Although the commercial Christmas season has come and gone, in many neighborhoods, its effects still linger. A wreath here, mistletoe there, and of course the one house on the block with the outstanding showcase of every light imaginable. It is interesting to notice how individuals choose to celebrate (or not) the holiday season; for some when the last box of mints leaves the shelves, with it goes their holiday cheer. For others, even when the snow has come and gone, there is a lingering excitement about the year to come. Many people have been turned off to the idea of lavish spending, but there is one notion that many people, try as they might, can never quite shake.
Over and against the religious angst of this age, and the distrust of institutional figureheads,
even the staunchest atheist cannot help but entertain the notion of God. He lingers like an everlasting mistletoe, and the undimmed light of the ages that even when he is taken off of the shelf, he still intrigues the human heart. To actively not think about God, invariably forces one to think about him. While intriguing the heart, he tantalizes the mind, and every conversation about him begs the question, if he exist- how do I reach him? Ages ago, one man understood this lingering notion of the Divine, and penned Psalm 15. In this Psalm, he poses a question to the nation of Israel, but the question extends to all people, in every age of history, worldwide.
In Psalms 15:1 David asks all believers a question. He asks, “Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill?” To Believers today this question may seem mundane, ordinary, and uninteresting. But I would dare say, for the Israelites, this question was one of immense proportions and had astounding ramifications for the way that they understood God.
Until the time of Christ, God’s people had no way of having an intimate ongoing relationship with him; sin was a constant reality as each sacrifice was made for atonement, the law made continual accusation and reminded them of their faults, and God’s Spirit was not yet indwelling…although there were times when he came upon people to perform special tasks.
The question, however, is not who can God use mightily, but who can dwell with him? Apart from the character described in Psalm 15…no one can. You must be completely righteous, speak the truth in your heart (be truthful in motive and in communication), not a gossiper, not a person who starts trouble, hates evil, and has integrity…just to name few. In David’s eyes only a person with this type of character could have intimate, ongoing, and continual fellowship with God. David knew the ideal character, and knew what God required, but David also knew that he could not live up to it. If we are truthful we know that we cannot live perfect lives and that because of our sin, the relationship we want with God is always interrupted. So, where does that leave us? Who can live this perfect life for us? and give us unrestricted access to God’s abode?
It leaves us dependent upon someone else’s perfect character and it leaves us realizing that we need someone to go to God on our behalf. There is only one person who lived a perfect life and can give us access to God…Jesus.
Jesus not only lived a perfect life but he has lived with God for all eternity. The Bible declares that he, in fact, is God. It is because of his perfect life, and our acceptance of his sacrifice, that all those who choose to believe can have an intimate relationship with the Creator and Sustainer of the Universe.
Who can dwell in God’s holy hill? Thanks to Jesus- we all can.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from the staff of Lifeseek