Dwelling on God’s Mountain

Today’s Journey Through Scripture Readings: Psalm 13-15; Acts 19:21-41

15 Who can live in your tent, Lord?
    Who can dwell on your holy mountain?
The person who
    lives free of blame,
    does what is right,
        and speaks the truth sincerely;
    who does no damage with their talk,
    does no harm to a friend,
    doesn’t insult a neighbor;
    someone who despises
        those who act wickedly,
        but who honors those
        who honor the Lord;
    someone who keeps their promise even when it hurts;
    someone who doesn’t lend money with interest,
    who won’t accept a bribe against any innocent person.
Whoever does these things will never stumble.

Psalm 15:1-5, Common English Bible

Who can dwell on God’s holy mountain? Who can live in God’s tent? Both are questions David asks in Psalm 15, part of today’s Journey Through Scripture readings. For Christians, the quick and easy answer is, “Those who place their faith in Jesus Christ.” It is a reasonable assumption.

All too often, however, for Christians of the current era, we tend to read the Old Testament through the lens of Christian understanding and not in how it was written for a different group of people who lived centuries before Jesus was born.

Because the Jews of David’s era, didn’t have the one who is “the faith, the truth, and the life,” they needed another way to reach life with God, to live in God’s tent, to dwell on God’s holy mountain. David is telling them just what as necessary. David says, “The person who is blameless, does what is right, and speaks the truth sincerely.”

David’s words are hard to live by. We often say, “This person is a Godly person.” When we see such people, we see them as people who are blameless, who do what is right and who speak the truth.” But if we are speaking the truth, we also know that no one is truly blameless because we “all sin and fall short of the glory of God.”

We might be tempted to ask, “If such a person doesn’t receive eternity with God is there any hope for the rest of us?”  I am not sure how those of the Old Testament era like David would reconcile the sins existing in all their lives, (think David and Bathsheba), with being blameless.

That brings us back to the need for Jesus. For us, we know we are not blameless. We don’t always do what is right. We don’t always speak the truth. By David’s definition, we are unworthy of God’s mountain and/or God’s tent. And, because we are unworthy, we stand in need of God’s grace that comes through Jesus Christ.

Because we know David had a heart for God (that is, after all, the reason God picked David to be King) and yet we also know David, like any other human did sin. We know the story well. We do know David did live, does dwell on God’s mountain.

We receive the grace of God through Jesus Christ. David and others received grace in some other way. What we know beyond doubt, in David’s day and in ours, there is more grace in God than there is sin in us.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

With Joy and Thankfulness,
Keith

Copyright 2018, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

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