Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Psalm 101, 15, 24, & 65 - Holiness is in the House!

LINKS/BACKGROUND

All these psalms center on holiness and are perfect for the time when the Ark, the symbol of the Lord's presence, was brought to Jerusalem. 


Psalm 101 - This psalm is full of the David's intention for personal and corporate holiness during his reign. He sang of the Lord's love and justice (Psalm 89:14) and wanted to rule in like manner.


Psalm 15 - The tabernacle dwelt on a holy hill, Zion, in the "city of David" (2 Samuel 6:10-12, 17) and David brought the Holy Ark to dwell in it. In this Psalm, David explained who could dwell and worship there. 


Psalm 24 - If this was written around the time of the Ark coming to Jerusalem (we are making an educated guess here), then the "ancient doors" referred to in 24:7 was the old fortress that received the Ark.  The psalm acknowledges the Lord's sovereignty over all things and who is worthy to enter the tabernacle and worship. Tradition says that it was sung on the first day of each week in the temple services. 

The people outside would call to the temple gates to open up and let the King of glory in. From inside, the priests or another group would ask, "Who is this King of glory?" Outside, the people would respond in unison, "The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle," proclaiming his great power and strength. The exchange was then repeated (24:9, 10), and the temple gates would swing open, symbolizing the people's desire to have God's presence among them. 
(The Life Application Bible, p. 926)
And God's presence is definitely with all of us in Jesus! 

This psalm could also be a reference to the return to Jerusalem after a battle victory. Either applies to Jesus as He has won the victory over sin, darkness, and death through His resurrection from the dead! The suffering, silent Servant has become the Warrior King. WOOHOOO! 

Notice the word glory repeated over and over again in this Psalm. 

Psalm 65 - This psalm speaks of being brought near to God and the joy of being satisfied with the goodness of God's house (65:4)


REFLECTION 


David wanted to begin his reign with holiness on the brain.  All of these psalms speak of personal and corporate holiness.  I am centering in on Psalm 15 because it was the psalm that every member of my sorority across the nation had to memorize and quote at the beginning of every weekly chapter meeting. It spoke of the characteristics of holiness of those living in community: honest and righteous with no slandering, doing evil to your neighbor, or taking up reproach against a friend. 


Our house certainly did not live up to these standards! Growing up as the only girl in my family, it was really difficult for me to adjust to living with the conflict generated by 70 women stacked three stories high! I was not above reproach and would get sucked into the petty factions too. 

Do not get me wrong: there were fun times, and I have made some really good friends as a result of my three years living in this kind of community, but it was REALLY TOUGH too. Corporate holiness is a great ideal, but it is hard when you have a bunch of sinners, like me, thrown together!

Fast forward that to a community that I lived with while overseas, we had this "rule" that we all signed on to. We were not allowed to say anything negative about any of the other members of the community behind their back ("He does not back bite with his tongue" [15:3]).  It was wonderful! Any conflict we had was brought up directly with the people involved or done in the group setting for all to hear. It was great and very healthy. Conflict occurs, but it can be biblical conflict.  


APPLICATION 


Pray through these psalms and evaluate your own standards for personal holiness. Of course, only Jesus makes us righteous before God. Ask Him to help you to walk in holiness in all your relationships and spend some time praising God too! These psalms are full of characteristics of the great God we serve!


Also, many groups are starting up this fall. Pray about setting some standards for how you will relate in the group in terms of confidentiality and talking about others when they are not present.


PRAYER 


Pray responsively through one or all of these psalms. It will be a rich experience in God's presence. 
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