Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the three-year lectionary.
Psalm 15, our Psalm for this week, speaks of a kind of righteousness which places someone in God’s dwelling place. What is this like? In five short verses we see many requirements. The person who would dwell with God is blameless. He does right. He speaks truth, not just in his mouth but in hisheart. He speaks well of others and works for their good. He honors the godly and despises the vile. He is willing to be harmed rather than break his word. He allows others to use his resources as needed, freely.
Does this seem to good to be true? We are faced with two different possibilities when we deal with texts like this one. We might say they don’t mean what they say, that God doesn’t really require such a standard. That way we have a Bible text that tells us how we need to behave. If we lower God’s standards sufficiently we can do it. Maybe we can be thought of well and normally be true, speaking well, and really not hating our friends. We decide that taking the interest is all right as long as we are not gouging too badly. Then again, that isn’t a fair way to work with the Scripture. God said this and he means it.
Our other approach can be to realize, with most of the history of Christianity, that the Psalms are about Jesus. What is Jesus like? He is the one who is in perfect unity with the Father. He is blameless. He always does what is right. He is the one who is truthful, for he is the truth. He speaks rightly. He does no evil, only good. He does not even condemn the one who is his betrayer. He rightly condemns those who are unrepentant. They are vile in his sight. He honors those who come to him in sorrow for their sin. He gives his people use of all the riches of heaven. He will never be shaken. This is great news. After all, he is the one who promises to be with with all those who believe on him, caring for them, to the end of the world.
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