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Psalm 15:1-3

LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill? He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour.

 

To abide suggests to sojourn somewhere as a stranger. It’s like it was for Abram in Genesis 12:10. “And there was a famine in the land: and Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn there; for the famine was grievous in the land.” For whatever reason we human beings, most of the time, have to experience pain and famine, as it were, before we will get up and start looking for where the LORD is tabernacling in our current circumstances. A tabernacle is a place where the LORD dwells and in Psalm 15 we are told how the door into His tabernacle is found. It is found in walking uprightly, working righteousness, speaking the truth in our own heart, not backbiting, doing no evil to our neighbor and not taking up a reproach against our neighbor.

In order to have the opportunity to choose to do these things we must be in a position where we are faced with the choice to walk uprightly and work righteousness or to lash out and attack our neighbor. It is one thing to say what I am going to do if a thing happens and an entirely different thing to do it in the middle of that thing happening. So when someone attacks me and lies on me or maligns my character, that is an open door being presented to me into the tabernacle of the LORD. If I choose to go through that door into the LORD’s tabernacle by walking uprightly and working righteousness then not only can I abide there, in that situation, but I can also become a dweller of that tabernacle and live there permanently.

We will one day transition from this mortal body into the LORD’s presence permanently, of course, but moreover we can live in the love, hope and peace of that tabernacle now, on this earth, when we choose to walk uprightly, working righteousness and refusing to take up an attitude against our neighbor.

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