A Life Without Reproach
Psalm 15:1-5
Lord, who shall abide in your tabernacle? who shall dwell in your holy hill?…

In all ages there has been a sense of imperfection, and a longing and a cry for the perfect in human character. The ethical philosophers of Greece and Rome have given us their views; Christian teachers have aimed to set forth, in poetry and prose, their ideals of perfection; but it may be questioned whether anywhere we can find a truer or more beautiful portrait than this by the ancient Jewish poet. It has been said, "Christian chivalry has not drawn a brighter." And we might even dare to say that it compares well with the character of the perfect man as depicted by our Lord in the Sermon on the Mount. No doubt there are traits in the character that are peculiar to the times, and things are put differently in some respects from what they would have been in the light of the gospel; but we cannot contemplate the picture except with wonder and delight. In heart and tongue, in deed and life, as a member of society and as an individual, the man of this psalm is without reproach.

I. HIS INSPIRATION IS FROM ABOVE. It is the life within that determines character. Abraham walked before God, and therefore was exhorted to aim at perfection. The "tabernacle" is not wholly a figure of speech, but represents the meeting-place with God. For us Christ is the "tabernacle." Here we ever find light and strength. "Our life is hid with Christ in God."

II. HIS CHARACTER IS MOULDED AFTER THE HIGHEST PATTERN. (Vers. 2, 3.) The law of righteousness is his rule. Conscience is not enough; the lives of the good are not enough: there is more needed. The will of God as revealed to us is our true rule of faith and practice. There is a certain order observed - first, the person must be acceptable by entire surrender to God; then he must work by righteousness; lastly, his word must be truth. So God had regard first to Abel, and then to his offering (cf. 2 Corinthians 8:5).

III. HIS SOCIAL LIFE IS MARKED BY THE NOBLEST VIRTUES. (Vers. 3-5.) Some have counted here ten or eleven particulars; but it is better to regard the spirit than the letter. The chief things are truth, justice, and benevolence, while with these there is humility of spirit and charity towards all men. All this is brought out the more vividly by contrast with the selfish and worldly life of the wicked.

IV. HIS HAPPY DESTINY IS SURE AS THE THRONE OF THE ETERNAL. (Ver. 5.) There are things that can be moved; they have no stability or permanence. There are other things which cannot be moved; they are true as God is true, and stable as God is stable, with whom there is "no variableness, neither shadow of turning." This holds good of religion and the religious life (Hebrews 12:27, 28). There are people who have no fixed principles. They cannot be trusted. St. James compares them to the waves of the sea - driven with the wind and tossed (James 1:6). But the man who trusts in God can say, "My heart is fixed;" and of such it is true - he "shall never be moved" (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:56-58; Acts 20:22-24; Acts 21:13). - W.F.

Parallel Verses
KJV: {A Psalm of David.} LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill?

WEB: Yahweh, who shall dwell in your sanctuary? Who shall live on your holy hill?

Are You Mocked?
Top of Page
Top of Page