Psalm 15

The Psalms

Psalm 15
The heart and life God wants

Psalms index

Psalm 15 (NIV)

1 A psalm of David.

LORD, who may dwell in your sanctuary? Who may live on your holy hill?

2 He whose walk is blameless and who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from his heart 3 and has no slander on his tongue, who does his neighbour no wrong and casts no slur on his fellow-man, 4 who despises a vile man but honours those who fear the LORD, who keeps his oath even when it hurts, 5 who lends his money without usury and does not accept a bribe against the innocent. He who does these things will never be shaken.


Psalm 15 – The heart and life God wants

Psalm 15 is an excellent and practical way to teach what God looks for in those who know and follow Him. It is true for born-again folk now, in our New Testament era, and those living in the time of David. Both must aim to please God and bless others. Though often failing, if we know Christ we repent and keep on aiming high, by grace.

Verse 1 starts with God. It deals with the walk and talk God looks for from the heart of his follower.

Verses 2-3 show how this should be worked out in daily life. If these verses do not describe your ongoing aim, perhaps your heart still needs His pardon and cleansing. Maybe you have not yet asked Jesus to forgive you and enter your heart to lovingly control it? Or maybe you understand that Jesus Christ has shed His blood and died to be punished for your sins? If you have understood that, have you repented yet and come to Christ? Whether you are a Christian or not, this Psalm details God’s standards to seek to always keep with His help. They will bless you and, through you, many others also.

Verse 1 asks God how anyone can dwell and live with Him. ‘Sanctuary’ and ‘holy hill’ are ways of describing God’s holy dwelling place. Finally, and eternally, that describes Heaven. You cannot be with God there, nor enjoy His presence here by His indwelling Holy Spirit, unless through your personal faith in Christ your heart is clean. A Christian must confess his sins humbly to God through Christ in prayer, to enjoy fellowship with God and walk with Him.

That is why, in verses 2-3, God’s man speaks the truth from his cleansed heart, walks blamelessly and lives righteously. He seeks neither to slander nor slur anyone. He does not want to. Mean words, lies and deliberately wronging his neighbour must go. A wronged person is his ‘fellow man’: he knows that he would not like it if wrong were done to him. So, how can he wrong another, if Jesus has loved him and forgiven all his sins, and become his Lord and Saviour?

The final verses, 4-5, show positively how a saved man must act. Ongoing failure to do so shouts loud that he needs God to put him right now and help him in future to forsake his sins and trust and follow Jesus Christ. Now see how you should act, helped by God’s grace and strength alone: despise vileness in men; honour God-fearing men; keep your word, even when it hurts to do so; generously lend to others without asking for interest; and do not accept bribes or hurt the innocent.

If you trust Jesus and want to be unshaken in your faith, now or eternally, trust Christ and follow God’s way shown in Psalm 15