LORD, who may dwell in your sacred tent?
Who may live on your holy mountain?
The one whose walk is blameless,
who does what is righteous,
who speaks the truth from their heart;
whose tongue utters no slander,
who does no wrong to a neighbor,
and casts no slur on others;
who despises a vile person
but honors those who fear the LORD;
who keeps an oath even when it hurts,
and does not change their mind;
who lends money to the poor without interest;
who does not accept a bribe against the innocent.
Whoever does these things
will never be shaken.
David asks a crucial question in this psalm: Lord, who may live on your holy mountain? (Psalm 15:1). He follows his question with a list of qualities such a person should possess. He should be blameless, righteous, truthful, steadfast, generous, and honest. He should be someone who hates evil and loves what is good. Now, how many people do we know who can fit these criteria? Does this describe you?
However, there IS somebody who has all these qualities. He is already living on the holy mountain. In the second psalm, God says: "I have installed my king on Zion, my holy mountain" (Psalm 2:6). God is declaring that he has set his king on his mountain. Who is this? He is someone we know today as Jesus Christ. Not only does he dwell on God’s holy mountain in God's "sacred tent," he IS God's sacred tent. And all of us live on the holy mountain when we live in him.
No matter how hard humankind has tried in the past to live a sinless, God-fearing life, we have all failed. Even the heroes of the Bible — from Abraham and Moses to Peter and Paul have fallen. As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one” (Romans 3:10). So what hope then? The hope lies in Christ, who comes to our rescue. As Paul puts forth very powerfully, "God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God" (2 Corinthians 5:21).
God imputed our sins to Christ, who knew no sin. And God imputed Christ's righteousness to us who have no righteousness of our own. We obtain this through baptism because then we become one "in Christ." Then, if we journey through life led by God’s Holy Spirit, we keep decreasing and Christ keeps decreasing, until we live in true imitation of Jesus.
Lord, who may dwell in your sacred tent? Who may live on your holy mountain? The answer is us.
God be with you.