“You’re welcome to come to our house. We would love to have you stay with us,” began Bob Owen in his lecture last Tuesday morning at the Florida College Lectures.
Bob brought home the point that we only offer that kind of invitation to someone with whom we feel comfortable being in our home. A friend. A relative. A brother or sister in Christ. Someone with whom we enjoy a relationship.
David, in Psalm 15:1, raises this question: “Lord, who may abide in Your tabernacle? Who may dwell in Your holy hill?
Our word of the week is “abide.”
Other versions render the Hebrew word as “sojourn” or “dwell”. A Hebrew lexicon defines the word to mean “to dwell for a time… to temporarily dwell…to inhabit…to remain…to seek hospitality with.”
God invites us into friendship, fellowship and divine association with Him. While we sojourn in this life in our trek from earth to heaven, God bids us enjoy a spiritual relationship with Him. In His House. With His Son.
But who? asks the Psalmist. The answer is found in the following verses, beginning with three positive qualities
(1) The upright. The one whose walk of life is characterized by integrity. Virtue. Honor. And spiritual soundness.
(2) The worker of righteousness. A just person who not only refrains from wrong doing, but is living in pursuit of doing right. Doing good. Seeking justice.
(3) The speaker of Truth. God hates lying. Liars are not welcomed in his house. His word is his bond. There is not equivocation. Evasion. Or prevarication.
David, then, turns to three negative qualities.
(4) Not a slanderer. The gossiper, backbiter, and defamer of others will not abide with God. There is no room for the rumormonger.
(5) Not an evil doer. Evil is incomparable with the nature of God. Evil cannot abide with God. Nor can the worker of wrongdoing.
(6) Not one who reproaches a friend. To reproach is to taunt, shame, disgrace or to cast scorn on someone. It involves defaming and casting blame. Such a one is not welcome to abide with the Holy One.
Who may abide with God? Verses 4 and 5 conclude with these stipulations.
(7) One who despises evil. The friend of God cannot be a friend of vile people.
(8) One who honors God and fears Him. If we are to enjoy association with the Almighty it must be predicated upon awe, respect, and reverence.
(9) One who keeps his Word, even to his own disadvantage. Covenant breakers will not abide with God. Those who dwell with Him are people of honesty and honor.
(10) One who is not greedy or covetous. He does not take advantage of the poor nor is he susceptible to taking a bride.
These 10 qualities do not constitute an exclusive list, but rather provide insight into the character and spiritual nature of the one God invites to abide with Him.
Who will abide?
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman