Blessed Day 10 Blessed Are The Pure In Heart: Digging Deeper

Digging Deeper Days

Finding the original intent of Scripture and making good application to our everyday lives as we become equipped to correctly handle the Word of Truth!

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The Questions

1) What or where is the tent and/or holy mountain referred to in verse 1?

2) Can anyone truly meet the qualifications listed in these verses?

3) Verse 5 says the one who does these things will never be shaken, but bad things happen to people trying to live for God every day. How can I reconcile this?

Psalm 15

Lord, who can dwell in your tent?

Who can live on your holy mountain?

2 The one who lives blamelessly, practices righteousness,

and acknowledges the truth in his heart—

3 who does not slander with his tongue,

who does not harm his friend

or discredit his neighbor,

4 who despises the one rejected by the Lord

but honors those who fear the Lord,

who keeps his word whatever the cost,

5 who does not lend his silver at interest

or take a bribe against the innocent—

the one who does these things will never be shaken.

Original Intent

1) What or where is the tent and/or holy mountain referred to in verse 1?
Context is always important when digging into the deeper meaning of Scripture. Who wrote it, what was happening at that time in history, do the surrounding verses and/or chapters give us any hints as to context, are all important questions to ask when studying. What we know about this particular psalm is it was written by King David, and during a period when the location of the ark of the covenant was extremely important as it signified God’s presence and favor among His people. The ark of the covenant was God’s chosen dwelling place where He met with His people. The question posed by David in this passage essentially asks, “Who is worthy to enter into God’s presence?”. Or better yet, “What type of person is qualified to gain permission in accessing God’s presence?”. The question shows us David’s heart to be with God and his desire to live a life in step with Him.

2) Can anyone truly meet the qualifications listed in these verses?
The obvious answer is no. The prophet Isaiah said, “we all, like sheep, have gone astray, each turning to his own way.” (Isaiah 53:6) We all choose ourselves and our ways over God and His ways. No one is exempt, all have sinned. However, we need to view this list of godly characteristics as God’s picture of what our lives are to look like as we reflect His righteousness. David is thinking through the character traits required for someone who can live in God’s presence.  You could say  this is David’s “bucket list” for living a godly life. The traits he references point toward the purity of heart he longs for and works towards. He seems to understand the desire for godly living is an attitude of the heart and something to lean into and train for, not something you fall into.

3) Verse 5 says the one who does these things will never be shaken, but bad things happen to people trying to live for God every day. How can I reconcile this?
It’s important to remember that, at this point in biblical history, God’s people lived under the law (the Ten Commandments and whole host of other laws recorded in Leviticus and Numbers). They were taught that if you lived a life that pleases God, you can expect to be rewarded. The old covenant system of blessing came through obedience to God’s word and His instructions. We also need to remember that David was far from perfect, even though we think of him as a great biblical hero conquering Goliath, becoming king, and as a man after God’s own heart. He was a human being just like you and me, trying to live for God, but at the same time plagued with temptation and his own sin nature. David isn’t saying bad things won’t happen if you live for God, rather he points to God’s unchanging character. God will not be shaken and will always stand firm in the midst of life’s storms. Matthew 7:24-25 teaches us it is the wise person who builds their life upon the Rock. Jesus is a firm foundation and He will never be shaken.

Everyday Application

1) What or where is the tent and/or holy mountain referred to in verse 1?
Today, we have direct access to God’s Presence through the gift of the Holy Spirit who comes to dwell within the heart of everyone who trusts in the Lord for life and salvation. However, the question is still a valid one. If we are serious about living for God, we must be serious about recognizing our sin, its effect in separating us from God, and realizing how unworthy we are to enter His Presence. Jeremiah 17:9 reminds us how deceitful our hearts truly are. If not for God’s amazing grace, and the sacrifice of our perfect Savior, we would not have the privilege and blessing of God’s Spirit living in us. We would have no access to God. At times, we forget the significance of this gift, especially for those of us who have grown up in church, always surrounded by the Christian faith. It is easy for us to become self-righteous and think we are entitled to live in God’s Presence. The truth is, each and every one of us is in desperate need of God’s grace every single day. We are called to be holy because He is holy (1 Peter 1:16). We can only enter into, and live on, God’s holy mountain (His Presence) through the grace of Jesus! (Romans 10:13)

2) Can anyone truly meet the qualifications listed in these verses?
The answer that was true for David as he wrote this psalm, remains true today. No, we cannot achieve enough righteousness on our own to dwell with God. Even one sin disqualifies us from the title “righteous”. (James 2:10) Blameless living, purity of heart, taming the tongue, and loving others still prove to be a challenge for us today. We live in a broken and fallen world, dwelling in bodies also corrupted by the effects of sin. Romans 3:23 reminds us we ALL have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory. Living for God, striving to be holy begins in the heart as God gives His Spirit to fuel us to become like Him. We cannot even do this work on our own! King David recognized this and so must we. Matthew 5:8 tells us the “pure in heart” will see God. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, pure means: unmixed with any other matter; free from dirt, dust or taint, spotless, stainless; free from moral guilt or fault.” These are impossible standards for us as humans to meet on our own! Thankfully, we have Jesus who met the mark for us, then sacrificed Himself for us, offering His righteousness in exchange for our sinfulness!

3) Verse 5 says the one who does these things will never be shaken, but bad things happen to people trying to live for God every day. How can I reconcile this?
As much as we want to believe and hope that once we surrender to Christ, our lives will be perfect and complete with bad things never coming our way, this is simply not true or biblical. In fact the Bible point blank says we will have trouble. John 16:33, James 1:2, and 1 Peter 1:6 are just a few verses that point out pretty clearly that, as followers of Jesus, we will indeed have trouble and trials. The Bible is full of stories about men and women living for God who were persecuted, tortured, and killed. They were plagued with slavery, injury, and illness just like we are today. David’s point isn’t that we won’t have storms and circumstances that knock us down, threatening to shake us, rather if we have Jesus as our firm foundation and cornerstone, no one and no thing can separate us from God. Romans 8:38-39 says it perfectly, “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers,  nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

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Digging Deeper is for Everyone!

1) Take this passage (or any other passage).
2) Read it, and the verses around it,
several times
3) Write down your questions
as you think of them.
4) Ask specific culture related questions and be ready to dig around for your answers. Google them, use, or look them up in a study Bible and read the footnotes (click on the little letters next to a word and it will show you
other related verses!). (
5) Check your applications with other trusted Christians that you are in community with and embrace the fullness of God
in your everyday!

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Why Dig Deeper?

Finding the original meaning is a huge deal when we study Scripture and can make all the difference in our understanding as we apply God’s truths to our everyday lives.

In our modern-day relationships, we want people to understand our original intention as we communicate; how much more so between God and humanity?!

Here’s a little bit more on why we take Digging Deeper so seriously.

Study Tools

We love getting help while we study and is one of many excellent resources, providing the original Hebrew (Old Testament) or Greek (New Testament) with an English translation.

Want to know more about a specific word in a verse? Click on “Strong’s Interlinear Bible” then click the word you’d like to study. Discover “origin”, “definition” and hear the original pronunciation – That Is Awesome!

Want more background? Click “Study Tools”, then pick a few commentaries to read their scholarly approach, keeping in mind that just because a commentary says it, doesn’t mean it’s true. (just like the internet :-))

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