I imagine someone might read Psalm 15 and turn away.
Who may abide in God’s tent? God’s holy hill? Our modern ears may hear the question another way, who is good enough to go to church?
Those who walk blamelessly. That’d be the turning point for many of us. Plus, the psalm offers a few more qualities of the one who is worthy. A few more that might seem to disqualify more and more of us.
So, what do we do with such a psalm?
To be sure, obedience is important to God. Obedience isn’t simply doing what you’re told. It’s trusting the One who told you. Jesus said, “If you love me keep my commandments” (John 14:15). Obedience, then, is an act of love and devotion as well.
But does that mean if we aren’t obedient we aren’t allowed to be with God? The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world has a resounding answer. Listen, if God ever stopped allowing disobedient people to come to church or to cry out to God, we’d be in trouble.
Thankfully, Psalm 15 isn’t a who’s-in-who’s-out checklist. Most likely, it’s a liturgical response to the goodness of God. It offers a reflection on what it is to follow God faithfully. In other words, read Psalm 15 as a testimony of walking with God. See what difference that makes in how you understand it.
Read the last line of the psalm again. “Those who do these things shall never be moved.” What a statement of confidence and assurance! There’s no rejection there.
We can also stretch the prayer to cover our full life with God. This isn’t about going to church in a building on Sunday morning. It’s being in God’s presence. Learning to discover more the reality of God’s presence awakens us to be blameless. We begin to desire to turn from our disobedience.
But when you go to God’s house this weekend, reflect on the joy of worship and your fellowship with God. Consider the blessing of being in God’s house with God’s presence and God’s people.