Who Can Go?
Have any of you ever read Psalm 15? I have read it before, but it was definitely a skim. Today, I really sat down and thought about what David was saying. After I finished reading the passage it left me thinking. From what I read, no one should be able to worship in the house of the Lord. People who are a mess, which actually includes all of us, should not be allowed in the Lord’s sanctuary.
Here is what David said, “Who may worship in your sanctuary, Lord? Who may enter your presence on your holy hill? Those who lead blameless lives and do what is right, speaking the truth from sincere hearts. Those who refuse to gossip or harm their neighbors or speak evil of their friends. Those who despise flagrant sinners, and honor the faithful followers of the Lord, and keep their promises even when it hurts. Those who lend money without charging interest, and who cannot be bribed to lie about the innocent. Such people will stand firm forever.”
What are your thoughts? David had a house in Jerusalem for the Lord. It was a tent and people made it from stretched out goatskins. It was a sacred place and David meant for it to be holy and to be holy before you entered it. Holy meant for someone to be very, very good. Does that describe you? I asked if it described me. As far as I know, only God is really holy. People are a “mess”. Remember?
Those who loved the Lord ventured to David’s tent on Zion’s Hill, which David declared a holy site as well. They asked the question, “Who can come into the house of the Lord?” David gave the people his answer in Psalm 15:2-5. (Joey’s translation) He said, “Hey guys only those people with no mistakes, always doing what is fair, always speaking the truth, saying nothing bad, doing nothing wrong to their neighbors, not calling anyone a fool, not liking bad people, serving as the Lord commands, always keeping God’s promises, not lending money to make money, and not taking money and using it unjustly will someone get to worship here.”
Wow, I don’t know about you, but I missed one of those. Just kidding, I missed out on all of those. I have been guilty, at some point in my life, of everyone one of David’s conditions. So should I be able to attend God’s sanctuary on this coming Sunday? Yes, I should because there is something more to these verses than what is on the surface.
In Psalm 15 David is writing in the Hebrew language and the action words in verse two are different than those used in verses three through five. In Psalm 15:2 David shares with his readers the “doing” words, or the verbs. These words tell us what believers are like on the inside and only God can see that. A believer would be considered a Christian. Verses 3-5 shares with readers what believers are like on the outside and this is the part that everyone around us sees.
This reminds me of going out to a restaurant one Sunday after church. All the folks there probably had just left from their places of worship. The waitress was doing all she could do to make people’s visits a pleasant one, but this table of “Christians” gave her the hardest time. When they left from their table they did not even leave a tip. What this waitress saw on the outside, according to David, should have kept them from the Holy place.
The temple David oversaw construction of was destroyed. Today there is no temple for people to enter, but Jesus said He would bring another temple and it will be in heaven. So should I go to church next Sunday? Yes. Is the church house considered the Holy place? It is believed in Psalm 15 David is describing heaven. David is sharing about a place that is even a greater than the site he built for the Lord or any church building we could enter on a Sunday morning.
So where does that leave mankind? Can we get into the temple Jesus spoke about in John 14:1-6? Jesus said He was going to prepare a place for us and take us to it. Can we enter as we are? No. Back in Genesis we all became a mess and none of deserve a spot in this Holy place. All of us are so messed up, there is no way we can fix ourselves. I have heard many say, “I am going to do better.” I have heard, “My family always went to church and because of that I’m, ok.” If you have used these words, do you really think you are?
I am going to trust in Jesus’ words when He said, “But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.” (1 John 1:9) If we tell God we have broken His rules and we are sincerely sorry, then He will forgive us and make us clean from all of our wrong doings (sins). We can be sure of this because God made a promise to us and because He is good He keeps all of His promises.
Even after I confess my sins am I still a mess? Yes. Can I keep all the rules? No. When I choose to break the rules I must always remember to tell God about it, tell Him I am sorry and He will forgive me. He makes me clean and forgiven. It is nothing that I have done to deserve it. Jesus takes my mess, forgives it, and helps me not to keep committing the same sins over and over.
I am so glad that Jesus came to prepare a way for us to spend eternity with Him. For those who are openly living their lives against Him and yes, even those Christians who give their waitress a hard time. Hey, even for me! I am going to live in this Holy place because Jesus gave His all for me. I am not ready to get on the next bus ride out, but I am going one day. I will be able to see my Savior and worship Him. Are you going? No, not going to church this Sunday, but to Heaven?