The Righteousness We Cannot Obtain

This post is part of a devotional series based on our 2020 Bible Reading Calendar.

Lord, who can dwell in your tent? Who can live on your holy mountain? The one who lives blamelessly, practices righteousness, and acknowledges the truth in his heart… ~ Psalm 15:1-2.

Psalm 15, at first glance, may not seem depressing, but it is. Unlike other psalms around it, David is not crying out in pain and anguish because of attacks from his enemies. Psalm 15 is a song about dwelling with God.

Something, David says, only the blameless can achieve.

Psalm 15 might not seem depressing until you start to think about that word: blameless; and other words and phrases like it: practices righteousness, does not slander, does not harm his friend, keeps his word whatever the cost.

David is describing who can dwell with the Lord on his holy mountain, but is he describing me or is he describing you? Not if we’re being honest.

We’re not blameless. We cannot achieve the righteousness of which David writes. We are imperfect people who stumble and fail. Gossip and lies, even “little white lies”, come from our lips. Bitterness against a neighbor lingers in our hearts. We don’t always keep our word, even when the cost is low. We all have our sins.

So, how then, do we dwell with God?

On our own, we can’t.

But that’s the point of the Gospel. That’s the point of God’s grace.

God sees us in our failures and sins and he offers us a righteousness that comes from outside ourselves. We cannot achieve it but we can welcome it as a gift. God gave us Jesus, the one person who walked this earth who live a blameless life just as the psalm describes.

Second Corinthians 5:21 reminds us of the great truth that if we trust in Jesus, then his righteousness becomes our righteousness. In him, our way is blameless; because in him, our sins have been judged and paid for.

So, who can dwell in the Lord’s tent or on his holy mountain? Those who trust the grace that God offers through Jesus.

All Scripture quotations taken from the Christian Standard Bible.

mountains 11 (unsplash 01272020)

Credit: Photo by Kyle Johnson on Unsplash

 

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