Principles from Psalm 15 –
Psalm 15 is only five verses long, but the psalmist packed some important principles for life in those few short stanzas.
He begins the psalm with a question for God – “Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill?” (Psalm 15:1) The principles below follow the questions.
This isn’t saying that we can be good enough to get to God on our own. God is clear that salvation is through faith in the atoning sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. He is our only hope.
These principles, however, give evidence of the our standing with God. They say, “I’m on God’s side; I live to honor Him.”
- Walk uprightly: do the right thing God’s way (v. 2)
- Work righteousness: be actively doing what God desires; live out your faith (v. 2)
- Speak truth in your heart: be honest, and let honesty guide your actions (v. 2)
- No backbiting: watch your words and the attitudes that drive them (v. 3)
- Treat your neighbors (remember who Jesus said our neighbors are) right: when we really think about it, we know what ‘right’ looks like (v. 3)
- Don’t take up a reproach against your neighbor: don’t join in the rumors and gossip, and don’t blame your neighbor when things go wrong (v. 3)
- Don’t follow vile people: This may mean that you have to go against the crowd (v. 4). In another verse (III John 1:11), John tells us to follow the good. Romans 12:9 tells us to hate the evil and hang on to that which is good.
- Honor those that fear the Lord: The people who follow God should be your heroes (v. 4).
- Keep your word: keep it even if it costs you, even if you lose (v. 4)
- Be the same wherever you are: Don’t be a like a chameleon, changing to suit whatever environment you are in (v. 4)
- Don’t expect to get something for nothing: be honest in your livelihood; stay away from ‘get rich quick’ schemes, and activities that feed covetousness, greed, or graft (v. 5)
- Take care of the innocent (see number 11): don’t take advantage of those who don’t have the information you have or who don’t have your experience (v. 5)
God’s word is practical and timely. It provides the direction we need to live fulfilling lives if we just do what it says.
Imagine if these principles were evident in our lives everyday. To take from the old song, “I think to myself, what a wonderful world!”