The Character of Those Who May Dwell with the Lord
A Psalm of David.
15 Lord, who may [a]abide in Your tabernacle?
Who may dwell in Your holy hill?
2 He who walks uprightly,
And works righteousness,
And speaks the truth in his heart;
3 He who does not backbite with his tongue,
Nor does evil to his neighbor,
Nor does he [b]take up a reproach against his friend;
4 In whose eyes a vile person is despised,
But he honors those who fear the Lord;
He who swears to his own hurt and does not change;
5 He who does not put out his money at usury,
Nor does he take a bribe against the innocent.
He who does these things shall never be moved.
God’s Mountain Top Dwellers and God’s Tent Dwellers
This Psalm was written by King David. A man uniquely described by God as a man after His own heart. Here in this Psalm we can see one of the reasons He earned this special accolade or description. He often conversed with God, asking deeper questions, and getting to know Him more. This Psalm is a major inflection point in the bible. It starts with a question. A question directed at God Himself. LORD, here does not mean Adon or owner, it means Jehova, meaning the Self Existing One, The Eternal God.
This question is loaded. Lord, who may [a]abide in Your tabernacle?
Who may dwell in Your holy hill?
Why did David ask this question? Was it because he has observed many coming and going and he could not understand why anyone would want to leave God’s presence? Could it be that he was expressing his deepest desire, which he confessed to in Psalm 27:4, when he said One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in his temple.
Was he trying to see if there were conditions or terms he needed to fulfil so he could have his ultimate desire, which was to dwell in God’s presence? No one can say for sure. But one thing is certain, David understood many slide down God’s Holy Hill and many leave the tents of God and it is a concern for him, perhaps deeply personal concern from his own falling and failings.
In the ensuing verses, David captures 11 character traits of those who would continuously abide on this Special Holy Hill. We will review them one by one as they are most revealing what God expects in our character.
But it is important to start by letting every Christian know that we all have been made to dwell on this mountain by faith in Christ Jesus. We are permanently located in God’s tabernacle by faith and grace we stay there by faith and grace. We did not get up on this mountain by fulfilling the law, but by accepting the fulfiller of the law, Our Lord Jesus Christ. He alone could climb this mountain and He alone has the right to dwell there permanently and it is by Him alone that we can even dare to access this mountain and it is certainly by Jesus Christ alone that we can dwell on this mountain.
So, what is the problem? Why do we need to analyse these conditions and understand them?
Two reasons come to mind.
- This is the character we are to manifest to those who look at us and desire to come up the mountain and will most certainly fail because it is impossible with man but possible with God. So when people observe us living this life and manifesting these character traits and they want to emulate us and they fail, we have the grace to reveal to them that we are on the mountain not because we got it right, but because we were made right and because we have been made right we can now live right.
- The second reason is for us. When we do not manifest this character traits, something goes awry in our lives. We lose our sense of peace and presence of God. We slip down the mountain and feel outside the tent of God, and a quick review of these traits will let us know where we have gone wrong and we quickly confess our errors and receive grace to be brought right back up and back into the tent.
Let’s keep this truth in our hearts and minds as we look at the 11-character traits of God’s mountain top dwellers.
Thank God today for His grace that has made us God’s Mountain Top Dwellers.