Psalm 15 asks “who can come into the presence of God?” It then describes the characteristics of the acceptable person. It is about living a life that approaches God’s presence. I would argue it’s not a legalistic description of those who will go to heaven, but a set of characteristics each believer should strive to develop in his life. It’s living the kind of life that will usher us into God’s presence. Ogilvie rightly observes, “While the psalm could be interpreted legalistically, this would be wrong. The psalmist is concerned with our attitude, not just our action. As C. S. Lewis points out in The Great Divorce, ‘throughout our lives we are either growing closer to God or further from Him.” This Psalm is about drawing closer to God.

Vs 4 describes this godly person as one “who swears to his own hurt and does not change.” Back in the late 50’s my father worked for a general contractor under Keiwit Construction. Dad and his crew did the cement work for swimming pools in and around Omaha for new housing developments going up. Someone up the chain towards Keiwit went bankrupt and my Dad lost the entire summer’s income. Keiwit and the other contractors above my Dad didn’t lose anything at all. But my dad was left holding the bag. But that’s not all. He had a crew that worked for him all summer as well. I can remember Dad telling Mom that even though he didn’t get the money promised him, he still had to deliver on the money he’d promised others. He had an agreement! He made it and it resulted in his hurt, but unlike the contractors above him, Dad did not change! He carried out his commitment.

In God’s economy, those who keep their words even when it hurts, are those who are appreciating in value. God is always faithful to do what he said he would do regardless of the cost. Just look at Jesus on the cross.

“Lord, you know the hopes of the helpless. Surely you will hear their cries and comfort them. (Psalm 10:17)