The Unbelievability of Divine Accessibility.
“O my soul , you have said to the LORD, ‘You are my Lord, My goodness is nothing apart from You.'” – Psalm 16:2 NKJV
Who can be a welcome guest in God’s house or become a permanent resident in the place where He lives?
Those are the questions that David opens Psalm 15 with, and they are a bit sobering and scary if you stop to think about them. What kind of person has the right to come into God’s presence? What qualifies them to live their lives as God’s neighbor – so to speak? David answers his own question by describing someone who lives a life of integrity. They are blameless. No, not perfect or without sin, but they attempt to live every area of their life out in the open – in front of God – with nothing hidden or compartmentalized. They are the kind of person whose actions are right and whose speech is marked by truth, not lies. They don’t use words to hurt others or take advantage of them. They have a strong dislike for those whose lives are marked by a love for sin. But they recognize the value of those who love the Lord. They are promise keepers, not promise breakers. They share their money with others without demanding payment in return (plus a little something extra for their efforts). And they would never think of selling out someone just to pad their own wallet.
Wow! David says the person whose life is characterized by this kind of behavior is the one who will be left standing in the end. He or she will be welcome as God’s guest and given a place in His presence. David covers virtually every aspect of an individual’s life. Character, speech, conduct, values, integrity – even their finances. This is a person who shares God’s heart. It’s a portrait of someone whose life pleases God. But wait. How are we expected to pull this off? I don’t always do what’s right. I don’t always speak the truth from a sincere heart. I sometimes gossip and I have been known to speak evil of my friends on occasion. There isn’t one thing on David’s list of godly characteristics that I have managed to fulfill perfectly or completely. Which leads us right to Psalm 16. David knows the source of his integrity, honesty, right conduct, and pure motives. It’s God. David appeals to God to keep him safe, to literally put a hedge of protection around him. He knows that it is only through God’s help that any of us can come into His presence. He says, “You are my Lord, my goodness is nothing apart from You.” In other words, only God can make a man good enough to qualify to come into His presence. God makes it possible for us to live the life David described in Psalm 15. Left to our own devices, we will sin and disqualify ourselves from ever entering God’s presence. In Psalm 14, David said, “The Lord looks down from heaven on the entire human race; he looks to see if anyone is truly wise, if anyone seeks God. But no, all have turned away; all have become corrupt. No one does good, not a single one!” (Psalm 14:2-3 NLT). Paul takes up that same theme in his letter to the believers in Rome. “No one is righteous — not even one. No one is truly wise; no one is seeking God. All have turned away; all have become useless. No one does good, not a single one” (Romans 3:10-12 NLT). So what are we supposed to do? Paul goes on to tell us, “For no one can ever be made right with God by doing what the law commands. The law simply shows us how sinful we are. But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago. We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are” (Romans 3:20-22 NLT).
With David I say, “NO wonder my heart is glad, and I rejoice. My body rests in safety. For you will not leave my soul among the dead or allow your holy one to rot in the grave. You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever” (Psalm 16:9-11 NLT). God makes it all possible. From my ability to come into His presence right now to the assurance that I will one day live with Him forever.
Father, even my goodness come from You. I can’t live the life You’ve called me to live, so You sent Your Son to live it for me and die the death that I deserved for my sins. Now I can come into Your presence, not because of what I have done or deserve, but because what Jesus did that kept me from getting what I deserve. Amen
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men