Summary: Living Right. (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
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: