Making the Cut: Who Is Worthy?

Psalm 15


Last month, in the first part of our series on selected Psalms, we looked at the description of the attitudes, actions, and motivations of the "blessed man" in Psalm 1. This month, we will look at a similar Psalm that fleshes out the life of righteousness through a different lens.

Whereas Psalm 1 begins by stating, "How blessed is the man…" and proceeds to enumerate that man's characteristics, Psalm 15 opens with a question: "O Lord who may abide in Your tent? Who may dwell on Your holy hill?" (15:1). Rather than prescriptively telling us what a righteous man looks like, the Psalmist (in this case, David) turns his gaze on God and His holiness. He asks rhetorically who can measure up to God's standard and withstand His presence.

David understood God's utter holiness better than most. In 2 Samuel 6, we read of the events that many scholars connect with this Psalm and Psalm 24. Here David attempted to move the Ark of the Covenant back to Jerusalem when one of the movers, Uzzah, was struck down by God for coming in contact with the Ark. This greatly distressed him, and it was three months before he resumed the move. This time, we read, "And so it was that when the ark of the Lord had gone six paces, he sacrificed an ox and a fatling. And David was dancing before the Lord with all his might, and David was wearing a linen ephod. So David and all the house of Israel were bringing up the ark of the Lord with shouting and the sound of the trumpet" (2 Sam. 6:13-15).  

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