“O Lord, who may abide in Thy tent?
Who may dwell on Thy holy hill?” (Psalm 15:1; NASB)
It was a simple question. We do not know the circumstances under which it was asked, but we do know the heart from which it came. David, the man whose life was patterned after the heart of God (Acts 13:22) asked God what constituted fellowship with God. Note that he did not ask what a man must do to come into relationship with God (that’s salvation). He did ask what kind of life a man who lives in fellowship with God leads (that’s sanctification, the process of living out salvation). “How may I know if I my worship is intimate or distant?” David asks at the beginning of Psalm 15.
With clarifying precision, God responds succinctly with two sets of alternately positive and negative attributes in verses 2-5. The list is representative, not exhaustive. These are the kinds of things that mark the life of a man who lives in God’s sanctuary. These are the qualities of a man possessed by and directed by the Holy Spirit living within Him. In fact, these are attributes of God Himself revealed in the life of the man of God. And while it is impossible for man to fully embody the eternal extent of God’s attributes, it is possible for him to grow in a manner that his life increasingly manifests God-likeness. That’s maturity. And that’s the basis of fellowship with God.
- Considered as a whole, his life is characterized by integrity.
- He does what is right without exception and regardless of circumstance.
- He is truthful not only in word, but in heart and motivation.
- He is not abusive with his words.
- He does not do wrong against his acquaintances.
- He does not pridefully rebuke his friends.
- He abhors and rejects the willful sinner.
- He values those who revere God.
- He unfailingly keeps his word, regardless of the cost.
- He is not greedy.
- He cannot be bought at any price.
And what is the end of such a man? He possesses an unshakable fellowship with God. He is a worshipper of God and he is ready to worship. And if this is the quality of his life, nothing will and nothing can remove him from his moorings in God (v. 5c).
MEDITATION: The quest for fellowship with God is marked by a quest to live the attributes of God.