Psalm 15

Benjamin Franklin once called Psalm 15 the “Gentleman’s Psalm.” To him, it represented the standard of life after which a gentleman should pattern his walk. David’s song is better described as the “Worshipper’s Psalm.” It sets forth, not so much the way a person should live, but how one can live in the presence of the Lord. It doesn’t deal with how someone finds God, but rather how one lives in order to be found by God.

Its outline is simple:

The Question (v. 1)
The song opens with two questions to determine the qualifications for living in God’s presence. These questions speak not only to being at home with God while here on earth, but also to our habitation with God in heaven. In other words, there are earthly and eternal implications found in these questions. The questioner understands God is the Host; we, the worshippers, are the guests. It is His house we are visiting.

The Answer (vv. 2-5)
The question is answered by describing the person’s character qualified to be a guest of God. Eleven standards or requirements are identified for people entering God’s presence. These 11 characteristics are divided into five subsets.

The people entering into God’s presence have:
A character that is true (v. 2). A person of character is most concerned about what is right. There is no duplicity, no double talk, no forked tongue, no deception, no hidden agenda. The person of character is careful about how he or she lives, where one goes and what one says—the person walks and talks in the realm of truth.

Billy Graham, speaking to a world conference of national evangelists, declared that our modern world is looking for men and women of integrity. Several months later in an interview, the word popped up again: “Graham says he will be content with a simple epitaph for his life and ministry: ‘A sinner saved by grace; a man who, like the psalmist, walked in his integrity. I’d like people to remember that I had integrity.'”

Words that are restrained (v. 3). Nothing is more powerful than the words we say. Nothing reflects more on our relationship with God than our speech. Small people talk about other people. Great people talk to God.

An allegiance that is clear (v. 4). The vile man is literally a worthless reprobate, someone who is totally disinterested in spiritual things. The genuine believer with strong integrity will discern the impact such a person can have on his own spiritual walk with the Lord and will not cultivate an association with that person.

Promises that are kept (v. 4). Promises are to be kept no matter what the cost. This means that when we make a promise to God, we keep it. We are faithful. We stand by the commitment that we pledge, be it a year ago or 50 years ago.

Money that honors God (v. 5). Our actions and attitudes toward money have more to do with us not coming into God’s presence than we realize. Our money is God’s. We can’t spend it, use it, hoard it throughout the week and then seek to come into God’s presence with a tip. People entering God’s presence have their attitudes and actions toward money in proper perspective.

The Promise (v. 5)
When people live according to verses 2-5, they will be stable, solid, dependable citizens in this world. They will have nothing to fear because they are living a God-honoring and Christ-modeled life. Lives forged in integrity are reinforced with steel. They will not be moved. Another meaning comes from the context. Lives of integrity—where our word is our bond and our actions are pure and our hearts are right before God—will not be moved away from His presence. He will welcome us, delight in us, and be honored to have us in His presence. A holy God accepts holy people.

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