(Psalm 15:1) “A Psalm of David. LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill?”
David asked God two questions. Both questions begin with, “Who shall.” Who shall what? and where shall they? The answers to what and where are found in the key words in David’s first question: “abide” and “tabernacle”; and in his second question: “dwell” and “holy hill.”
The Hebrew word for “abide” carries the idea of one turning aside to have lodging; to assemble in one place. The Hebrew word for “dwell” carries the idea of staying permanently in the lodging; to continue, or to remain. On the surface these two Hebrew words can be synonyms of each other. However, the real difference lies in that the word translated “abide” is the initial beginning; and the word translated “dwell” has more to do with continuing or remaining in the place.
And The Where
The Hebrew word for the English translation of “tabernacle” carries with it a tent or a covering. Whereas the Hebrew word for the English translation of “holy (hill)” carries with it a sacred place; a hallowed place; a set-apart place; a holy place; a consecrated place; a dedicated place. The word translated “hill” is a mountain or a range of hills.
David use the word “tabernacle”; which references Moses’ tent in the Wilderness, wherein was the Ark of the Covenant in the Holy of Holies; the table of shewbread, the candelabra, and the incense, in the Holy Place. It was styled by David as “…thy tabernacle” and “…thy holy hill” – having reference to God’s place of Dwelling; for the Shekinah Glory of God dwelled above the Mercy Seat, above the Ark of the Covenant, in the Holy of Holies. The Tabernacle was God’s dwelling Place in the Wilderness among the children of Israel in their forty-year journey from Egypt to Canaan Land. The Aaronic Priesthood, the blood sacrifices, the offerings, every aspect of the Tabernacle and its furniture and service typed out the Word and Ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ. The only approach to God the children of Israel had was through the High Priest and the blood sacrifices to God dwelling above the Ark of the Covenant. This all looked to Jesus as the only way to the Father (Jn. 14:6).
David’s use of the phrase “holy hill” had reference to Mt. Zion. David carried the Ark of the Covenant to Mt. Zion; which became its final resting place, and where the Temple later was built by Solomon. David, the king, also built his dwelling place in Mt. Zion. So, Mt. Zion was the place of the king and the dwelling place of God; both which typed out King Jesus, and that His Dwelling Place would be in Mt. Zion, or the Church (Heb. 12:22-24).
However, David, writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, looked past the Tabernacle in the Wilderness, to the Church of Jesus Christ in the New Testament. The Church is the Spiritual Habitation of God on the earth (Eph. 2:20-22; 3:21). The Church is called the Body of Christ; Christ is the Head, and the believers in Christ are the body of Christ (Rom. 12:5; 1 Cor. 12:12, 27; Eph. 2:6; 5:23; Col. 1:24). In Christ are the fulness of Grace and Truth.
Therefore, David was asking God, “…who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill?” Or who is allowed to come into the Church (where Christ Is The Head Of The Body, and where Christ Dwells On Earth)? and who will dwell there permanently? In the following verses David answers these two questions:
Those Who Love God
(Psa 15:2) “He that walketh uprightly.,” The upright are the Separated Ones; they are separated in their inward nature. There are only two natures in control of man; he is born with the “old man” or the “old nature” in control of his spirit. This means he is dead spiritually; that is, dead in trespasses and sin (Eph. 2:1). This condition came upon man when Adam sinned in the Garden of Eden (Rom. 5:12); not physical death first, but a spiritual death, which means he was separated from God. This means that Adam and his posterity (1 Cor. 1:21) were dead in trespasses and sin. From the moment of the fall of Adam, his will was bent to sin; for his nature was depraved, and no longer was in communion with God; nor, did he seek God any longer. Instead, he was spiritually blind and under the curse of the law (which is spiritual death – separation from God); he was under the law of sin and death, and stood condemned; which meant he was now under the penalty of sin and the punishment of sin; and his will was to practice sin.
For a spiritually dead person to have his soul and his spirit separated – wherein the Holy Spirit of God comes to indwell that man – he must be regenerated by the Holy Spirit of God; which is manifested from quickening to conversion to Jesus Christ as Sacrifice, Substitute, and Savior of the sinner by his confession of the same (Rom. 10:9-10). Paul said in (2 Cor. 5:17) that when regeneration happens in a person, that person becomes a new creature in Christ; Paul writes again in (Rom. 8:1-2) that when regeneration happens in a sinner; he is no longer under condemnation, and is free from the law of sin and death. This man’s will is changed from feeding his flesh, with sin in control of his every thought and desire; to his new will (or the new man) to please Christ in everything (Eph. 4:24). The regenerated sinner has been raised from the dead (Rom. 6:4-23) to walk in the “newness of life.”
The regenerated sinner has had the “love of God shed aboard in his heart by the Holy Ghost” (Rom. 5:5b). When God’s love comes to dwell in the sinner; then, this love is worked out in the sinner’s obedience. His obedience reveals his love to and for Christ; therefore, he keeps the commandments of Christ (Jn. 14:15). When this happens, the sinner begins to “walk uprightly,” or to walk even as Christ walked. How did Christ walk? In perfect surrender, perfect submission, and perfect obedience to the Will and Word of The Father. Christ endured unto the end in the same.
Therefore, the outward sign of those in the Church (or in His tabernacle; His holy hill) is that they “walk uprightly,” or in the love and commandments of Christ (Mt. 22:37-40). The inward motive to “walk uprightly” is the indwelling of the Love of God.
(Psa 15:2) “…and worketh righteousness,” Those that work righteousness are the sanctified ones (or the set-apart ones to Christ). Those that walk uprightly (or righteously) are those who have righteous works. The walk is personal and private. The work of righteousness is an outward expression of the inward love of God to others. The walk is to God, (Mat 22:37-38) “Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. (38) This is the first and great commandment. The work of righteousness has to do with (Mat 22:39) “And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”
Secondly, those that “abide” and “dwell” in the House of God are those that are not only private disciples; but, also public disciples. (Jas 1:22) “But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.” Please read (Jas. 1:23-26) and you will readily see the difference between saying you are a Christian; and actually manifesting that you are, by working righteousness to those around you. When a person works righteousness, he is bearing the Fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23) and have (Gal 5:24) “And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.”
(Psa 15:2) “He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart.” They are the spiritual ones. The mouth speaketh what is in the heart or spirit. If the Spirit of God lives in the person; then, The Truth (Christ) lives in the spirit. Where the Spirit of God is, there is liberty and truth. When a person is indwelt by the Holy Spirit, he has power over his “old man,” or his flesh. Truth is in control of that person’s spirit and his words. The words that his mouth speaketh reveal Christ, The Truth, living in him.
Therefore, the words of the regenerated sinner are words of hope, light, and edification. They are the wholesome words of Jesus Christ. They are words that are exactly like the Written Word of God; that is, they are truth, and come from The Truth Himself. They are not destructive words; but, they are instructive words which edify, and lift up the believer. They are words of foundation; and not lies and sinking sand. They are words of sufficiency, words of love, of peace, and of power. They are words that can be depended upon, for they are words of truth. They are words that will never fail, nor ever lead the believer astray from God; but, they will always lift up the glory of Christ, and point the believer to The Truth Himself. They are words that will cause the hearer to thirst and hunger after righteousness. They are words that ring true today, tomorrow, and for all eternity; for they are the words of Righteousness. They are words that will lead you to freedom, and never to bondage. They are words that lead to growth and maturity in Christ; never to cause you to regress to infanthood.
They are words to live by, die by, and hope by.
“LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill?”
Only those who (Psa 15:2):
- “He that walketh uprightly, and
- “Worketh righteousness,and
- “Speaketh the truth in his heart.”