Who Shall Abide in God’s Sanctuary?
1O Lord, who may abide in your tent? Who may dwell on your holy hill?
The word translated abide can be better thought of as sojourn; it describes a visit, receiving the hospitality of a tent-dwelling host. This opening is understood in light of the customs of hospitality in the ancient near east.
“In the gracious hospitality of the antique world, a guest was sheltered from all harm; his person was inviolable, his wants all met. So the guest of Jehovah is safe, can claim asylum from every foe and share in all the bountiful provision of His abode.” (Maclaren)
–David Guzik (and all following comments in red)
2Those who walk blamelessly, and do what is right,
In one sense David speaks from an Old Covenant perspective. Though the Old Covenant gave an important place to sacrifice and atonement through blood, it also based blessing and cursing on obedience (Leviticus 26, Deuteronomy 28). The disobedient could not expect blessing, including the blessing of God’s presence.
The New Covenant gives us a different ground for blessing and relationship with God: the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross. Under the New Covenant, faith, not performance, is the basis for blessing.
Nevertheless, David’s principle is also accurate under the New Covenant in this sense: the conduct of one’s life is a reflection of their fellowship with God. As John wrote: If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth (1 John 1:6). We might say that under the Old Covenant a righteous walk was the precondition for fellowship with God; under the New Covenant a righteous walk is the result of fellowship with God, founded on faith.
and speak the truth from their heart;
3who do not slander with their tongue, and do no evil to their friends, nor take up a reproach against their neighbors;
“I think more damage has been done to the church and its work by gossip, criticism, and slander than by any other single sin. So I say, don’t do it. Bite your tongue before you criticize another Christian.”
–James M. Boice (pastor of Philadelphia’s historic Tenth Presbyterian Church, 1968-2000)
4in whose eyes the wicked are despised, but who honor those who fear the Lord; who stand by their oath even to their hurt;
5who do not lend money at interest, and do not take a bribe against the innocent.
God wants us to be helpful to others, even when it might require our own expense.
Those who do these things shall never be moved.
The righteous ones will abide in God’s sanctuary!
1 John 2:17 (NLT)
And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever.
HERE is Hillsong with “Dwell in Your House.”
The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.