Daily Fiber
for the soul

by Edward E. Thomason

PSALM 15
SLICE ONE: LEARNING
(feed your head)

The "crust" of the matter:
The Psalmist opens with a probing question: "Who is fit to be a guest in Godís abode?"

Ingredients this serving:
Ps 15:1 The question asked
Ps 15:2-5 The question answered

Who is fit to be Godís guest?

Lesson: Some are atheists by faith and others are atheists by practice. (In other words, while some might not say they do not believe that God actually exists, their actions and deeds convey that the same thing is believed "in their heart.")

Psalm 15:1 Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill?

Lesson: made his presence known in the days of David. His reference to the holy hill may have been a reference to Zion, one of the hills on which Jerusalem was built and upon which Solomonís temple was later constructed. These dwellings were only shadows of what was to come. 

The terms "temple and Zion" are figuratively used in the New Testament to refer to the church and to Heaven. (Cf., Ephesians 2:21-22, Hebrews 12:22, Rev. 14:1)
The question asked has nothing to do with how one gains entrance as a guest. It is about continual fitness after one has gained entrance. Today we might ask, "How might we as Christians remain fit and worthy guests in Godís house the church?" Or, "Who is fit to be a guest in Godís abode (his church)?"
David may have expected the Lord to reply with a list of various temple rituals and physical attributes. But instead we learn that the Lord looks at the heart of his guests. He expects purity of heart, mind and conscience. Jesus would later say: "Blessed are the pure in heart; for they shall see God." (Matthew 5:8.) Worthiness has nothing to do with heritage, physical ability or ritual. It has to do with purity of heart and actions

People of Integrity

Psalm 15:2-3 He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbor, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbor.

Comments to munch on:
The Lordís hospitality is not extended to just anyone and everyone but to those who walk (or live) uprightly. This list is not exhaustive nor all encompassing but David learns that those who wish to be Godís guest must be people of integrity. (Someone who does what is right and speaks truth "in his heart" or with a clear conscience.)
 

1. Discuss what is meant by "worketh righteousness." (Cf., Acts 10:34-35 with Titus 3:5) While works of righteousness are not what saves us, we cannot expect to be saved without them.



Cf., James 2:14-26.) Can one do unrighteous things and expect to become or remain Godís guest?
2. How important is complete truthfulness to God? Can oneís words be correct but not the complete truth? How important is oneís trustworthiness in speech to God?
3. How one uses his or her tongue is often an indication of how much integrity one possesses. Those who gossip, slander, back bite, or create a scandal to harm another or simply try to see what dirt they can dig up unnecessarily to say against their ne
ighbor are not walking uprightly in the eyes of God. James 1:26 teaches us that those who fail to bridle their tongue have a religion that is vain. 4.Discuss ways that people use their tongues to do evil to one another.

People with a clear allegiance

Psalm 15:4a In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoreth them that fear the Lord.

Comments to munch on:

1. Often the world makes heroes of worldly men and women who practice fornication and vulgarity. How difficult is it to find honorable men and women to praise and look to as an example for our children?
2. Just how vile (morally base and degenerate) must one be before we finally look upon them with contempt? Does the world see us standing with moral conviction and in opposition to sin?
3. Are we becoming "conditioned" by the world to look the other way, to not be embarrassed or ashamed by various acts of immorality? What are some ways that may contribute to our becoming conditioned to vulgarity and immorality?

People who do not evade responsibility

Psalm 15:4b He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not.

There may be times when one makes a rash promise. He may have second thoughts about the wisdom of his vows. There may be ways to remain honorable and get out of a contract or promise made. But if there is no way to remain honorable and be released, then the upright will keep his word although it means that he will suffer some personal loss or harm.

1. It is in business dealings that this attribute may be seen most often. Discuss some situations where one might suffer loss or wrong rather than break his promise or word. Which is more important to you: "Your word or your money?"

People who are generous and benevolent toward others

Psalm 15:5a He that putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent.

Comments to munch on:
The term "usury" refers to interest gained by loaning money. Under the Old Testament law, the Jews could loan money to a stranger and gain interest but they were forbidden to require interest from a loan to a brother. (Deut. 23:19-20). The main purpose of lending money was to help the poor (Lev. 25:35-36). Under the New Testament, there is nothing forbidding one making interest on a loan as long as it is not excessive. 



(See the parable of the talents where interest was gained.) But certainly the principle of not taking advantage of the poor or of a friend is taught.

1. God always condemns extortion and encourages generosity. Discuss how generosity in loaning money is one way of helping to "bear one anotherís burdens."

People who are steadfast

Psalm 15:5b He that doeth these things shall never be moved.

Comments to munch on:
As one "doeth (continually practices) these things (walks uprightly)" he has a sense of security in Godís abode. He shall never be moved. (Cf., Psalm 16:8, Romans 12:1-2, 2 Peter 1:5-10.)

1. Discuss the commitment that it takes to be steadfast and to do the right things in a world that rewards those who do the wrong things.

SLICE TWO: LIVING
(nourish your soul)

1. Discuss what is happening to the "righteous indignation among Godís people today?

A FEW MORE CRUMBS
(fragments overlooked)

Lesson: Take a moment to read 2 Peter 1:5-10 and discuss the similarities of this text to this Psalm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Edward Thomason - copyright © 2000