Psalm 15 – Living A Blameless Life

Psalm 15

1 LORD, who may dwell in your sacred tent? Who may live on your holy mountain? 2 The one whose walk is blameless, who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from their heart; 3 whose tongue utters no slander, who does no wrong to a neighbor, and casts no slur on others; 4 who despises a vile person but honors those who fear the LORD; who keeps an oath even when it hurts, and does not change their mind; 5 who lends money to the poor without interest; who does not accept a bribe against the innocent. Whoever does these things will never be shaken. Psalm 15:1-5

God calls his people to be morally upright, and in this psalm, he gives us ten standards to determine how we are doing. We live among evil people whose standards and morals are eroding. Our standards for living should not come from our evil society, but from God.

What is the easiest way to tell if an item is counterfeit? Comparison to the real thing. God shows us here what the real thing is in regard to Christianity so we compare ourselves – and others after ourselves – to it.

I. The one whose walk is blameless (Psalm 15:2)

    A. “Blameless” not “perfect”
    B. Not “no charges,” but no charges that stick
    C. His life is complete, all essential aspects of character are present

II. [He] who does what is righteous (Psalm 15:2)

    A. He practices rectitude
    B. The man who puts integrity into his life
    C. No man is worthy to be called a friend of God who does not habitually do that which is right

III. [He] who speaks the truth from their heart (Psalm 15:2)

    A. Sincerity as opposed to outward show or mere profession
    B. The truth dwells in his heart, and he speaks it there first before he expresses it with his tongue
    C. He speaks the truth because he loves the truth; it has been said, “Truth is God’s daughter”

IV. [He] whose tongue utters no slander (Psalm 15:3)

    A. “He who has no slander” – and what he says reveals his character in the normal course of life
    B. This is from the Hebrew word “to foot it”
    C. Described

      1. Slow to believe evil of another
      2. Does not find pleasure in evil
      3. Does not originate evil report
      4. Does not readily affirm such when spoken by others
      5. Believes evil report only in the ace of overwhelming evidence
      6. Believes evil report, when forced, contrary to the desires of his heart

V. [He] who does no wrong to a neighbor (Psalm 15:3)

    A. This phrase adds deed to word
    B. “He who bridles his tongue will not give a license to his hand” (C. H. Spurgeon)

VI. [He who] casts no slur on others (Psalm 15:3)

    A. This speaks of scandal, reproach, defamatory accusation
    B. He does not pick up on what has been said about his neighbor
    C. He doesn’t transmit or add to what has been said

VII. [He] who despises a vile person but honors those who fear the LORD (Psalm 15:4)

    A. He despises and honors properly
    B. He only honors those who are honorable
    C. He does not show respect to a man of base or bad character on acount of his wealth, his position, or his rank in life
    D. He doesn’t hesitate to express his despite

VIII. [He] who keeps an oath even when it hurts, and does not change their mind (Psalm 15:4)

    A. He has sworn in a way that will injure himself, but he will not substitute something for what he has promised
    B. Converse is also true – he will break a wrong commitment even if it costs him something significant

Words are powerful, and how you use them reflects on your relationship with God. Perhaps nothing so identifies Christians as their ability to control their speech – speaking the truth, refusing to slander, and keeping promises. Watch out for what you say. (James 3:1-12 has something to say about this.)

IX. [He] who lends money to the poor without interest (Psalm 15:5)

    A. A Commercial lending was unknown then
    B. This has to do with usurious lending to the poor or to one’s spiritual brothers
    C. The basic meaning – he who does not take advantage of those in distress

X. [He] who does not accept a bribe against the innocent (Psalm 15:5)

    A. Common in many places to bribe in justice area
    B. This man will not allow his justice and equity to be tampered with by anyone

God was against the Jews’ charging interest (usury) or making a profit on loans to the needy, fellow Jews, although charging interest on loans to foreigners was allowed (Deuteronomy 23:20). Interest was also allowable for business purposes, as long as it wasn’t exorbitant (Proverbs 28:8).

One can tell a counterfeit by comparison. This is true of people as well as things. Just as a bill may be a bit defaced and still be genuine, God can see the same with people.