15 Lord, who may dwell in your sanctuary?
Who may live on your holy hill?
2 He whose walk is blameless
and who does what is righteous,
who speaks the truth from his heart
3 and has no slander on his tongue,
who does his neighbor no wrong
and casts no slur on his fellowman,
4 who despises a vile man
but honors those who fear the Lord,
who keeps his oath
even when it hurts,
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.
THE BIG QUESTION: Who may dwell? (v 1)
· 2 Samuel 5:1-16 tells us the story of when Jerusalem became known as the “City of David” and subsequently the “City of God”. This is the object of the reference of “sanctuary” and “holy hill”. Jerusalem is located on a hill. It was a very well protected (“he who has the high ground has already won the battle”) and was the sight of the temple Solomon built.
· Hebrews 12:19-25 tells us, as believers, that the ultimate “City of God” is not Jerusalem in Israel but new Jerusalem in heaven.
· The requirements for entering Jerusalem in Israel was simple: be Jewish or a convert to Judasim. There were ceremonial rituals which were intended to give you a focus on holy things.
· The requirement to enter heaven is completely different. It is not the outward ritual that grants us access into heaven but faith in Jesus Christ and His atoning sacrifice for us. So even more importantly today, “Who may dwell” in this most holy sanctuary?
THE BIG ANSWER: The righteous. (vv2-5)
· The righteous are the only ones who may gain entrance to this sanctuary not made by human hands.
· The lives of the righteous are marked by these three things found in verse 2 and expanded upon in the following verses:
o Blameless Character
§ 2a “He whose walk is blameless”
§ 4a “who despises a vile man”
· The principle here is not so much that the righteous person despises the vile man but is able to discern his wickedness. Oftentimes we throw ourselves into trouble because we have so little ability to discern truth from error that we blindly follow our “gut”.
§ 4b “honors those who fear the LORD”
· Here some more Hebrew parallelism (despise the vile verses honor those who fear the LORD) that also serves to remind us that as righteous people we will honor other righteous people.
o “honor” is the Hebrew word kabad (kaw-bad’) which means to “make great or make heavy”. We are to lift up the righteous. It carries a very similar word picture to what we would call “encouragement”
o Righteous Conduct
§ 2b “and who does what is righteous”
§ 5a “who lends his money without usury” (that is, interest)
· Lit. “he does not put the bite on them”).
· Charging interest to an Israelite brother was forbidden as unbrotherly (Ex 22:25; Lev 25:36)
· The righteous are marked by the fact that they were honest in their business dealings and with their brothers in faith.
§ 5b “and does not accept a bribe against the innocent.”
· In these times, there was very, very little the average citizen could do about a corrupt judge or politician. We have the ability to vote, they didn’t.
· So, those who belong to the LORD (Christ) are not corrupt but are fair and honest.
o Truthful Conversation
§ 2c “who speaks truth from his heart”
· The righteous are honest.
§ 3 “and has no slander on His tongue, who does his neighbor no wrong and casts no slur on his fellowman”
· The righteous is truthful and even when the truth hurts, they have a heart that desires to do their neighbor no harm.
· It doesn’t mean they don’t tell the truth when it hurts but their motive is pure.
§ 4c “who keeps his oath even when it hurts”
· The righteous are marked by not just a simple honestly but keeping their word even when it hurts them!
· The righteous are marked blameless character, righteous conduct, and truthful conversation and as a result, they may approach God’s holy hill, they may dwell in His house.
· The Lord assures us, then, (5b) “He who does these things will never be shaken.”
o We don’t have to be afraid of earthquakes, eviction notices, fires, rebellious friends or family.
o Not only do we get to live with our Lord, but we also have the promise of divine protection and security.
· What an amazing love this is for us!