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Bible Commentaries

Bell's Commentary on the Bible

Psalms 15

Verses 1-5

  1. Intro:
    1. “Bible study is to prepare people to think & act biblically!” (Boice)
    2. This Psalm stands in contrast to the one before it(“The Fool”).
    3. Psalms are categorized as: (read list)
      1. Ps.15 falls into the category of Liturgy.
      2. This Liturgy of instruction gives “the qualifications for worship” at the tabernacle, in the form of a Decalogue(deca=10; logos=word, pronouncement).
    4. Background: This probably took place when David was bringing the ark to (Zion)Jerusalem. (2 sam.6)
      1. So David asks important questions regarding “what kind of conduct should be expected of those whose very midst Jehovah himself had come to dwell?”
        1. An Unbeliever should know before trying to enter!
        2. A New Believer should ask what is required of me?
        3. An Old believer would do well to use this as an occasional check-up!
      2. How should I act as a guest in Gods house? How should I act with God as guest in my house(tent)?
  2. THE PILGRIMS QUESTIONS! (1)
    1. Q: Who is the most famous persons house that you’ve been to?
      1. Q: What did you do there? (Saw it from out front? You were invited in? met the owner, had dinner there, is a close friend of yours?)
    2. To dwell in a tent of a Bedouin was “relational”. There was hospitality, warmth, expectation of fellowship, talking, Koinonia, eating, coffee, feasting, you were treated as an honored guest.
      1. Not like in Beverly Hills where you can drive by the houses of the “stars”. Or park out front & gawk at their house. Hoping to catcha glimpse at the owner.
    3. How many treat God’s house(a church) that way today.
      1. There are some churches that have that feel of “Piety, Religion, liturgy, Sanctimony”, yet icy!And some that feel like God’s living room(should show respect for, yet comfortable).
    4. Man is God’s guest!
    5. David loved God’s house, longed to live there, & fellowship w/God.
      1. See Ps.27:4,5.
    6. This is a question dealing with godly living not a question of justification!
      1. If we ask “who qualifies to abide in Gods Tabernacle?” - We’d have to answer…“nobody”!
      2. Because of Jesus He opens access to His children into His Fathers presence…see Heb.10:19-25.
    7. Abide = to turn aside from the road (for a lodging or any other purpose), i.e. sojourn (as a guest); dwell = to reside permanently(in the City of God).
  3. THE PRIEST’S ANSWERS! (2-5a)
    1. Here we find a number of requirements for uninterrupted worship w/God.
      1. God never sought only to rescue you from hell. But that we might live righteous lives!
        1. (If the former, then He’d have taken you home right away!)
      2. God does have & expects us to follow His moral Laws!
        1. No, not for Salvation but as a part of our Sanctification.
      3. This Moral Law was given us in the OT:
        1. (also the Ceremonial Law was given to Israel so as to “set them apart” from the other nations).
      4. The Moral Law is summarized in the 10 commandments.
        1. And really interpreted throughout the rest of the bible.
      5. Jesus gave the best explanation of the Moral Law as He broke it down into two laws, "You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.' "This is the first and great commandment. "And the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
      6. This is what God set up as His standard.
    2. The justified person is not made right w/God by keeping the moral law. But if a person is really been justified, he or she will necessarily begin to keep it.
      1. James 2:17 “faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”
      2. Genuine faith always expresses itself in right action!
    3. So, the questions are along the lines of “What must we do to enjoy & maintain the fullness of fellowship w/God?”
      1. David saw Him as a Host, the kind of host who would have none but noble guests. {we need to remember we are invited guests at His table}
      2. Q: Are you interested?
      3. Here are some characteristic traits to work on!
    4. (2a) YOUR WALK! (Clean Feet!)
      1. ​​​​​​​“Walks uprightly” - He is honest.
    5. (2b) YOUR WORK! (Clean Hands!)
      1. ​​​​​​​“works righteousness” – He is righteous in life.
    6. (2c) YOUR WORDS! (Clean Lips!)
      1. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​James 3:2 (NIV) “If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check.”
      2. Not only one who speaks the truth but whose whole inner life is truth.
        1. What this man says is one with what he is!
      3. “Perhaps nothing so identifies Christians as their ability to control their speech.” (L.A.B.)
        1. Q: How is your speech? {Today it needed some soap? Or, it was pleasing to God & others!}
      4. God will have no loose talk at His table!
    7. (3,4a) YOUR RELATIONSHIP WITH OTHERS! (Clean Heart!)
      1. ​​​​​​​(3a) Does not backbite - He refrains from gossipy slander!
        1. Lit. “he does not foot(it)w/his tongue.”
        2. “It’s ok when a shoe has a tongue, but a tongue shouldn’t have a shoe!”
        3. Story – David Livingstone’s wife Mary(Scottish missionary and African explorer).
      2. (3b) Nor does evil to his neighbor – No harm to his friend.
      3. (3c) Nor does he receive a reproach against his friend –
      4. (4a) Vile = This speaks to the dross that rises to the top of metal that is heated in which the smith treats with contempt. He scoops it off the top & throws it away. It is worthless.
        1. He despises the man who has made himself disgusting.
        2. He isn’t comparing himself w/others but instead is declaring what he admires & where he stands.
    8. (4b) KEEPING PROMISES!
      1. ​​​​​​​Even if you are going to loose or be hurt by it your going to still honor your word!
        1. He keeps his oath though he suffer for it.
      2. The test of all this is in man’s attitude to his fellow man.
    9. (5) HOW WE USE OUR MONEY!
      1. ​​​​​​​Don’t put your personal gain before the well-being of others. Be careful in profiting out of a brothers tragedy.
        1. Big difference between someone’s own home vs. someone’s “investment”(largely unknown in those days).
      2. Nor does he take a bribe against the innocent – He cannot be bribed to stand against the innocent man.
      3. Don’t be obsessed with money. It will destroy you.
    10. A person with clean feet, clean hands, & a clean heart, produces a clean words & clean motives.
    11. Q: Do people see these traits in you? Are you developing in these areas?
  4. THE RESULTS! (5b)
    1. ​​​​​​​Moved…from what? (abiding & dwelling!)
    2. We see he moves beyond gaining admission & getting over the threshold to never leaving that spot.
      1. It’s being & staying “under the spout where the glory pours out”!
      2. We see our eternal relationship is linked with our standard of daily living.
        1. Again, not that our standard of daily living could ever buy us an eternal relationship; but possessing an eternal relationship necessitates daily living that reflects His standards!
    3. He shall not be moved…ever! – Never moved, never shaken, “immovable”!
      1. You may be shaken, but you will never be shaken loose!
    4. Such a person will never get an eviction notice, nor will ever be excluded from Jehovah’s tent!
    5. Ps.23:6 “And I will dwell in the house of the LORD Forever.”
      1. The bible shows security for the believer & insecurity for the make-believer!

Mt.7:24-27 "Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: "and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.

"But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: "and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall."

Copyright Statement
These files are the property of Brian Bell.
Text Courtesy of Calvary Chapel of Murrieta. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Psalms 15". "Bell's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/psalms-15.html. 2017.