Psalm 15: 1 – 5
O Lord, who may abide in Your tent? Who may dwell on Your holy hill?2 He who walks with integrity, and works righteousness, And speaks truth in his heart. He does not slander with his tongue, Nor does evil to his neighbor, Nor takes up a reproach against his friend; In whose eyes a reprobate is despised, But who honors those who fear the Lord; He swears to his own hurt and does not change; He does not put out his money at interest, Nor does he take a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things will never be shaken.
This is a psalm by David, written out of hard learned experience. We have much to learn from him about applying principles of godly living and spiritual success. Several principles are laid out in these verses, but we shall focus on only one: ‘he swears to his own hurt and does not change.’ David learned this principle from his painful encounters with Saul. Saul was bitterly jealous and enraged with David for winning his (Saul’s) battles with great success! He was determined to kill David. But first let us set the scene: Saul was a legitimately anointed King of Israel, but because of his unfaithfulness and blatant disregard for God’s revealed will, Samuel was instructed by God to anoint David King in Saul’s place (1 Samuel 16). This produced the awkward situation of two anointed kings, but only one can live to rule the kingdom. For David, this was a terrible predicament: How was he to fulfill God’s calling without killing his rival?
The principle that David understood from the Holy Spirit is this – David cannot secure the kingdom for himself by taking the matter into his own hands and by using his own power. In 1Samuel 24:3-22 we see that David could easily have ended years of wandering and misery by killing Saul. Here then is where the application of Psalm15:4 comes in. Because David obeyed the principle, he suffered to his own hurt by continuing to trust God to vindicate him.
A second incident is recorded in 1Samuel 26:5-25. As in the first, it can easily be concluded – or assumed – that God had indeed delivered Saul into David’s hand. But David again resisted and refused to take the matter into his own hands. He instead affirmed his hope in God – 1 Samuel 26:10 ‘ David also said “as the Lord lives, surely the Lord will strike him, or he will go down into battle and perish.”‘ (Saul did indeed perish in battle, though by his own hand (1 Samuel 31).
What does David’s hope in God tell us? Simply this, that we, as citizens of God’s kingdom (Zion) are servants and not masters of the work that God has for us. We are stewards; God himself will secure His purpose – We on our part are to trust Him to secure it for His glory – not ours.
The other very important reason for ‘letting go and letting God’ is precisely this, to GIVE ROOM for God to work! Romans 12:19 ‘Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. Isaiah 64:4 ‘For from days of old they have not heard or perceived by ear, Nor has the eye seen a God besides You, Who acts in behalf of the one who waits for Him’. It is our privilege to witness His vindication. Holding on to the principles of Psalm15, David endured and hoped, and in God’s timing, he was established King. David faithfully endured a time of great testing and shaking. What is the promise of his Psalm? ‘He who does these things will NEVER BE SHAKEN.’
Brother Steve Yap