Summary: Living Right. (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email:

Psalms 15: Who? & How?

Reading: Psalms 15

Quote: John J. Plomp

“You know that children are growing up when they start asking questions that have answers”.


• A friend once asked Isidor I. Rabi,

• A Nobel prize winner in science, how he became a scientist.

• The Rabi replied that every day after school;

• His mother would talk to him about his school day.

• She wasn’t so much interested in what he had learned that day,

• But she always inquired, “Did you ask a good question today?”

• Isidor I. Rabi said:

• “Asking good questions made me become a scientist.”

This Psalm starts off by God asking a good question:

(A). The Question Asked (verse 1)

“LORD , who may dwell in your sanctuary?

Who may live on your holy hill?”

Many commentators believe:

• This Psalm was written when David had been meditating on the events;

• Depicted in 2 Samuel chapter 6 verses 12-19 and 1 Chronicles chapter 13 verses 1-13.


• That was the occasion when David brought the Ark of the Covenant:

• From the house of Obed-Edom to the 'City of David';

• The Ark of the Covenant was a rectangle box.

• Made out of a special type of wood and overlaid with gold and carried on two poles.

• It contained the two stone tablets (10 Commandments);

• And Aarons rod which had budded.

• It was kept in the most holy place in the tabernacle or temple.

• Symbolically – it represented the presence of God.

• Unfortunately during the journey from the house of Obed-Edom to the 'City of David';

• It was placed on a cart and the oxen which were pulling the cart stumbled;

• This caused the Ark to topple. To save it from falling to the ground,

• Uzzah reached out his hand to steady the Ark & he was immediately struck down dead!

The writer of 2 Samuel explains why this took place:

• It was 'because of his irreverent act' (2 Samuel 6:7).

• God had given very clear and specific guidelines regarding the moving of the ark.

• David knew that the Ark was to be carried by priests and Levites;

• And should not have been on the back of a cart.

• To some extent his negligence had brought about this tragedy;

• It was a lesson he would not quickly forget (e.g. 1 Chronicles 15 verse 2).

• Now this incident made a lasting impression on David.

• It was something that he would never forget!

This experience may well be the background to the writing of both Psalm 15 and 24.

• In the light of the awesome holiness of God;

• “Who can approach him, let alone live close to him?”


• A leading newspaper that carries a daily column designed to answer readers’ queries,

• Listed the top ten unanswerable questions. Here’s one:

“I am nine years of age and have a cat that eats regularly and needs to go on a diet. He also eats mice when he is out. How many calories in a mouse?”

Unlike that 9 year olds question this one is not unanswerable:

• In fact throughout the rest of this Psalm;

• David goes on to give us an answer!

(B). The Question Answered (verse 2-5)

• David describes for us in verses 2-5;

• Qualities required of people wishing to live close to God.


• These qualities do not make a person a Christian!

• Remember this is an Old Testament (before Jesus came) Psalm.

• New Testament makes it quite clear that we are saved by faith, not by works;

• Quote: The old hymn.

“I cannot save my soul by works, for that my Lord has done!

But I will work like any slave for love of God’s dear son”

I would suggest:

• The purpose of the Psalm is not how to get right with God;

• But rather principles on how to stay close to God once you are right.


Marriage – Tell the husband.

• Pay your wife a compliment.

• Spoil her with gifts and presents.

• Tell her to put her feet up, while you do some of her many tasks;

• Now; here is the point I an trying to make:

• Those things will not make you married, but they will strengthen your relationship.

(1). Right Conduct (verse 2a).

“He whose walk is blameless

and who does what is righteous”.

A 'blameless' life here does not mean an absolutely perfect life.

• Only the Lord Jesus Christ is the only human ever to achieve that;

• He alone walked through the pages of human history without ever sinning (Heb 4:15).

Question: What it does seem to mean is this:

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