Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill?
2 He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart.
3 He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour.
4 In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the Lord. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not.
5 He that putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent. He that doeth these things shall never be moved.
I've noticed that sometimes people bond over shared difficult experiences. Sometimes I feel closer to people when we are both complaining about the same thing or about the same person! Unfortunately, this can sometimes mean that I am tempted to be critical about someone in order to have something in common with someone else. God calls this “slander” and reminds us that it is not the sort of thing that will happen when we are abiding in His presence.
This is a very intimidating Psalm to me. I am so very far from this sort of blamelessness. The ideals set up here really raise the standard for what it means to be God’s representative in the world. I am all too tempted to listen to gossip and I am very quick to give up on tasks that I’ve been assigned when the going gets tough.
The psalmist says that God wants us to stand firm and reflect Him –especially in how we treat each other. The generosity, honesty, and kindness described here are the attributes of those who are living out the values of the Kingdom of God.
Lisa Clark Diller
Chair, Dept. of History and Political Studies
Southern Adventist University