2006-03-05 - A Wisdom Psalm
Psalm 15, Part 2
In this study, we will examine Psalm 15, which Dahood identifies as a wisdom psalm and "(a) liturgy specifying the moral qualities required for admission to the temple." 2 And clearly this ritualistic aspect is the approach taken by Rabbinical scholars.
"This psalm gives us eleven cardinal principles of observance which David stressed and taught. They are examples of `beyond the letter of the law', i.e. service of God beyond the Torah's minimum requirements."
We will see the difficulty with meeting God's standards through personal effort, and why the ceremonial aspects of Biblical Judaism were in place primarily to point towards the need of Messiah, and to show man's inability to meet God's standards. (While we understand the characteristics identified here are the qualities found in one who is right with God, Rabbinical sources 4 see this as the basis by which one spends eternity with Him.)
On the other hand we can also see here the qualities inherent - note, not striven for - but present in those who are truly the children of God. And the underlying principle shown, seen in the qualities present in the individual who has a relationship with and worships God, is concern for others, agapé.
"A new command I give you; love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this, all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another" (John 13:34-35).
1 Dahood, Mitchell, The Anchor Bible, "Psalms 14," Doubleday & Company, Inc., 1978, p. 80-81.