A Psalm of David.

Another Psalm by Israel’s great shepherd-king.

1.  LORD, who may abide in Your tabernacle?

This psalm is written to answer this important question.  Notice that a tabernacle is more than a tent, and more even than we would think of as a “home.”  A tabernacle in days of old was the center of one’s life and the focal point of one’s business affairs.  A tabernacle is not so much a house as it is a center of life, perhaps what we would think of as an “office.”  David is not so much asking here who will dwell with God in His home as he is asking who will work for God in His business and help Him carry out His affairs.

Who may dwell in Your holy hill?

A hill in Scripture means figuratively the same thing as a mountain, which is symbolic for a government.  Thus we learn that David is asking a question regarding God’s future government on the earth.  This government is what is commonly called “The Kingdom of God,” and is God’s future plan for all of mankind.  Now David is asking an important question in regards to it.  Who will be able to dwell in His holy government?  In other words, who will receive a part of that government?  Who will be allowed to rule in the day when God sets up all governmental powers and chooses all governmental rulers?  What criteria will be used to choose God’s leaders in that future Day?  This is an important question indeed.

2.  He who walks uprightly,

This speaks of his habits.  “Walks” here means a habitual walking.  In other words, his habitual manner of life is upright.  How important are our habits, and how telling which ones we allow ourselves to form!

And works righteousness,

This speaks of his works.  The things that he does are righteous.  Although we insist that salvation does not come by works, yet how important it is that the things that we do are righteous!  All who are chosen to rule in God’s government will only work that which is right.

And speaks the truth in his heart.

This speaks of his thoughts.  He not only speaks the truth with others, but also thinks and believes the truth in his heart.  How important that we be sincerely convinced of the truth!  And being honest with yourself is highly important.  Remember, the first person Lucifer lied to was himself!

3.  He who does not backbite with his tongue,

This speaks of his words.  He does not backbite others.  The Hebrew indicates not just that he doesn’t, but also that he never has.  So easy and so tempting it is to speak of others viciously, or behind their backs.  Yet the ruler in God’s government does no such thing.

Nor does evil to his neighbor,

This speaks of his relationship to his neighbor.  “Evil” does not mean “wickedness,” but rather “calamity.”   He never has used gossip and backbiting to bring disaster to an unsuspecting neighbor.  Yet how easy it is to justify such things.  “He mistreated me first!” is our common excuse.

Nor does he take up a reproach against his friend;

This speaks of his attitude towards gossip.  “Take up” here means “receive.”  He never listens to reproachful gossip against his neighbor.  Yet we know of many who slip easily into the attraction of hearing “the latest” gossip against those around them.

4.  In whose eyes a vile person is despised,

This speaks of his attitude towards the wicked.  Alas, there will be some such in God’s government, although they will be far more rare than they are today.  Yet a governor under God’s rule will have no tolerance for such, but will despise them.  How much better our governments of today would be if all rulers would take this attitude towards the wicked!  Yet all too often they only consider whether or not the wicked can do something for them.

But he honors those who fear the LORD;

This speaks of those to whom he extends honor.  A governor under God’s government will give honor where it is due.  He will not follow the adage of “scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours,” but rather he honors those who reverence the LORD.

He who swears to his own hurt and does not change;

This speaks of his attitude towards keeping promises.  He considers his pledge to be law.  Even if it turns out to be far more costly than he had anticipated, he does not go back on his word.  O, if only governors in our day were like this!

5.  He who does not put out his money at usury,

This speaks of his fairness in business dealings.  “Usury” speaks not just of interest but of exorbitant and illegal loans that are designed to cheat the poor.  A governor in God’s kingdom will have nothing to do with cheating anyone, but his business dealings will always be fair.  Whether or not God’s government will use a monetary system is debatable.  Yet this is speaking of the sort of people God will have as rulers in that day, and the kind of character they have displayed even in this life.

Nor does he take a bribe against the innocent.

This speaks of his attitude towards justice.  No bribe can pervert his legal judgment.  His only concern is acquitting the innocent and condemning the guilty.  All proper legal systems strive for this, yet how far short do they fall in our day!  Yet in God’s government this ideal will at last be reached, as this is the sort of men whom God will have governing.

He who does these things shall never be moved.

Those who behave in this way in God’s government will never be replaced.  Even death will be done away in those days, and so all righteous rulers will hold their posts in perpetuity.  Talk about job security!  What a marvelous blessing to be a part of such a wonderful and holy government.  The corrupted regimes of our day pale in comparison.  How wonderful it is that LORD has given us this Psalm to show us that things will not always be this way, and that such perfection will yet exist on the earth.  May God speed the day!