Summary: A study in the book of Psalms 15: 1 - 5
Psalm 15: 1 – 5
Using the flipside of scripture
1 LORD, who may abide in Your tabernacle? Who may dwell in Your holy hill? 2 He who walks uprightly, and works righteousness, and speaks the truth in his heart; 3 He who does not backbite with his tongue, nor does evil to his neighbor, nor does he take up a reproach against his friend; 4 In whose eyes a vile person is despised, but he honors those who fear the LORD; He who swears to his own hurt and does not change; 5 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.
Did I get your attention with today’s topic? Satan and the fallen angels have been around since the beginning. They know what the Scripture says. This is what Satan scrambled to deceive Eve, ‘hast God said.’
In today’s scripture we see the flip side of how some evil people invested in the world. There is a term listed today called ‘Usury’ which is what we call today ‘interest’. Our Holy God foreseeing the evil side of this financial action could cause gave a command that His elect people could not charge another Israelite ‘usury’ on any financial activity.
In the book of Leviticus chapter 25 He teaches, “35 ‘If one of your brethren becomes poor, and falls into poverty among you, then you shall help him, like a stranger or a sojourner, that he may live with you. 36 Take no usury or interest from him; but fear your God, that your brother may live with you. 37 You shall not lend him your money for usury, nor lend him your food at a profit. 38 I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, to give you the land of Canaan and to be your God.”
So, looking at the Scripture some thought if God does not want this to happen perhaps this is a way that they could enrich their earthly existence by doing exactly what He said not to do. They applied the flip side of scripture and not only charged ridiculous interest rates on foreigners (that’s all us gentiles) but in addition started to rip off their fellow brother and sister Israelites.
Our Great and Holy Creator God would not go along with this sin. They were breaking the two greatest commandments. To love the Lord God with all your heart, mind, and strength, and to love their neighbor as themselves. This horrible sinful action would not be tolerated by our Merciful and Gracious God Yahweh.
This psalm is called only ‘a psalm of David’. It is a psalm of approach. Possibly it was sung, with responses, when the people approached the tabernacle in assembly during feasts.
1 LORD, who may abide in Your tabernacle? Who may dwell in Your holy hill?
It is a further psalm in the Davidic collection. The reference to the Tabernacle or Dwelling place suggests the pre-Solomonic nature of the Psalm.
As the people begin to consider their approach to God’s Dwelling place they ask themselves the question, quite rightly, as to who has the right to sojourn in His Tent, that is, be there on a temporary basis. Then the question becomes a little stronger. Who has the right to take up a dwelling in His holy hill? The point is that to approach near to YHWH’s Dwelling place is a serious thing, and only open to those qualified. The former situation may be thinking of the people, the latter of their representatives the priests. They are conscious that both situations represent a great privilege. Or the latter question may be as to who has the right to establish their camp there during the feasts. The questions by their nature acknowledge that not all are to be having the right.
The reply follows in detail. It is very significant, however, that it is not the religious requirements but the moral requirements that come to the fore. Both priests and people who would approach God must be pure and holy in their lives. That is the first requirement. The very purpose of their approach is to offer sacrifices and to worship God in accordance with His ordinances. But it emphasizes that genuine moral purity rather than ritual requirements is primary with God.
2 He who walks uprightly, and works righteousness, and speaks the truth in his heart; 3 He who does not backbite with his tongue, nor does evil to his neighbor, nor does he take up a reproach against his friend; 4 In whose eyes a vile person is despised, but he honors those who fear the LORD; He who swears to his own hurt and does not change; 5 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.