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The Gravity of Psalm 15

David makes a difficult point in Psalm 15 that is often not completely understood by people who are unfamiliar with the whole of the biblical message. He begins his song by asking the question “who can dwell with God in his house on his mountain? He then answers that lyricized rhetorical question throughout the majority of the rest of his song. Such a person must meet multiple qualifications. The one who can dwell and live with God is the one who is blameless, does what is right, speaks truth, and never wrongs a neighbor. It is someone who hates a vile person. The same person then honors those who fear God. They keep their oaths and do not change their minds. They lend money to the poor without accepting interest, and they never accept bribes against the innocent. David says such a person is unshakable.

Where do you find such a person? The bible tells us that no such person exists apart from Jesus. In fact, Paul, quoting the ancient psalms, tells us that there is not a single righteous person; that no one seeks after God; that not even one single person does good; that the tongues of men are full of deceit, and that poison is on their lips. He sums up his assessment by arguing that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:9-23). The Old Testament tells us that the human heart is desperately wicked and beyond cure and that you’re not even aware of it (Jeremiah 17:9). Think about that. It’s beyond cure - which means it’s not fixable, at least not by you. Plus no one is able to figure out the depths of how bad it really is!

Thankfully, though, it isn’t unfixable by the God who made us. It is our realization that his death in the place of us starts the process of fixing those hearts. When we really realize that he died for our wrong doing, and transferred to us his goodness, we develop a love that transforms us. We begin to love him, and to love others, because he first loved us (1 John 4:7-19). It is a transformational process that turns us into new creatures. We begin to love others, and to reflect fruits such as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness and self-control. The sacrificial work of Jesus transforms us into the kind of person that can dwell in the house of the Lord, and on his holy mountain! But there is something even better than that. The reason that we are able to dwell in his house and on his mountain isn’t just because he makes us into the good people described in David’s song. We become those kinds of people, because he makes us into sons and daughters - actual members of a divine and royal family (John 1:12-13). This process is so complete and radical, that we become like Jesus (John 3:1-3).

So the person that David sings of is the person who knows the Lord and has been changed by him. Do you know the Lord?

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