Psalm 15:1-2 – LORD, who may dwell in your sacred tent? Who may live on your holy mountain? The one whose walk is blameless…
Sometimes there are questions that you just don’t really want to ask because you’re pretty sure that the answer won’t be that good. The boy is afraid to ask the girl on the date because he may not be all that sure that she’ll say yes to his request. The employee may be afraid to ask for a raise because he/she may not be all that sure that the boss will agree with their rationale. There are questions that we don’t want to ask because we’re afraid of what an honest answer and assessment might be.
That’s why the question that the psalmist poses is such a bold and such an outlandish question. He is asking who can hang out with God knowing two things quite clearly. First, he knows that the only one who can be with God, who can live with him, and spend time in his presence is the one whose walk is blameless in every aspect. Yes, every aspect. In thoughts. In words. In actions. In what we have done. And in what shouldn’t be done. He also knows, then, that God does not put up with garbage, sin and unclean people. Who can qualify then? He just finished teaching us in Psalm 14 that no one does good, not even one. So who qualifies to be with God and dwell on his holy mountain?
The psalmist, however, confidently raises his hand and says, “I do!” Again, quite shocking until you understand from where his confidence comes. His confidence comes from the righteousness given to him by his Savior God. His confidence comes from his faith rooted in the works of his Savior. He had faith like Abraham who believed God. And what do the Scriptures say about Abraham? “[His faith] was credited to him as righteousness” (Genesis 15:6). Because he was already righteous in God’s sight through faith, he then devoted himself to living his life in the right way. He worked faithfully and tirelessly to keep his hands from wickedness and to clean his mouth of unclean speech. He worked faithfully and diligently to be the man that God had already declared him to be.
And we stand with him. Through faith we are counted as righteousness. By faith then we devote ourselves to a new way of living. By grace, then, and through faith we get to be with God in his presence. We get to live with him on his holy mountain. By grace, then, and through faith the answer to the opening question of this psalm is a confident, “I am! I do! I will!” God grant to us day by day.
Lord God, who can live with you on your holy mountain? Who can come to you in prayer? I can. Oh, I know, dear Father in heaven, that isn’t because of me and what I’ve done that you accept me. I know, dear Father, that isn’t because I’ve been clean that you welcome me. I’ve often been the very opposite of what you expect. But you cleaned by the waters of my baptisms and declared me fit for your kingdom. You clothed me in Christ’s righteousness and set me on my feet so that I might serve and follow you. Help me live a life worthy of the calling you gave me at my baptism. Help me to walk in the footsteps of your commands. After all, you have set me free and welcomed me into your presence. Amen.