King David asks this question of the Lord in verse 1,
“O Lord, who shall sojourn in your tent?
Who shall dwell on your holy hill?”
Who will travel in your tabernacle, not who will stay inside your temple building but who will walk in your presence? The tabernacle was the tent where the priests served God while Israel wandered in the wilderness, the tent where God’s presence rested. Who will sojourn in His tent?
On this earth we walk in our physical bodies, our tent, our temporary home, but one day we will be in the home made for us by the Lord, a permanent home which cannot be destroyed. We taste it now, one day we will experience it completely. Paul described it this way in 2 Corinthians 5:1.
“For we know that if the tent that is our earthly home is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.”
God’s holy hill is Mount Zion the triumphant city of God, New Jerusalem. It is our eternal hope, Heaven. Who will dwell there? Who will live there, stay there, or abide there? For the believer this is not a future hope but a present reality which reminds us of our hope. In 2 Corinthians 5:6-10 Paul said,
“So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, 7 for we walk by faith, not by sight. 8 Yes, we are of good courage, and we would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord. 9 So whether we are at home or away, we make it our aim to please him. 10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.”
The answer to the question is not a list of names or a list of qualifications. It is a description of the type of person who will sojourn in God’s presence and dwell in the City of God. Verses 2-5 answer David’s query. Let’s look at the answer one verse at a time. Verse 2 reads,
“He who walks blamelessly and does what is right
and speaks truth in his heart;”
If we look at this as a list of qualifications then with verse 2, it seems we are done for. It is impossible. “He who walks blamelessly” is unattainable unless we have a Savior or gives us His righteousness. Only then can we walk blamelessly. 2 Corinthians 5:17-21 describes it this way,
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. 18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
Notice it doesn’t say sits blamelessly it says walks blamelessly. That means active living not observing from the sidelines. We can’t avoid sin by sitting by and watching the world and wishing well the workers and seed sowers as they work the harvest. Jesus righteousness is not expressed in thoughts and wishes.
Verse 3 says,
“who does not slander with his tongue
and does no evil to his neighbor,
nor takes up a reproach against his friend”
Slander with the tongue is insults and hateful words. The person God is describing speaks no hate and does no hateful things to his neighbor or his friend. Who is our neighbor? The people of the world. Who is our friend? Our brothers and sisters in Christ.
Verse 4 reads,
“in whose eyes a vile person is despised,
but who honors those who fear the Lord;
who swears to his own hurt and does not change;’
With a heart like God’s we hate evil and we honor the family of God. Did you know that although we are to do good for everyone and actively love everyone, we are supposed to love our brothers and sisters in Christ exceptionally well? Galatians 6:10 says,
“So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.”
It is our love for one another that lets the world know we belong to Jesus. In John 13:34-35 Jesus said,
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
We are not supposed to be concerned for ourselves. We know God protects us, our treasures are in Heaven, and whatever bad happens to us is not going to take us out of God’s love. We remain faithful and steadfast under God’s shield, just as God is faithful to us, just as He loves us with an unwavering love.
Verse 5 says,
“who does not put out his money at interest
and does not take a bribe against the innocent.
He who does these things shall never be moved.”
We should not be out to make money instead of disciples. We should not allow people to be hurt while we profit. There is no love in benefiting from pain, wickedness, and sin.
The person described in these verses is the person saved by the blood of Jesus, filled and sealed with the Holy Spirit. Nothing can take us out of the Father’s hands. Nothing can separate us from Him. We will not be moved. We are the citizens of Zion, the triumphant city of God. Romans 8:37-39 read,
“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Who shall sojourn in The Lord’s tent? Who shall dwell on God’s holy hill? It is the person who is saved by Jesus Christ and sealed with the Holy Spirit. It is the person who demonstrates the law of God by love. In Matthew 22:37-40 Jesus said,
“And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”