Bible Commentaries
Psalms 15

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

Verses 1-5

Psalms 15


Verses 1-5:

Verse 1 inquiries who may abide, "temporarily sojourn" in the "tabernacle" of the Lord? Where worshippers found communion with Him. The Lord is represented as meeting and blessing true worshippers there, even as He does true worshippers in His church (assembly) in this age, 2 Chronicles 7:14-15; Matthew 18:20; Hebrews 10:24-25. For it is in the church the greatest degree of glory and honor to Him may be given and experienced in this and future ages. The glory of the house (program of worship and service) that Jesus built is greater than the house that Moses built, see? Ephesians 2:19; Hebrews 3:1-6; Ephesians 3:21. It is further asked "who may or shall abide in even a temporary, tenting manner, in the holy hill of the Lord Jehovah?" This implies that those who truly worship must be an holy, sanctified, separated people, who approach His presence in "spirit and in truth," as set forth John 4:24; Hebrews 12:14.

Verse 2 explains that the person who may truly abide in the tabernacle of the holy, glory-presence of the Lord Jehovah is that one whose pattern of life is upright without guile, deceit, or hypocrisy, loving one’s neighbor in attitude of heart and conduct toward him, opposite of the "double heart" attitude expressed Psalms 12:2. He also is one who continually walks upright, morally and ethically, who does not "wobble" in his walk of life, like an inebriate, a drunk man. He is also said to "speak the truth" from his heart, continually, not just occasionally. Man’s walk and talk before his neighbor must reflect faith in and love for God, else it does not commend him as a sincere worshipper, but as a pious insincere, hypocrite, Psalms 84:11; Isaiah 33:15-16. See also Acts 10:35; Romans 2:10; Ephesians 2:10; Hebrews 11:33. To have intimate communion with and holy worship before the Lord one must pursue holy living, seeking to avoid bad habits, attitudes, acts, and words.

Verse 3 adds that the truly righteous, abiding, worshipper of the Lord does and will not be a continual, habitual, repeated backslider with his tongue, will not be cannibalistic, a vampire bat, devouring or sucking the life blood from his neighbor. Nor will he take up a reproach, "peddle" a hurtful report, carry or create a stink or bad tale against him, to besmirch his name or destroy his reputation and influence. He must avoid these petty, carnal, covetous passions to dwell, reside, or fellowship with and truly worship the holy living God. Of such the Levitical Law declares, "thou shalt not go up and down as a tale-bearer," as one who "hot-foots" it from door to door or person to person to spread stink, Leviticus 19:16. Such backbiting and talebearing is slanderous and hurtful both to the bearer and the one against whom it is borne. Backbiters and talebearers are identified with "haters of God," Romans 1:30; and as a revealer of secrets, and one who stirs up strife, as recounted Proverbs 11:13; Proverbs 20:19; Proverbs 18:8; Proverbs 26:22; Where there is no talebearer or backbiter strife ’s said to cease, Proverbs 26:20.

Verse 4 indicates that a vile person, reprobate, a person rejected of God, unfit for His holy fellowship and worship, may be known even by the company that he keeps One who is holy loathes "stinktoting," "talebearing," and stirring of strife. One who does such things advertises his low moral, ethical, and spiritual identity. But the Lord honors those who fear or reverence Him and keep His commandments. The righteous person, the good man who "swears," makes a promise, even to his own hurt, at his own expense will keep that promise, as a person of integrity, Leviticus 4:4; Ecclesiastes 5:4-5; Ecclesiastes 8:2; Ecclesiastes 8:4; Judges 11:35.

Verse 5 adds that the one who continually abides in the holy ways of the Lord will not put out his money to usury, meaning to make a profit on a brother in hardship, Leviticus 25:37. One is also to show pity and compassion to a neighbor in need, not become enriched through his trouble or afflictions, Proverbs 3:27; Matthew 5:42. Nor will the truly good or righteous man take a bribe against the poor as a witness, attorney, or judge in court, or as an umpire in athletics, or any responsible person in business life, Deuteronomy 16:19; Deuteronomy 27:25. Such as avoid these sins may abide in the Lord’s tabernacle and holy hill, v.1; 2 Peter 1:10; Psalms 55:22.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Psalms 15". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. 1985.