Is anyone good enough for God? That’s a question lots of us probably ask. Often, we probably think we’re not good enough. Depending on what we read in the Bible, that conclusion is easy to confirm. And yet, it’s wrong. Very wrong.
Just read Psalm 15 below, and see what you think.
Psalm 15 A psalm of David. Ps 15:1 LORD, who may dwell in your sanctuary? Who may live on your holy hill? Ps 15:2 He whose walk is blameless and who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from his heart Ps 15:3 and has no slander on his tongue, who does his neighbor no wrong and casts no slur on his fellowman, Ps 15:4 who despises a vile man but honors those who fear the LORD, who keeps his oath even when it hurts, Ps 15:5 who lends his money without usury and does not accept a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things will never be shaken.
Some background on Psalm 15
About the time I was preparing a study of this psalm I also preached on Romans 8:4, pointing out that the end for which God saves us is not merely that we might escape from hell but that we might live righteous lives. The words of the text say that God condemned sin in Christ “in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.”
Shortly after preaching that sermon I received a note from someone, asking, “What is this righteous requirement of the law we are to meet? What exactly is required of us?”
It was a good question, and I answered it as you might expect. The law is the law given to us in the Old Testament, and the righteous requirements of the law are what we normally call the moral law. The moral law is summarized in the Ten Commandments, interpreted by the rest of the Bible. The best explanation of the moral law is given by Jesus, who spoke of it in terms of the first and second great commandments. The first: “Love the Lord your God with all your Heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” The second: “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matt. 22:37, 39; the commands are from Deut. 6:5 and Lev. 19:18). This is the standard to which God is leading his people. What God wants for us is that we might be like Jesus Christ.
The Question of the Psalm
Apparently, this is the question David was also asking when he composed the fifteenth psalm, inquiring, “LORD, who may dwell in your sanctuary? Who may live on your holy hill?” (v. 1). That is, what is the character of the person God approves? Or we could also say, How must we live to enjoy the fullness of fellowship with God? This is a direct, simple question, and because it is the outline of the psalm, the psalm is also quite simple. First, David asks the question. Then, he provides a series of representative answers. 1
Is anyone good enough for God?
The whole background section for this Psalm was rather technical. Not from a Biblical analysis so much, but in its analysis of Hebrew poetry. I almost left it out for this Psalm. But that seemed like an odd thing to do. So there it is.
However, since this is sort of a journal, and I’m focusing on one thing that struck me on reading it, I’m going in a different direction. One the author I’m using for background never got into. Other than a subtitle in the book.
With that, let’s get into it.
Who may live with God?
As I said, David’s questions in the first verse are common to many of us today.
Ps 15:1 LORD, who may dwell in your sanctuary?
Who may live on your holy hill?
Very simple. Straightforward. And important.
How can anyone be good enough to live with God?
However, after reading the rest of the Psalm, it’s impossible to imagine that anyone could ever be good enough to live with God.
But here’s a question. Was David good enough to live with God?
OK – two questions. Does David live with God?
The answer to the first two questions is yes.
Well, one more question. Why was David good enough to live with God?
Why was David good enough to live with God?
There’s a passage in 1 Samuel, repeated in Acts, that tells us why David was good enough to live with God.
Samuel Rebukes Saul
1Sa 13:1 Saul was thirty years old when he became king, and he reigned over Israel forty- two years.
1Sa 13:2 Saul chose three thousand men from Israel; two thousand were with him at Micmash and in the hill country of Bethel, and a thousand were with Jonathan at Gibeah in Benjamin. The rest of the men he sent back to their homes.
1Sa 13:3 Jonathan attacked the Philistine outpost at Geba, and the Philistines heard about it. Then Saul had the trumpet blown throughout the land and said, “Let the Hebrews hear!” 4 So all Israel heard the news: “Saul has attacked the Philistine outpost, and now Israel has become a stench to the Philistines.” And the people were summoned to join Saul at Gilgal.
1Sa 13:5 The Philistines assembled to fight Israel, with three thousand chariots, six thousand charioteers, and soldiers as numerous as the sand on the seashore. They went up and camped at Micmash, east of Beth Aven. 6 When the men of Israel saw that their situation was critical and that their army was hard pressed, they hid in caves and thickets, among the rocks, and in pits and cisterns. 7 Some Hebrews even crossed the Jordan to the land of Gad and Gilead.
Saul remained at Gilgal, and all the troops with him were quaking with fear. 8 He waited seven days, the time set by Samuel; but Samuel did not come to Gilgal, and Saul’s men began to scatter. 9 So he said, “Bring me the burnt offering and the fellowship offerings.’” And Saul offered up the burnt offering. 10 Just as he finished making the offering, Samuel arrived, and Saul went out to greet him.
1Sa 13:11 “What have you done?” asked Samuel.
Saul replied, “When I saw that the men were scattering, and that you did not come at the set time, and that the Philistines were assembling at Micmash, 12 I thought, ‘Now the Philistines will come down against me at Gilgal, and I have not sought the LORD’S favor.’ So I felt compelled to offer the burnt offering.”
1Sa 13:13 “You acted foolishly,” Samuel said. “You have not kept the command the LORD your God gave you; if you had, he would have established your kingdom over Israel for all time. 14 But now your kingdom will not endure; the LORD has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him leader of his people, because you have not kept the LORD’S command.”
1Sa 13:15 Then Samuel left Gilgal and went up to Gibeah in Benjamin, and Saul counted the men who were with him. They numbered about six hundred.
It’s a bit long. Did you see the verse telling us why David was good enough to live with God?
If not, here’s a hint. The same thought is in the Psalm we’re looking at today.
Need one last hint? I mentioned the author for my background info in this series using a subtitle. Here’s that subtitle: A Man After God’s Own Heart.
So here are the two verses, with the key portions underlined.
Ps 15:2 He whose walk is blameless
and who does what is righteous,
who speaks the truth from his heart
1 Sa 13:14 But now your kingdom will not endure; the LORD has sought out a man after his own heart and appointed him leader of his people, because you have not kept the LORD’S command.”
And there you have it. After God’s heart.
None of us, on our own, is good enough to live with God.
However, through God, every one of us can be good enough to live with God. Because every one of us can be seen by God as being perfect.
Conclusion – Is anyone good enough for God?
Jesus spoke about what’s in our heart.
Treasures in Heaven
6:22, 23 pp — Lk 11:34-36
Mt 6:19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Mt 6:22 “The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. 23 But if your eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If then the light within you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
Mt 6:24 “No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.”
Notice especially verse 21: For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
In case you’re wondering, having our heart on “Treasures in Heaven” really can and does change the way we live. Below is one of my own experiences as an example.
Image by Alexa from Pixabay
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