“Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill?” (Psalm 15:1)
In David’s time, the Israelites worshipped God at the Tabernacle—a beautiful tent-like structure constructed during Israel’s wilderness wanderings. The mobility of the tent portrayed God’s faithful presence as the people of Israel journeyed to the Promised Land. This way, God ensured that His people had the opportunity to continually dwell in His presence. For believers, God now maintains His constant presence in our lives through the Holy Spirit.
Not only does God grant us continual access to Him, but He also develops certain characteristics in those who continually worship Him. In this psalm, David lists several of these qualities and categorizes them in two ways: loving God, and loving others.
All true spiritual change must begin with love for God. Without a foundational love for God, our outward spirituality is hypocrisy. Paul compares our loveless deeds—even good ones—to blaring trumpets and crashing cymbals (1 Cor. 13:1). We may get a lot of attention, but we’re just producing a lot of meaningless noise. For the believer, an honest evaluation of the heart (Ps. 15:2) will reveal the motivation behind outward behavior. If we simply love impressing others, we know our righteous acts are self-righteousness, despised by God. But if we find a true, love-inspired faith in God at our core, then we’ll reflect God’s righteousness to others.
Next time, we will see what reflecting God’s righteousness looks like in our relationships with others.
Final Thought: True abiding worship begins in our heart.
CJ Harris is the managing editor for Positive Action, where he helps plan, develop, and launch Bible curricula for churches and schools. Having served as a youth pastor and Sunday School teacher, he has a passion for teaching young people about the glories of their God. A bit of a history buff, CJ received his Ph.D. in Church History in 2011, based on a study of Reformation-era missions philosophy. He and his wife—also a student and teacher of history—have two sons.