“O LORD, who shall sojourn in your tent? Who shall dwell on your holy hill? He who walks blamelessly and does what is right and speaks truth in his heart; who does not slander with his tongue and does no evil to his neighbor, nor takes up a reproach against his friend; in whose eyes a vile person is despised, but who honors those who fear the LORD” (Psalm 15:1-4)
Three words from Psalm 15 characterize a genuine sojourner and dweller with God. Sojourning and dwelling reveal a favored place, one of lasting permanence upon arrival. The place of dwelling as expressed in Psalm 15:1 gives delight and joy to the person living there. What follows this verse explains why. The person’s walk, words, and actions reflect in living that which satisfies on location. The person’s entire being aligns with the dwelling place. First, it is the place where God dwells. Second, it gives total satisfaction, because God designed and created this place for the people who love following Him. Third, continued communion with God exists through worship toward God.
Consider, first the location. The place of sojourn is a tent. However, it is no ordinary tents but rather an intimate one. It is God’s tent in which He alone dwells and invites to Him those with whom He wishes to commune. It is a place of warm and sacred fellowship with God. The rhetorical question about those who sojourn there begs an answer related to worship and sacredness associated with God Himself. We receive this sacredness from God’s interaction with Abraham and Moses. God made holy and spiritual promises to Abraham and treated him as a friend (James 2:23). God spoke to Moses as one would to a friend (Exodus 33:11). Sacredness exists where friendships run deep. God’s tent represented such friendship.
There is more about location in the opening statement of Psalm 15. The psalm speaks of God’s holy hill. God set this place apart for those with whom He desires to communicate. Such a person reciprocates in walking, speaking, and doing God’s will faithfully. This person does not draw back from these acts, because he dwells with God on His holy hill. He desires to be with God and like God. Faithful and steadfast dwelling allow this likeness to occur.
Walking, speaking, and doing involve the entire life committed to God and, as we read later, to one’s neighbor, friend, and those who fear the LORD. The vertical relationship with God always translates into our horizontal relationship with others. The Hebrews knew no other disposition. How one walks, speaks, and does toward God translates into walking, speaking, and doing with neighbors, friends, and those who fear the LORD. Commitment is doing and not quitting with neighbors, friends, and those who fear the LORD when circumstances may not be the most convenient. Otherwise, we let them down and betray them and God. We will explore how walking, speaking, and doing express themselves in another article.
“Commitment is what transforms a promise into a reality.” Abraham Lincoln