Psalm 15 begins with two questions that demand an answer, “Lord, who may dwell in your sacred tent? Who may live on your holy mountain?” That “sacred tent” and “holy mountain” were where David longed to be – in heaven and the Lord’s presence for eternity. Because Jesus is the way to heaven (John 14:6), we have the hope of heaven (1 Peter 1:3-4). This Psalm does not list any rituals to be done to enter heaven as one cannot get to heaven by doing good things (Ephesians 2:8-9). It does list morals that should be present in those who are going to heaven as we are saved for good works (Ephesians 2:10). David could not enter the holy of holies; only the high priest could do that (Hebrews 9:7). Hebrews 10:1-4 reminds us the once-a-year sacrifices made by the high priest were only reminders of the sin that the blood of bulls and goats could not permanently take away and forgive. Jesus, once for all, made the sacrifice for sin by His death on the cross (Hebrews 10:10, 12, 14). Hebrews 10:19-23 says, “Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.” To hold unswervingly to the hope we profess is not to save or keep oneself saved, but is to walk (v. 2a), act (v. 2b), and talk (v. 2c) as one who is saved. David’s point in Psalm 15 was to describe the morals of the righteous, not prescribe the rituals to become righteous.
David listed three categories of qualities, both positive and negative, of those who desired to please God. First (vv. 2a, 4a), David spoke of the character of one who dwelt with the Lord as blameless and righteous. A person of Christ-like integrity keeps his word at all costs (Proverbs 11:3), and honors the people of the Lord (Proverbs 3:9). A believer walks humbly with their God (Micah 6:8), walking just as Jesus walked (1 John 2:6). Next, David told of a righteous person’s actions (vv. 2b, 3b, 4b). They do what is righteous (Proverbs 21:3), don’t do wrong to their neighbor (Proverbs 3:27-34), and despise a vile person (Proverbs 29:27). David discussed the lending of money at no interest in Psalm 15. In that day among the Jews, a person would only borrow money when they were desperate. Charging interest would be considered taking advantage of their situation and a violation of God’s law (Exodus 22:25). Greed is a trait of the wicked while generosity is one of the righteous. The third quality David mentioned was displayed in one’s words (2c, 3a, 3c). A person of godly character and action backs that up with their words (Proverbs 18:21). It is character and action that make words believable. A godly person speaks truth from their heart (Proverbs 4:23), does not slander (Proverbs 18:10), and honors the promises they have made (Proverbs 25:14). A person who has pure character, actions, and words displays fruit of one that has been in God’s presence and will one day dwell eternally with God because of their relationship with Jesus. They will “never be shaken” (Psalm 15:5b).
1. Are you assured you are one who can dwell in the sacred tent and on the holy mountain (Psalm 15:1)?
2. Are your assurances based upon what Jesus’ character, actions, and words or yours?
3. Your character is made up of your words and actions. Are any of David’s qualities lacking in your life as a believer?
Lord, help me to rest assured my salvation will never be shaken because of your character, actions, and words. Thank You for always doing what you said and upholding your covenant. Help my character, actions, and words honor and represent You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Stephen and his wife Haley have called Arkansas home all of their lives. Stephen has served in several ministry roles over the last 25 years and as a lead pastor for the last 8 years. Stephen attended Williams Baptist College and earned a BA in Biblical Studies from Ouachita Baptist University, an MA, MDiv, and DMin in Christian Leadership and Pastoral Ministries from Liberty University. When not pastoring, Stephen enjoys running, cycling, reading, writing, camping, fishing, and spending time with his family.