Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Psalm 15

The NET Bible renders Psalm 15:

A psalm of David.

LORD, who may be a guest in your home?
Who may live on your holy hill?

2 Whoever lives a blameless life,
does what is right,
and speaks honestly.

3 He does not slander,
or do harm to others,
or insult his neighbor.

4 He despises a reprobate,
but honors the LORD's loyal followers.
He makes firm commitments and does not renege on his promise.

5 He does not charge interest when he lends his money.
He does not take bribes to testify against the innocent.
The one who lives like this will never be upended.

This Psalm is more or less a catalogue of virtues for those who claim to follow God. Verse 2 seems to emphasize justice. Verse 3 says that the righteous person won't harm his or her neighbor. Verse 4 speaks of loyalty--the righteous person is loyal to his or her word and to those who are loyal to God. He or she wants nothing to do with those who are disloyal to God. Verse 5 speaks against greed, either in charging interest or in taking bribes. Maybe we could say that the God-fearing person is just, benevolent, loyal, and content.

"Father I pray that You would make me the kind of man that this Psalm extols. I pray that you would open my eyes to the injustice around me--that I would not be a participant in it and that I would speak out against it. I pray that you would make me compassionate--that I would be kind and generous to those who don't deserve it, even to those who wish me ill-will or who have harmed me. I pray that I would be true to You and to my word. I don't want to be one of those men who compromises what he holds dear because of fear or potential for gain. Finally, I pray that I would be content with what I have. I pray that you would direct my eyes toward those who have less than me rather than toward those who have more. You have given me so much, and I confess that I have not been grateful. Father I look forward to the day when we can say 'The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ.' I pray that until then I would be faithful in bringing heaven to earth by being just, benevolent, loyal, and content. Amen."

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