Psa. 15:0 A Psalm of David.
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;
3 who do not slander with their tongue,
and do no evil to their friends,
nor take up a reproach against their neighbors;
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;
5 who do not lend money at interest,
and do not take a bribe against the innocent.
David had experienced displacement in his life. He had spent plenty of time wandering and wondering whether he would ever be able to settle in at a place he could call home. Through this experience he discovered what it meant to sojourn and to find a place of abiding. No matter where he was geographically, he was able to abide within the tent of the LORD.
This Psalm becomes an invitation into the tent, or sanctuary of the LORD. This is a place where those who are not at home on this earth may find a place to settle down and rest — and to abide in God’s holy presence.
But who may enter that tent? Who can abide in that place with God? How does the wanderer — or the refugee find a home?
The remainder of the Psalm sounds a bit like a reiteration of the ten commandments. Those who abide are those who become a part of the LORD’s family, and in doing so take upon themselves his characteristics. To live on the holy hill is to be consumed by the very holy love which is the nature of God. The results of that abiding include all of the attributes mentioned. God’s people are transformed when dwelling on his holy hill.
We are all refugees, wandering and searching for a place to call home. We do not belong here but are citizens of the kingdom and therefore long for a place to dwell. We are drawn to the LORD’s tent for there we finally feel a sense of belonging.
We will encounter others who are looking for a place to call home. There are many wandering refugees in this world, both spiritually and physically. The church is to be the community in which we find our home. This gathering of God’s holy people becomes the place of transformation where people are invited to abide.
The church needs to be the place where every refugee can find a home. Even if we are dwelling in a country for which we have a passport — we are still a spiritual refugee and need to find a home. The world is teeming with people who are spiritual refugees, wandering day by day and looking for a place where they can finally belong. If the church is not that place they will look elsewhere and there they will abide.
Why should we stop short on simply considering the spiritual refugee? Today the world is full of physical refugees who are fleeing for their lives and looking for a place of safety. Where will they find the place where they can abide? What would happen if they found a sanctuary of God’s holy love where they might experience the transformational presence of the LORD? All refugees are looking for a home. God has already invited us into his home and in this way becomes an example for the church to follow. To reflect God is to become a sanctuary of his transformational presence for the wandering.
Let’s open our doors and invite those in who need to a place to abide.
LORD, thank you for providing a place for me. Amen.
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