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.
– Psalm 15:1-5
David attracted pressure like a magnet. Most powerful leaders do. He regularly made life-and-death decisions that affected thousands of people. He was surrounded with temptations. Every day was like running the gauntlet. Imagine David in the rush and crush of life, asking, ‘How can I dwell in the serenity of your presence, O God?’” Many men today know they can’t escape life’s pressure, but they can find a calm place in the midst of it.
‘Who may dwell in your sanctuary? Who may live on your holy hill?’ Verses 2-5 give ten specific conditions for living in God’s presence no matter where you are. Any man would do well to memorize this psalm as a reminder of what kind of man feels welcome in God’s holy presence. Note especially that this man ‘keeps his oath even when it hurts…lends his money without usury and does not accept a bribe against the innocent.’ (vv.4-5). God entertains the man whose promise stands regardless of what it costs. What does it take for a man to renege on his promises? How generous is a man when there is no pay back? How strongly will a man stand against making money off the innocence of the naive? In the pressure of life, God offers his sanctuary to those who feel at home there because their life is consistent with his holiness. ‘He who does these things will never be shaken.’