Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Psalm 15

In Psalm 14, we are told that the fool has said in his heart there is no God. We are further told that such people are corrupt. Strangely, my atheist friends tend to say they are good people and they don't need some supernatural being or some old book to make them good. Of course, just because one is a Christian doesn't make one good either. We are all corrupt. God is love and we are made in His image so we are love. And yet, we have perversions of love: elitism, clannishness, etc. God is just and we are made in His image so what do we do? We become vengeful, spiteful, judgmental toward others, excusing toward our own sins and the sins of our friends.

In Psalm 15 we are shown that God has standards. These are standards that few people, especially my atheist friends, can really live up to. I look at these sins and I feel relatively safe. St Paul tells us "if we are to judge ourselves, we will never be judged." So I look at these sins and if I look into the mirror of God's word I'll have to admit that my walk is not blameless. True, I don't slander on my tongue. At least I don't think I do. The word that trips me up here is the word "these." He who does "these things" will never be moved, will be able to ascend into God's holy hill. The implied word is "all." He who does "all these things" will be blameless before the Lord. So I can't get away with a half-baked holiness. It's all or nothing. As Isaiah says, "all our righteousness are as filthy rags!" The Lord is aware of our utter inability to be perfect. This is why he sent the Blameless One, Our Sweet Lord Jesus, to save us from our sins, to redeem our lives from destruction, to give us back the dominion, authority, and power that is truly the birthright of a Son (or Daughter) of Man.

Psalm 15

A psalm of David.

1 LORD, who may dwell in your sanctuary?
Who may live on your holy hill?
2 He whose walk is blameless
and who does what is righteous,
who speaks the truth from his heart

3 and has no slander on his tongue,
who does his neighbor no wrong
and casts no slur on his fellowman,

4 who despises a vile man
but honors those who fear the LORD,
who keeps his oath
even when it hurts,

5 who lends his money without usury
and does not accept a bribe against the innocent.
He who does these things
will never be shaken.
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