in God’s tent on God’s hill with Him.  One of those is the person has to walk blamelessly.  This concept speaks to being complete or sincere or perfectly whole.  It refers to someone who is living in obedience to God and who is maintaining a life of integrity.  The second requirement is the one who does what is right or who does what is righteous.  In other words, his life is in harmony with God’s standards.

Beginning with the end of verse 2 through the first part of verse 5, the Psalmist gives us the characteristics of being blameless and righteous.  It begins with speaking truth and not engaging in slandering or speaking falsely about others.  It moves on to treating others right. 

In verse 4, we find that blameless and righteous folks despise those who do vile, despicable things but honor those who try to live according to God’s words.  The last part of verse 4 speaks of one who keeps his word even when it has a great personal cost to it. 

Verse 5 speaks of not charging interest when money is loaned to a brother and not taking a bribe to bring false testimony against the innocent.

Then the Psalm ends with the statement that living blamelessly and righteously gives you a solid foundation to stand on.

Now here is the thing.  When David wrote this, the people of God lived under the Law of God.  Those laws dictated how life was to be lived.  Their ability to live that way was the basis for the depth of their personal relationship with God.

We are not under the Law today but instead are in grace.  Among other things that means our relationship with God is not earned by our obedience or deeds.  Instead our relationship with God is a gift of his grace received by the faith He gives us to believe in Him.  It is because our grace relationship that our lifestyles should resemble what we read about in this Psalm.  In other words, living the way this Psalm dictates is not how we are saved.  But if we are saved, we should live like this Psalm declares.

Posted by Joe Ligon with

Psalm 14





This Psalm starts with a startling statement: “The fool has said in his heart there is no God”.  The concept of fool here is not just an intellectual deficiency.  It also includes a moral deficiency.  In the Hebrew, the word Nabal refers to a stupid and wicked person.

The practical result of being such a fool is there is no reason for any morality.  If there is indeed no God, then there is no reason to live a particular way.  If there is no God, then you can live with impunity.  As the rest of verse 1 says, they are, therefore, corrupt.  The concept of corrupt here refers to destruction or spoiling.  They are also guilty of abominable or vile deeds.  These would be things that God hates. 

There is a great lesson here for us as individuals, families, and as a country.  The further we get away from God, the worse we become.  The more we convince ourselves that there is no God, the more evil and abhorrent we will become.  As our nation continues to turn away from God, we have readily accepted any lifestyle that anyone wants to live as a personal choice and even as a civil right.  The result is a most immoral culture and a worsening spiritual darkness.

Regardless of how bad humanity becomes, God is still on His throne.  He is still in power.  And His plan is still in place.  In verse 2, He looks down upon all humanity to see if there are any who understand.  The word understand here refers to a wisdom or an intelligence.  In other words the one who is wise is the opposite of the one who is the fool in verse one.  Don’t miss the fact that the fool says there is no God.  But the wise seek after God.

As the Psalmist continues he speaks in absolutes: all have turned aside.  In verse 3, we read that “together” they have become corrupt.  As evil men cooperate, their corruption multiplies.  The word corrupt here, by the way, means spoiled as in spoiled milk.

In verse 4, the Psalmist characterizes those who are evil doers because they are fools.  He says they devour God’s people like someone would eat bread. But the reality is they should be in great dread because God is always on the side of the righteous.  Evil people may try to take advantage of the poor but God is their refuge, their safe place.

As the Psalm comes to close, the Psalmist looks to the establishment of God’s Kingdom on this earth.  This overlooks the time that Jesus would come as the suffering servant who would be the Savior of the World.  It instead looks to the time of the Millennial Kingdom when Jesus will set up His Kingdom over this world.

The Psalm ends with the thought that the establishment of this kingdom should bring great joy and gladness to the people of God.  As the John the Revelator wrote at the end of the Revelation: “Even so, come quickly Lord Jesus”.

Posted by Joe Ligon with

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