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September 24, 2021 8:00 am
Who is worthy in the eyes of God.
What are some of the characteristics of a righteous man today on the Bible study hour with Dr. James Boyce will explore the answers to these questions posed by David to God as we continue in our study of the Psalms, and welcome to the Bible study our radio and Internet broadcast with Dr. James Boyce preparing you to think and act quickly. Psalm 15 is a simple song with much to say about what it means to live a righteous life that is pleasing to God.
Listen along with us today as we deconstruct this song to examine the qualities and virtues of a righteous man.
If you have your Bible turn to Psalm 15 short time ago I was preaching on Romans 84 that text which says God saved is not merely to save us from hell. But in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met.
BIOS I talked about that for abandoned after I'd finished I got a note from someone who asked the question what are the righteous requirements of the law, what is it, particularly the God requires all is a very good question and I answered it is you might suspect I would answer it.
I said that although that word law is used in different ways. In Scripture, unless it's clear that is talking about something like a general moral law of humanity.
What it usually me says reference to the Old Testament law that law that you have in the first five books of the Bible and if you want to be particular about that. The summation of that is in the 10 Commandments, the rest of the Bible, to one extent or another, he explains what those mean and apply them on everyone. A summary of the 10 Commandments, the best place to get that from his teaching of Jesus Christ himself and what he called the first and the second great commandment. The first commandment is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul. Allow your mind with all your strength person who does that is fulfilling the first table of the law, first of the commandments and then the second command is to love your neighbor as yourself and the person who does that is fulfilling the second table of the law. So I said that's what God is looking for in a when he saves us.
It's an order that we might begin to live like that were put in another language, we might begin to live like Jesus Christ.
Now that's what's on 15 is all about the very beginning of this all.
David asked that question. Lord, who may dwell in your sanctuary who may live on your holy hill. Sometimes commentators look at that question and they say well is he thinking about heaven is he saying, Lord, in that final day when people die. Who is it that is going to be accepted into heaven or thinking about our earthly sanctuary is a thing about that holy hill of Zion and the saying who lives in such a way that he's able to go up to that sanctuary and enjoy fellowship with you. That is a fellowship while he is still on earth probably is the latter, though, is not necessary. Distinguish the two. It's a way of saying what is the character of the man or the woman God approves having asked that question in verse one.
David answers it in verses two through five answers that in a variety of ways and when he comes to the very end. There's little comment on the person who actually lives this way.
So in terms of an outline. This is a very simple song we need to see one or two things about it. However, before we begin I think they'll be helpful.
First of all we have to recognize that the question is asking here is one that concerns godly living and not justification.
See if you think of it in terms of justification you say well is a man-made right with God by doing these things of the lives like that is going to be justified answer is no, no one is justified except on the basis of the work of Jesus Christ. Those in the Old Testament. Look forward to his coming. Those of us who live since the coming of Jesus Christ look back and we are saved by faith in him and his death Boras that provided for the punishment of our sins and it's his righteousness freely offered to us that provides the basis for our justification.
This is a song dealing with a godly life and not with justification itself and then there's a second thing that is helpful as we approach it in this recognize that these answers a David gives her representative answers. By that I mean they're not all comprehensive. David says here in verses two through five is not everything he could say and the reason I'm encouraged to point that out is that there are other places in the Old Testament, and even in the Psalms where a similar question is asked, and similar but not identical answers are given. For example, very far on here in the Psalter. Psalm 24 you have a question which is quite similar, almost identical to what David asking Psalm 15 who may ascend the hill of the Lord who may stand in his holy place that he gives this answer. He who has clean hands and a pure heart does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false. Now that answer is very similar to what we find in Psalm 15, but it's not identical, so you have a representative kind of answer here to give you another example in the 33rd chapter of Isaiah. You have a similar question the questionnaire reads this way. Who of us can dwell with the consuming fire. Who of us can dwell with everlasting bargaining and then this answer is given, he locks righteously and speaks what is right is very close to what we find in Psalm 15 who rejects gain from extortion and keeps his hand from accepting bribes and stops his ears against the plots order again.
Some of those things are what we find in Psalm 15, but the answer is an identical and that is merely meant to suggest to us that what you have here in this Psalm is representative when you look at it does suggest a number of important categories and it's in those categories were going to study it. One more preliminary thing before we plunge in and it comes about an answer to this question. How many characteristics is David speaking about some of the older commentators so for analyzed, it may say whether 10 things that your to do and I like that. I suppose because the number of 10 reminds them of the 10 Commandments and they say well here's 10 Commandments for somebody would live a godly life of a commentator finds 11.
Some find seven or whatever.
I suppose it depends on what they think of biblical symbolism of numbers.
I would suggest that the way to approach it is in terms of the style in order to do that. I want to say something about the chief characteristic of Hebrew verse which is parallelism that is one thing repeated in the second line said once and then repeat it.
You know, in English verse. Our chief characteristics are meter in line all our lines and normal verse have the same number of feature beats and then we have some kind of rhyme, usually at the end I you do have reversal doesn't have that. That's become particularly common in contemporary verse, but most of the poetry you and I know follows that pattern lines go along in a certain kind of meter and then there's a rhyme at the end. Sometimes it's AA and BB and CC and sometimes they be 1 billions of minds is ABC.
ABC carries all sorts of ways would you expect the rhyme usually does not exist in Hebrew with something a little bit like meter, not what we mean by meter but their sometimes certain stresses in the Hebrew line so characteristic line might have to stresses in the I have two stresses something like meter but they don't have rhyme at all.
And as I said what the characteristic feature of Hebrew verse is is is parallel construction.
I mentioned that because that's what we have here. We have a lot of it. We had it before I say it's characteristic of the reversibly looking out through 14 Psalms we've undoubtedly seen it before I called attention to it before, but here you really do have some clear examples and this is important to understand the answers. David gives you say something about different kinds of parallel construction variances you might expect, and it's from the variation that you get the interests in the verse most obvious kind of parallel would be where you say something once and then you sent all over again. But in slightly different works. That's really what you have in verse two he whose walk is blameless, and who does what is righteous, slightly different words but that is very much saying almost the same thing. Sometimes you have an alternative you a contrast. He does this and he doesn't do that and that's what you have in the next couple of which is the second half of verse two in the first half of verse three and speaks the truth from his heart and has no slander on his tongue so obviously in the same area. Speaking of the same characteristics. It has to do with speech, but that one is positive and the other is negative sometimes you have a construction where something is said and then in the repeat in the second line. It's added to not merely repeated that would be the construction a but not only a also be and you find that you see you find it. Didn't that will shorten one.
The second half of verse four, who keeps his oath even when it hurts the kind of parallel construction is incomplete. I want to say something about that later. The second half of that heads to the first part.
You not only keeps his oath, he does what he says he's going to do what he does it, even when it's to his disadvantage to have that kind of thing in Hebrew verse. It's interesting to study it. Reason I point that out here is that when you recognize that these are all little sets of parallel slow payers of lines, couplets begin to recognize advance the outline of the answer. Today was question asked the question who may dwell in your sanctuary are living your holy hill and then he gives six little parents and each little pair has to do with the characteristic when you see that it's easy to determine what he saying.
The first has to do with the approved man's character.
Second, has to do with the approved man's speech. The third has to do with his conduct and forth with his values, the fifth with his integrity in the six with his use of money after he gets through those six things he has a little line which the Psalm in style but look at it in those terms. First of all, his character, he is walk is blameless, and who does what is righteous now. At first glance, when we look at that. That seems to be the kind of parallel where you have a contrast. The first is negative. He is blameless, without blame, we would say in the second is positive. He does what is righteous. Actually, you couldn't have in the Hebrew, more perfect, parallel than this, because that first word blameless doesn't really have quite the negative idea, but it does in our minds, without blame, no blame without flaw. No flaws. It rather means what we would mean if you're talking about something without flaws we would say well it's a perfect thing right. That's the idea behind that word blameless. That really says is here's a man is walk his horse around and he does what is righteous. I guess our way of saying it would be that he is well-rounded and well grounded well-rounded because she's not just buried in one area. He's completed all areas you can say, is a person who has a very good characteristic and we admire him for that.
But then he has three or four serious flaws greatly weaken what is a person who is well-rounded and, moreover, is grounded in the sense that he is this without being shaken we can count on to be that way.
Day after day, year after year. This is the characteristic of the righteous man.
I said that the second half of a couplet in this kind of construction repeats what said before, but it doesn't mean it just repeats it without any addition whatsoever here, although the second of these two lines of saying the same thing that the first line is there is an additional idea and it's found in that verb does does what is righteous in other words, here's a man who doesn't just time as we would say passively moral character. Here's somebody who who actually asked righteously.
Who does what is just to recall to use a New Testament idea that the Lord what he was speaking of this kind of a person said this is the kind of person who feeds the hungry and close the naked and give strength to those who were thirsty and visits those who are imprisoned and takes care of those were sick. Now that's what David is saying here saying the character God approves kind of people he likes are those who are upright and who actually do righteousness. They do good deeds.
Second, talks about the approved man's speech. It says he speaks the truth from his heart has no slander on his tongue out at the contrast, the opposite of the first first of parallel second is a contrast and it says on the positive side, he speaks the truth says on the negative side, he doesn't slander anybody have to make a few comments there, one having to do with truth. When we talk about truth. We usually simply mean that which corresponds to reality, truth, as opposed to error or falsehood that's involved in the Jewish idea of truth, but the Jewish idea truth is more it's only that which is true, as opposed to that which is false, but that which is true in the sense that you can rely on our closest approximation of the idea would be trust worthy do some examples of that word is used of God.
God is a God of truth that Jesus Christ is of Jesus Christ himself. He said I am the way the truth and the light accused of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is called the spirit of truth that used of the word of God Jesus that sanctify them by your truth. Your word is truth. Now why is that why is the word for chiefly characters think of God the father, son and Holy Spirit in the Bible well because these are things on which we can rely say does it mean truth as opposed falsehood. Yes, of course, it involves that God always speaks the truth but to see. In addition, the Hebrew being richer in this area in our speech. It means you can count on God. That's what David is saying here. He wants the man who is a man, according to God's own heart of a woman, according to God's own heart to be someone upon whom you can rely they speak truth. Oh yes, they speak to you there, telling it like it is not trying to pretend to be one thing when there actually something else or not using words to manipulate you. They're not trying to put on a false place straightforward simply because it is that way word something you can rely on.
You can go away saying they said they do it.
I know they'll do it. That's the kind of character God approves the third of these couplets. Who does his neighbor no wrong and casts no slur on his fellow man is talking about conduct, it's almost parallel itself to the second of the couplets, but it does go beyond it. You say you can say if you're not slandering somebody in your speaking the truth about them. You're not longing them.
Course that's true, but it goes beyond it because I think in this sense it is passing beyond words to action is a slander is something you do against somebody else by words, when you get to the next couplet it says and does his neighbor no wrong that is moving over into the area of action.
You don't actually do anything that hurts the other person.
Somebody will say will have about this matter of casting a slur is not involved words well it may, but not necessarily.
I think in the context since the motion goes the way it doesn't, it probably involves something quite in addition, the words true.
You can slur somebody by speaking rudely to them, but you can also act that way you can snub them somebody that you think is a very important somebody whom you look down on you can treat them. We say treat them like dirt to be mean to them.
You can ignore them at happens at work. Perhaps it might happen in the social context. David says Scott doesn't like that kind of conduct that is not the way the Lord Jesus Christ, our model treated other people. He never slandered other people and he did not casts letters on them either by speech or by action and so where to follow him. The fourth of these has to do with values. I would say to put it in our own terms of it has to do with models say that couplet says who despises a vile man but honors those who fear the Lord, that doesn't mean he despises a vile manliness to the extent that he wouldn't do any good to him because the verses immediately before that would contradict it already had a chance to lead them in the right way wouldn't try to do it drawer if we put in a New Testament context to preach the gospel to them would refuse to do it because the man is while that's a very personal needs. The gospel is talking about that saying his vileness is not something the godly man admires. Rather, he despises the while conduct and by contrast, the honors those who fear the Lord this matter. Models are very very important today, and especially among the young. Some years ago couple years ago. Now the Canadian government did a study of the young to see what their values Warren see if they couldn't put some of the data that came out of the study into the educational system in Canada and they found that a number of interesting things among them the fact that the youth in our day. Generally have no heroes, nobody they look up to kind of a hard thing for many of us were older and understand because when we were growing up. We did have heroes and we do have your people. We looked up to. I want to be like them, and to some extent, that kind of character we have and the things were doing today had to do with those who were higher models.
I had preachers who were models and when I entered in the ministry, but they didn't way they did. It became a model for me not copying them slavishly, but that was something you wanted to do and I think probably during my years in seminary.
The fact that I had models of godly ministers who believe the word Nevada teach it really kept me from number the errors with which I was surrounded during those days week that but the young today really don't and because they don't have models.
Nobody there trying to be like they're more or less a drift or lay socially and spiritually think that's a product of the secularization of our culture.
I'm sure you have heard me say before speaking about soulmate I did it as part of the series that we have this mediating position in the universe where we are lower than the heavenly beings of higher than the beast and it's our privilege to look up beyond the heavenly beings to God and we look to God become like God. I began to think about that in terms of what David is saying here and I realized it's not just a question only in looking up the Godfather also human beings we should look up to those who will be achieved and owed on that which is good, who fear the Lord become our models but we don't look we don't have even human models. Well the same thing happens in that area happen spiritually. We end up looking down to those who were not models of all the world were bad models and we become like them.
The only thing worse. I think that having no models. Along with having bad models and if there's any way in which I would reflect on the Canadian study and say how are things actually happening today would be by saying many of the young.
Unfortunately, not only have no models but they have bad models of you say who you want to be like what they think over the rock stars love abominable aliveness. In most cases, but who are rich and famous and they think, well, I'd like to be like that or even worse in some areas of our city who are the heroes heroes of the crack dealers because they walk around and flashy clothes and they have expensive jewelry and the young say well that's what I like to be like that sad to see the culture comes to that point. That's what's happening in our age.
David says person God admires the wanted despises the wild man the vileness but wonders those who fear the Lord this of these couplets is what I referred to earlier is an incomplete couplet the way it reads is just one sentence and keeps his oath even when it hurts, yet understandable elements are dropped out there that were made into a perfect couplet would go like this and keeps his oath at all times and it doesn't break his word, even when it hurts, that's the way the parallel with God when it's foreshortened as it is here parts being dropped out.
It's to heighten one of the elements in this case the element of Titans is the second even when it hurts. It's easy to keep your oath, but it doesn't hurt if it's to your advantage swell people do keep contracts and promises and covenants and their word is when the situation changes you find that what you promise to do it covenanted to do were signed a contract to do isn't to your advantage than you want to try to get out of it and that's what's happening today contracts in our day hardly mean nothing anymore because somebody will always find some reason why they didn't quite understand the circumstances when they signed it and so they try to get out of it. It's a breakdown of the moral system, the legal system in our time to see those whom God approves are people who stick by their word. Even when it hurts, even when it produces unhappiness even when there is financial loss. It does not that person's own individual prosperity or happiness above all else. David says that's the kind of character God honors his last thing has to do with use of money. It's interesting how practical the Bible is doesn't leave it out there just in terms of abstract moral concepts that says nitty-gritty is what you do with the money you receive in your paycheck every month who lends his money without usury does not accept a bribe against the innocent. I say this has to do with use of money because as I study this matter of usury in the Bible and convinced it's not just usury itself that's involved.
When you go back to the passages in the Old Testament there are a number of them, you'll find that although there are some that just talk about lending your money for interest always qualifications person living under the Old Testament system could be flown to somebody outside the system, but you could loan you a Gentile. So it wasn't usury per se that was involved in. Usually when it forbids usury to a member of the Jewish race.
It says because you're taking advantage other than his poverty. That's what's involved. Not using money in a legitimate way for business operations. I would suggest that our board parable about that talent seemed suggest that that's possible. The man received the talents he put it out the usury of the profit from it.
When the master came back yet a prophet, I would suggest that that's not a problem at all.
The problem is really what we find Nehemiah we saw when we studied there you had a situation where the exiles were also huddling together to do something extremely difficult to build the walls for their own defense and reconstitute the city while I was going on while they were also must be struggling together and working together and sacrificing those who had means were taking advantage of those who were poor among their brethren and they came to Nehemiah and they complain they said were trying to do our best but we don't have the money to pay the king's taxes are certain things we have to do it only than the money to eat rather loaning us the money. But it's at such high rates were being impoverished. We find that we even have to sell our sons and daughters in the slavery to settle the debt. Nehemiah who wouldn't stop the building of the threats of all the heathen in the countries roundabouts stop at that point because he said there's no use. Building a wall to defend the city of what's inside the walls is worth defending, and he wouldn't go ahead and we got it all straightened out.
As he was concerned with usury, but to whom the money was Lenten for what purpose he was. Not going to allow that to be used to harm those who were in need and then there's a final element. It says it doesn't accept a bribe against the innocent area see the greed involves justice. Also, Hugh Latimer, one of the great bishops of the church said one of his writings of a judge should ask me what is the quickest path to hell. I would tell them it's in these words become covetous accept bribes and perverted justice, and he said I can think of. The fourth thing that to it.
That's what David is talking about here. A godly man does not do that once the results well. He asked the question at the beginning. Lord, who may dwell in your sanctuary who may live in your holy hell this is the kind of person can have fellowship with God.
We put it in terms of our sacraments is the kind of person who can approach the communion table's heart is open before the Lord is confessed his sin is trying to live a godly life as they would say as he closes about such a person not only that he will have fellowship with God and dwell in heaven. And the final day, but the one or does these things will never be shaken when does he mean by that arthritis ever shaken apparently because Davis talked about himself all the troubles the righteous go through shaken yes but you see what David means is not shaken loose rounds, but Martin knocked out lockdown not eliminated from the contest because God was faithful to his own people is faithful to those who live for him.
We want to be like that. I asked the question hardly lets examine our hearts and the basis of that study of his prior father to take these things home to our hearts. It's easy for us to read and then dismiss especially in the area where it applies. Stars most effectively would ask you to do in our hearts by your spirit what we tend not to do to ourselves. Don't want to do use this for good. We pray in order we might grow in might become increasingly like Jesus prayers. Thank you for listening to this message from the Bible study our listener supported ministry of the alliance of confessing Evangelicals. The alliance is a coalition of pastors, scholars and churchmen who hold to the historic creeds and confessions of the reformed faith and who proclaim biblical doctrine in order to foster a reformed awakening in today's church. To learn more about the alliance visit alliance net.org and while you're there, visit our online store reformed resources. You can find messages and books from Dr. Boyce and other outstanding teachers and theologians or vascular free reformed resources catalog by calling 1-800-488-1888. Please take the time to write to us and share how the Bible study our has impacted you. We love to hear from you and pray for you. Our address is 600 Eden Rd., Lancaster, PA 17601.
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