2006-04-02 - Reputation
Psalm 15, Part 4
David identifies some practical qualities found in the righteous. He keeps his word even when difficult to do so. As believers, we must realize this being so important to the quality of our reputation, we must be very careful in giving our word, so we don't put ourselves in a position of having to follow up on something we shouldn't have agreed to.
And Jesus said, "Simply let your `Yes' be 'Yes,' and your `No,' `No'; anything beyond this comes from the evil one" (Matthew 5:37).
The righteous doesn't take advantage of those in need by requiring interest for the loan or taking a bribe. Keep in mind it was against God's law to take interest from an Israelite. In other words, the righteous follows the command to love their neighbor. The bottom line is that the one who practices God's agapé will stand firm before the Lord!
Application: Clearly then, this psalm would leave us with the feeling that if we can live up to these standards, that we will be saved, just as Radak believed. Radak explain(s) that the verbs 'to sojourn', and 'to dwell', pertain not to the body but to the heavenly soul. He who practices the good deeds outlined in this psalm is assured that after he dies, his soul will reside in a glorious divine dwelling." 5
But Jesus was the one who pointed out to the Pharisees that God didn't look on the outward appearance of men, but their hearts. God doesn't require sacrifice "For I desire mercy, not sacrifice, and acknowledgment of God rather than burnt offerings" (Hosea 6:6).
As can be seen in the context of the Sermon on the Mount, the qualities of righteousness are not something that can be worked on, as much as they flow out of a life that is right with God. As we strive to please the Lord and permit the Holy Spirit to live out that life through us, we will love God and that love will flow through us to others. And as we allow God's love to reach out towards others, we will not abuse the innocent, we won't lie, and we will have a commitment to that which is pure and not unclean.
Dr. McGee notes that what David is saying here is really the same thing that James said. "But someone will say, `You have faith; I have deeds.' Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do" (James 2:18).
Calvin put it this way, "Faith alone saves, but faith that saves is not along." and McGee, "Who is going to stand before God? Those who have had a faith in God that has produced a life of righteousness."
5 Feuer, Rabbi Avrohom Chaim, Tehillim, p. 184.
6 Ross, Allen P., The Bible Knowledge Commentary, "Psalms," Victor Books, 986, p. 82.
7 McGee, J. Vernon, Thru the Bible with J. Vernon McGee, "Vol. 2" Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1982, p. 692.
To be continued.