Tuesday, June 24, 2003
LORD, who may dwell in your sanctuary? Who may live on your holy hill? He whose walk is blameless and who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from his heart and has no slander on his tongue, who does his neighbor no wrong and casts no slur on his fellowman, who despises a vile man but honors those who fear the LORD, who keeps his oath even when it hurts, 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 15:1-5 NIV
I received this verse from my Daily Manna email this morning. And as I'm challenged by the question of who among us is really worthy, I'm also struck by the inclusion in the middle of this passage of something that doesn't seem to fit: "...who despises a vile man but honors those who fear the Lord,..." I admit, I don't know what to do with that one. How does it fit in with "Love your enemies" and such? How can I despise someone God loves and Jesus died for? I'm not saying it's wrong. I just want to do more digging into what "despise" means, who a "vile man" would be.
In Matthew Henry's Commentary on Psalm 15, he writes that:
- He [the one "worthy" of dwelling in the sanctuary of the Lord] is one that values men by their virtue and piety, and not by the figure they make in the world... He thinks the better of no man’s wickedness for his pomp and grandeur: In his eyes a vile person is contemned. Wicked people are vile people, worthless and good for nothing (so the word signifies), as dross, as chaff, and as salt that has lost its savour. They are vile in their choices (Jer. 2:13), in their practices, Isa. 32:6. For this wise and good men contemn them, not denying them civil honour and respect as men, as men in authority and power perhaps (1 Pt. 2:17, Rom. 13:7), but, in their judgment of them, agreeing with the word of God. [Henry, Matthew. Matthew Henry's Commentary On The Whole Bible, Blue Letter Bible. June 24, 2003.
Still chewing on that, but it makes a little more sense now... somehow agreeing with God's word in "judging" someone, instead of being compliant and compromising. Being impartial and letting God's word speak for itself... and still loving that person, hoping he or she will receive conviction and repentantly pursue Christ. Hmmmm...