Psa. 15:0 ¶ A Psalm of David.
Point is made that this is a psalm of David. It is an uplifting but challenging Psalm about the character of a righteous person.
Psa. 15:1 ¶ LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill?
This song of David opens with a question to the LORD as to who will get to dwell in His presence.
It is understood by the psalmist that morality is determined and defined by God—not man.
Psa. 15:2 He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart.
As David begins to ponder the question, I believe the Holy Spirit begins to speak to his heart. The first three qualifying traits that come to David’s mind are:
One who walks uprightly is one who lives with moral integrity. One who works righteousness is one who chooses to do what is right and just. They pretty much go hand-in-hand I think. It is understood that no one can be perfect, but this person strives to be so. Overt sin is an aberration in this person’s life; it does not characterize him.
I thought David’s wording on the next character trait was interesting, one who “speaks truth in his heart.” It’s not just important for one to speak the truth publicly; it’s probably even more important to speak truth in one’s heart, the place where only God is our witness. People will choose to say things for many different motives, sometimes pretending to believe one thing while harboring a different truth in their hearts—like many politicians today. What goes on in one’s heart testifies to one’s true character. John spoke about such people.
1 John 1:6 “If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth:”
Psa. 15:3 He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour.
The next three traits David identifies are:
A backbiter is one who is a tale-bearer, a gossip; one who slanders another. To do no evil is actually to do what is good. To reproach someone is to act with intent to disgrace or bring shame upon someone. The Hebrew basically defines our neighbor as kinfolk or a friend. Again, these character traits basically go hand-in-hand.
Adam Clarke: “The words backbite and backbiter come from the Anglo-Saxon bac, the back, and to bite….but it was intended to convey the treble sense of knavishness, cowardice, and brutality. He is a knave, who would rob you of your good name; he is a coward, that would speak of you in your absence what he dared not to do in your presence; and only an ill-conditioned dog would fly at and bite your back when your face was turned.”
Psa. 15:4 In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the LORD. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not.
The one whom God will have dwell in His presence is one who does not hold in esteem those who are morally impure, whose lives are characterized by sin. He will choose to honor those that show that they reverence God by how they live.
This is a constant challenge for us all, but especially for young people in particular today. Those that are esteemed as role models are often those that live the most worldly lives—actors, athletes, entertainers, the rich and famous, etc. I have heard the media tout famous people as role models for our children whose lives show them to be in direct rebellion against God—even though they may claim otherwise. The moral culture of our day is getting ever closer to that of the days of Noah.
Genesis 6:5 “And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”
Truth from the prophet Isaiah still speaks to us today.
Isaiah 5:20–21 “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight! Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink: Which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him! Therefore as the fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff, so their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust: because they have cast away the law of the LORD of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.”
The last part of verse 4 describes one who keeps his promises, even when it may be to his own disadvantage. Again, in today’s culture one’s promise is not honored as it once was. It’s especially sad when parents easily put aside promises made to their children and then try to justify it by declaring something else more important than they are.
Psa. 15:5 He that putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent. He that doeth these things shall never be moved.
In closing, David identifies two more character traits:
These two character traits are pretty self-explanatory. Both speak to having a healthy outlook on money and a heart to help and protect those in need and the innocent. Scripture is clear in declaring the love of money to be the root of all evil.
1 Timothy 6:10 “For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”
It is so true! Our culture is one of always wanting more—never having enough. How often have you heard the phrase “follow the money” when it comes to getting to the source of evil and corruption? I believe that is the driving force behind the political establishment that has reacted so violently to Donald Trump. He is trying to do things to put the brakes on their plans to basically enslave the masses. The closer we get to a one-world order, the greater will be the divide between the haves and the have-nots—no matter what they say to the contrary. Sad to say, they will get their day—but only for a short while; and it certainly won’t be what they expected. Jesus is coming soon and will establish His kingdom in righteousness. I can hardly wait!!
David closes with the thought that people with the kind of character he has described in this psalm are strong in faith, people who are true role models.