Tuesday, February 5, 2013
Abiding in his Tent
Psa. 15:1 O LORD, who may abide in your tent?
Who may dwell on your holy hill?
Psa. 15:2 ¶ Those who walk blamelessly, and do what is right,
and speak the truth from their heart;
Psa. 15:3 who do not slander with their tongue,
and do no evil to their friends,
nor take up a reproach against their neighbors;
Psa. 15:4 in whose eyes the wicked are despised,
but who honor those who fear the LORD;
who stand by their oath even to their hurt;
Psa. 15:5 who do not lend money at interest,
and do not take a bribe against the innocent.
¶ Those who do these things shall never be moved.
Abiding in the tent of the Lord had been reserved for those people who had developed a very personal relationship with God. The tent of meeting had traveled with the children of Israel. Moses spent time abiding in that tent, along with Joshua. The women who were the keepers of the entrance to the tent had spent much of their lives in tending to the tent. Those who entered that place spent time in personal fellowship with God. It was the sacred space where heaven and earth met and one came to simply be in the presence of the most Holy God. Therefore the Psalmist asks "who may abide in your tent?" It's a valid question because it is the very heart of a personal relationship with God, and yet it was a holy and sacred place.
The good news of the Psalm is that the tent was open to all of those who would live as God's holy people. This involved two major aspects of everyone's life. First of all it involved a godly life in which one reined in the tongue, and second, it was a life that produced certain behaviors. If a person lived this type of life, they would be invited into the tent of meeting forever!
This Psalm is written before Christ comes to the earth, and yet there are parallels to the Christian life which can be seen here. Who is invited into the tent? When the Messiah came, the barriers were destroyed and all of humanity was invited in to meet with God. Now people of every race and every nation, male and female, slave and free are invited to come into the tent of meeting and sojourn, or simply fellowship with God. The idea of entering into the tent of meeting is not one of dropping in and hurriedly leaving, but instead it is the idea that we come to the tent of meeting and we settle in -- and make this our place of dwelling. We make our home in the Lord. This becomes the central feature of our lives and we are no longer running and scrambling to find other things to do. God is the very center and focus of all things and all that we do is based on this relationship of abiding in his tent.
Once we have entered the tent we will go out of the tent and attend to the things of the world. Our interaction with the world will be defined by our time in the tent. The behaviors listed by the Psalmist are the result of spending time in the tent. When Moses spent time in the tent of meeting with God, the very glory of God began to be radiated in him. When we spend time in God's presence, his very nature begins to be revealed in us and in our responses to the world around us. We do what is right, we speak truth, we do not slander, we do no evil…we honor those who fear the Lord...we don't lend money at interest, we do not take bribes. The time in the tent changes the way that we look at the world around us and the way in which we interact with the world around us.
Finally, if we spend time in the tent and we allow God to influence us and our daily lives, then we will not be moved! In other words, we will be invited in to life eternal with God on high. We are provided with a pattern for life in which we abide in him, and he abides in us. Time with the Lord results in a changed interaction with the world.
Before stepping out into the world we must take the time to abide in the tent of the Lord. He welcomes us all into his place -- his place of temporary dwelling here on this earth. He has purposely brought his tent to us so that we can fellowship with him. May we enter into this sweet fellowship today and every day.
Lord, thank you for the sweet fellowship which we are privileged to enjoy with you. Amen.