The Wandering Desert Monk

The Wandering Desert Monk

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Want to hang out with God?

Here is the question of the day: What does it take to hang out with God? What are the qualities of those who are invited to sit with God? This question has been around for a long time. About 3,000 years ago, the Psalmist wondered as well and wrote a list of 12 qualities that marked those he noticed lived in God’s presence:

The one whose walk is blameless,
who does what is righteous,
who speaks the truth from their heart;
whose tongue utters no slander,
who does no wrong to a neighbor,
and casts no slur on others;
who despises a vile person
but honors those who fear the Lord;

who keeps an oath even when it hurts, and does not change their mind;
who lends money to the poor without interest;
who does not accept a bribe against the innocent. Psalm 15:2-5

One an interpretative note, it could be argued that there is only one quality required of a person who lives in God’s presence: live a blameless life; the rest of the list simply defines what a blameless life is. The one quality on this list that has always intrigued me is this: “lends money to the poor without interest.”  During the Seventies I was the pastor of a church who had a revolving account that did this very thing. Many people were helped by this account. Every borrower paid back the money they were lent. Which quality in this list strikes you as significant or interesting? – Ron Friesen


  1. One who 'despises a vile person.' I guess this was before Jesus came along, but still, God wants me to hate some people?

  2. Nota, Most commentators suggest that the person who is despised is the person who has made confession in the community of faith and then who has turned against the law of God by his/her conduct. This might the basis of what Jesus said in Matthew 18:15-17 when he tells his listeners how to treat the person who refuses to receive correction from the church. This instruction does not apply to how we should treat those who do not make any profession of faith in God.

  3. Possible translation issues, maybe even? Maybe 'despise' isn't the best translation. Maybe there is no one English word to convey the full meaning. ; )