Knowing Christ in Psalm 15 (pt. 2 of 2)


15 Yahweh, who may abide in Your tabernacle?
Who may dwell in Your holy hill?

He who walks uprightly,
    And works righteousness,
    And speaks the truth in his heart;
He who does not backbite with his tongue,
    Nor does evil to his neighbor,
    Nor does he take up a reproach against his friend;
In whose eyes a vile person is despised,
    But he honors those who fear Yahweh;
He who swears to his own hurt and does not change;
He who does not put out his money at usury,
    Nor does he take a bribe against the innocent.

He who does these things shall never be moved.

In Psalm 14, we saw that Yahweh looks down from heaven upon the sons of men to see if there are any who seek God.

Yahweh finds none that seek Him—not even one person.

By the end of Psalm 14, Israel is crying for a Savior, and anticipating restoration.
How and when will that joy come?

Now, in the very next Psalm, the question is posed:
Yahweh, who may abide in Your tabernacle?
Who may dwell in Your holy hill?

This Psalm is essentially asking: Who can be with God? Who is worthy to walk with Him in the courts of His temple? Or to sojourn with Him in His holy tent? Who can worship God—who can know Him?

Let’s summarize Israel’s dilemma.

In Psalm 14 the people cry out—Oh, that the salvation of Israel would come out of Zion!
In Psalm 15 the people ask—Who may dwell on Your holy hill?

Zion is the holy hill. Do you see the two problems? Salvation must come OUT of Zion, and the people must be righteous to be able to dwell IN Zion.

If there is no one good, how can salvation come out of Zion? Wouldn’t there only be wrath?

But also, if the salvation does come out of Zion, how will the people dwell in Zion? Can sinners dwell in God’s presence?

Look at out how the singular “He” is described in Psalm 15:

He who walks with integrity… works righteousness… speaks truth in His heart… swears to his own hurt… does not out His money at interest…

So, how do both problems get solved? How does salvation come out of Zion and also make people righteous enough to dwell in Zion?

The answer is singular:

The Blessed Man in Psalm 1 is the Son of God in Psalm 2. In short, Jesus Christ is Lord!

The Lord Jesus is a tree firmly planted and we are his branches. If we abide in Christ, we will bring forth fruit. This is Psalm 1 in light of John 15.

The Lord Jesus is the King of Zion and He has secured the blessings of David through His life, death, and resurrection. This is Psalm 2 in light of Acts 13.

So, what about our questions from the last post?

Q: Can we sinners sojourn in God’s tent? Can we dwell on God’s holy hill?

A: Yes, we can dwell with God, but only by being in Christ.

Q: Is Psalm 15 a prescription for what to do to get into heaven? If not, should we try to obey these things anyway?

A: Psalm 15 is a description of Christ and since our sins are forgiven through believing in Him, His resurrection secures the blessings to us, including being in God’s presence forever. This blessing includes a new heart to obey Him. We are not saved by obedience, but saved to obedience.

Dear Christian, Psalm 15 is a prayer. Know that God is holy. Know that Jesus is the only one who truly worked righteousness. But also know that you have been bought out of slavery, and given the Holy Spirit, so that you may walk before Him. You are holy by the work of Jesus, and you are being conformed to His image by faith. Look at your Savior, not your feet. Then you will walk as He walks. This is sanctification—being made like Jesus by faith in Him. When He returns for His people, you will then be like Him—glorified without sin, dwelling in God’s tent forever.

That tent is the Lord Jesus Christ. May we see Him and know Him.


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