Who Shall Dwell On Your Holy Hill? – A Commentary On Psalm 15

picture of a high hill / small mountainWho Shall Dwell on Your Holy Hill?
A Psalm of David

O LORD, who shall sojourn in your tent?
Who shall dwell on your holy hill?

He who walks blamelessly and does what is right
and speaks truth in his heart;
who does not slander with his tongue
and does no evil to his neighbor,
nor takes up a reproach against his friend;
in whose eyes a vile person is despised,
but who honors those who fear the LORD;
who swears to his own hurt and does not change;
who does not put out his money at interest
and does not take a bribe against the innocent.
He who does these things shall never be moved.

So who shall dwell on God’s “Holy Hill”? The answer. NO ONE. Not a single human being. David knows what it takes to get to the top of the holy hill – I think we all do. It’s written upon our hearts from our conception. But we have a major problem… Surely, David even recognizes it. To reach the top of the holy hill and “sojourn” in God’s tent, we must do the things listed in Psalm 15. But who does these things perfectly? Who can reach the top of the hill without falling back down and starting the journey all over again? No one.

Psalm 15 captures the entire theology of the Christian faith in just a few short lines. Without even knowing it, David is foreshadowing Jesus. He is revealing the need for a savior of the human condition by showing that the path that we must walk to reach God is an impossible task. To reach the top of the mountain we need help. Without that help we are utterly lost and will remain in the bleak valley staring up at the mountain wishing we could dwell in the beauty of its peak.

But there is one who walked this walk for us and reached the top of God’s holy hill in such beauty and perfection that He has been talked about for over 2,000 years. His name is Jesus Christ. In Jesus, we have already walked this path. In Jesus we are able to dwell on God’s holy hill without fulfilling any of the requirements that Psalm 15 lists. The beauty of the Christian faith, and also what makes it so difficult to follow, is that God dwells near. He is not some distant being that we are unable to know or communicate with. The beauty of the Christian faith is that God saw that we could never reach the top of his holy hill and stepped down to help us up it. This is the ultimate concept that all Christians MUST understand. We can leave in peace, act in love with, and live in community with people of other faiths, but our faiths are not the same or different route to the same goal. Every other religion teaches the basic concepts of Psalm 15, i.e. do these things and you can get to God by your own good works. Christianity states that you can’t and will never succeed, so God sent his one and only Son to take your hand and carry you up the mountain. So “who shall dwell on your holy hill”? Anyone who believes in the work that has been done for them through Jesus Christ.


Photo Credit: Nurmanman via Compfight cc

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