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May 26 - Morning

"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."

- Psalms 15:1-5

"Who May Live On Your Holy Mountain?"


The holy mountain is Mount Zion which was Mount Moriah and Jerusalem of the Old Testament. There are two different Hebrew verbs used for “may dwell” and “may live” and both refer to two different locations: the tabernacle (“sacred tent”) and the temple (“holy mountain”). The first verb, “may dwell” (Heb. “gur”) speaks of a temporary stay similar to the nomad culture and is used with “tent.” The second verb “may live” (Heb. “sh-k-n”) presents a more permanent residence and is paired with the holy mountain where the Temple building stood.

Some commentators consider this Psalm to be a dialogue between a worshipper entering the temple courts and a priest or Levite at the entrance guarding the gate. Or, Psalm 15 may come from the wisdom literature of Israel to serve as a teaching on morality and true spirituality that is collected in a memory list of ten things.

How the question, “Who may dwell in your sacred tent? Who may live on your holy mountain?” is NOT answered is revealing. The answer is NOT:

1. Covenant relationship (Abrahamic, Mosaic, etc.)
2. Religious ritual (sacrifice, offering, etc.)

The answer to “Who may dwell in the Lord’s presence?” is a clear list of moral qualities presented without the clutter of metaphors or emotional appeal. Simply put the list includes ten conditions:

1. Blameless
2. Righteous
3. Speaks truth
4. No slander
5. No wrong to neighbor
6. No slur
7. Despise vile people/honor those who fear God
8. Keep oaths
9. Lend money to poor without interest
10. Reject bribes

The answer to who may enter the Lord’s presence involves both positive actions and avoidance of negative conditions. The man of God must be active in righteousness while also avoiding evil. The list includes good deeds, guiltlessness, speech, interaction with other people and money.
The Psalm ends with the promise that a lifestyle that incorporates these characteristics will be blessed because it will never be shaken. The concept is that this man cannot be shaken from the presence of the Lord. Only a man’s own actions and words can separate him from the divine presence.

Psalm 15 can be divided into three parts:

1. Entrance Question
2. Answer(s)
3. Promise

Isaiah writes in similar fashion in Isaiah 33:14-17:

“The sinners in Zion are terrified; trembling grips the godless:

‘Who of us can dwell with the consuming fire? Who of us can dwell with everlasting burning?’

• Those who walk righteously and
• speak what is right,
• who reject gain from extortion and
• keep their hands from accepting bribes,
• who stop their ears against plots of murder and
• shut their eyes against contemplating evil—

they are the ones who will dwell on the heights, whose refuge will be the mountain fortress. Their bread will be supplied, and water will not fail them. Your eyes will see the king in his beauty and view a land that stretches afar.”
Qasam (Hb) – divination (Eng) – qasam is the Hebrew word that means "to divine" and "to practice divination." Qasam is forbidden in Deuteronomy 18:10, 14-15. Qasam is the practice of seeking demons, or the foreign gods, for information, favor or details about the future (Joshua 13:32). Qasamis also used in 1 Samuel 28:8 and Ezekiel 21:21.
Even though I am a believer in Jesus Christ and indwelt by the Holy Spirit, am I living a godly life of morality? Or, do I make excuses for my moral failures? I will pursue the Lord and his Word in order to prepare my heart for the transforming power of the Holy Spirit so that my moral life will reflect the glorious salvation that has been given to me.



Bible Reading Descriptions Here

Narrative

Complete Text

General Text




Personal

Home

Church

Fruit and production
Political parties
French Guiana



A view of a wadi in the Negev in Israel
Comparing positional and conditional aspects of salvation. This includes the contrast of our eternal sonship while seated today in heavenly places and our continue striving to be walking in the light in our temporal time on earth.




Someone to Quote

"Sow a thought, reap an act; sow an act, reap a habit;
sow a habit, reap a character; sow a character,
reap a destiny."

- Stephen Covey

Something to Ponder

Cosmological Argument used to Prove God exists:

1. Limited, changing beings exist (example: you)

2. The present existence of every limited, changing being is caused by another. So, this existence comes from another existing being.

3. These causes cannot be infinite. There cannot be an infinite regress of causes of these existing beings.

4. There is a first Cause of the present existence of these beings.

5. This first cause must be:  …an eternal being …infinite …unchanging …one ...necessary

6. This model argument exactly matches the God of Scripture

Here’s a Fact

King Ahab (1 Kings 16:28-33 and 21:1,21 and 22:39) is also mentioned by his contemporaries or in archaeological records here:

Mesha Stele
Kurkh Monolith
Palace in Samaria

Proverb

"Like a thornbush in a drunkard’s hand
    is a proverb in the mouth of a fool."

- Proverbs 26:9

Coach’s Corner

Circumstances create opportunities and situations become open doors.

1 Samuel 4
New International Version (NIV)
And Samuel’s word came to all Israel.
The Philistines Capture the Ark
Now the Israelites went out to fight against the Philistines. The Israelites camped at Ebenezer, and the Philistines at Aphek. The Philistines deployed their forces to meet Israel, and as the battle spread, Israel was defeated by the Philistines, who killed about four thousand of them on the battlefield. When the soldiers returned to camp, the elders of Israel asked, “Why did the Lord bring defeat on us today before the Philistines? Let us bring the ark of the Lord’s covenant from Shiloh, so that he may go with us and save us from the hand of our enemies.”
So the people sent men to Shiloh, and they brought back the ark of the covenant of the Lord Almighty, who is enthroned between the cherubim. And Eli’s two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, were there with the ark of the covenant of God.
When the ark of the Lord’s covenant came into the camp, all Israel raised such a great shout that the ground shook. Hearing the uproar, the Philistines asked, “What’s all this shouting in the Hebrew camp?”
When they learned that the ark of the Lord had come into the camp,
the Philistines were afraid. “A god has come into the camp,” they said. “Oh no! Nothing like this has happened before. We’re doomed! Who will deliver us from the hand of these mighty gods? They are the gods who struck the Egyptians with all kinds of plagues in the wilderness. Be strong, Philistines! Be men, or you will be subject to the Hebrews, as they have been to you. Be men, and fight!”
10 So the Philistines fought, and the Israelites were defeated and every man fled to his tent. The slaughter was very great; Israel lost thirty thousand foot soldiers. 11 The ark of God was captured, and Eli’s two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, died.
Death of Eli
12 That same day a Benjamite ran from the battle line and went to Shiloh with his clothes torn and dust on his head. 13 When he arrived, there was Eli sitting on his chair by the side of the road, watching, because his heart feared for the ark of God. When the man entered the town and told what had happened, the whole town sent up a cry.
14 Eli heard the outcry and asked, “What is the meaning of this uproar?”
The man hurried over to Eli,
15 who was ninety-eight years old and whose eyes had failed so that he could not see. 16 He told Eli, “I have just come from the battle line; I fled from it this very day.”
Eli asked, “What happened, my son?”
17 The man who brought the news replied, “Israel fled before the Philistines, and the army has suffered heavy losses. Also your two sons, Hophni and Phinehas, are dead, and the ark of God has been captured.”
18 When he mentioned the ark of God, Eli fell backward off his chair by the side of the gate. His neck was broken and he died, for he was an old man, and he was heavy. He had led Israel forty years.
19 His daughter-in-law, the wife of Phinehas, was pregnant and near the time of delivery. When she heard the news that the ark of God had been captured and that her father-in-law and her husband were dead, she went into labor and gave birth, but was overcome by her labor pains. 20 As she was dying, the women attending her said, “Don’t despair; you have given birth to a son.” But she did not respond or pay any attention.
21 She named the boy Ichabod, saying, “The Glory has departed from Israel”—because of the capture of the ark of God and the deaths of her father-in-law and her husband. 22 She said, “The Glory has departed from Israel, for the ark of God has been captured.”
Hosea 3
New International Version (NIV)
Hosea’s Reconciliation With His Wife
The Lord said to me, “Go, show your love to your wife again, though she is loved by another man and is an adulteress. Love her as the Lord loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods and love the sacred raisin cakes.”
So I bought her for fifteen shekels of silver and about a homer and a lethek of barley. Then I told her, “You are to live with me many days; you must not be a prostitute or be intimate with any man, and I will behave the same way toward you.”
For the Israelites will live many days without king or prince, without sacrifice or sacred stones, without ephod or household gods. Afterward the Israelites will return and seek the Lord their God and David their king. They will come trembling to the Lord and to his blessings in the last days.
Psalm 131
New International Version (NIV)
Psalm 131
A song of ascents. Of David.

My heart is not proud, Lord,     my eyes are not haughty; I do not concern myself with great matters     or things too wonderful for me.

But I have calmed and quieted myself,     I am like a weaned child with its mother;     like a weaned child I am content.

Israel, put your hope in the Lord     both now and forevermore.
____
Psalm 138
New International Version (NIV)
Psalm 138
Of David.

I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart;     before the “gods” I will sing your praise.

I will bow down toward your holy temple     and will praise your name     for your unfailing love and your faithfulness, for you have so exalted your solemn decree     that it surpasses your fame.

When I called, you answered me;     you greatly emboldened me.

May all the kings of the earth praise you, Lord,     when they hear what you have decreed.

May they sing of the ways of the Lord,     for the glory of the Lord is great.

Though the Lord is exalted, he looks kindly on the lowly;     though lofty, he sees them from afar.

Though I walk in the midst of trouble,     you preserve my life. You stretch out your hand against the anger of my foes;     with your right hand you save me.

The Lord will vindicate me;     your love, Lord, endures forever—     do not abandon the works of your hands.
____
Psalm 139
New International Version (NIV)
Psalm 139
For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.

You have searched me, Lord,     and you know me.

You know when I sit and when I rise;     you perceive my thoughts from afar.

You discern my going out and my lying down;     you are familiar with all my ways.

Before a word is on my tongue     you, Lord, know it completely.

You hem me in behind and before,     and you lay your hand upon me.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,     too lofty for me to attain.

Where can I go from your Spirit?     Where can I flee from your presence?

If I go up to the heavens, you are there;     if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.

If I rise on the wings of the dawn,     if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 
even there your hand will guide me,     your right hand will hold me fast.
11 
If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me     and the light become night around me,”
12 
even the darkness will not be dark to you;     the night will shine like the day,     for darkness is as light to you.
13 
For you created my inmost being;     you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;     your works are wonderful,     I know that full well.
15 
My frame was not hidden from you     when I was made in the secret place,     when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 
Your eyes saw my unformed body;     all the days ordained for me were written in your book     before one of them came to be.
17 
How precious to me are your thoughts, God!     How vast is the sum of them!
18 
Were I to count them,     they would outnumber the grains of sand—     when I awake, I am still with you.
19 
If only you, God, would slay the wicked!     Away from me, you who are bloodthirsty!
20 
They speak of you with evil intent;     your adversaries misuse your name.
21 
Do I not hate those who hate you, Lord,     and abhor those who are in rebellion against you?
22 
I have nothing but hatred for them;     I count them my enemies.
23 
Search me, God, and know my heart;     test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 
See if there is any offensive way in me,     and lead me in the way everlasting.


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