The Answer is Jesus

Ever read something in the Bible, especially the Old Testament and wonder how to live up to those standards?  In my readings today I ran into two such passages.  Here is the first one:

Psalm 15 (NIV)

A psalm of David.

1 LORD, who may dwell in your sacred tent?
         Who may live on your holy mountain?
2 The one whose walk is blameless,
         who does what is righteous,
         who speaks the truth from their heart;
3 whose tongue utters no slander,
         who does no wrong to a neighbor,
         and casts no slur on others;
4 who despises a vile person
         but honors those who fear the LORD;
         who keeps an oath even when it hurts,
         and does not change their mind;
5 who lends money to the poor without interest;
         who does not accept a bribe against the innocent.
         Whoever does these things
         will never be shaken.

Wow, so is this saying that to live in God’s holy mountain one must be all of these things?  Is this the standard in which we are to live up to?  Can anyone really live up to this ideal?  Are we all not sinner that fall way short of God’s glory?  One might start asking:  What is the point in trying?

Let us move on to the next bit of scripture:

Sirach 31:3–11 (NRSV)
3      The rich person toils to amass a fortune,
    and when he rests he fills himself with his dainties.
4      The poor person toils to make a meager living,
    and if ever he rests he becomes needy.
5      One who loves gold will not be justified;
    one who pursues money will be led astray by it.
6      Many have come to ruin because of gold,
    and their destruction has met them face to face.
7      It is a stumbling block to those who are avid for it,
    and every fool will be taken captive by it.
8      Blessed is the rich person who is found blameless,
    and who does not go after gold.
9      Who is he, that we may praise him?
    For he has done wonders among his people.
10      Who has been tested by it and been found perfect?
    Let it be for him a ground for boasting.
    Who has had the power to transgress and did not transgress,
    and to do evil and did not do it?
11      His prosperity will be established,
    and the assembly will proclaim his acts of charity.  

Check out verse 8 through 11, it would seem that there is a rich person that does stand up the standards set in Psalm 15.  The question is, who is this person?  I don’t know about you, but I know if there is someone that is living up to the standard, I want to follow that person!  So where might we find such a person?

Well, I have this prospective that the whole Bible points only one direction.  It points towards this person that was and is fully and completely human, while is still fully and completely the one true God.  Today we call this person, Jesus of Nazareth.

What is so beautiful about this Jesus of Nazareth is that while he does live up to Psalm 15, he has grace on all of those that choose to follow him despite the fact we will fall way short of Psalm 15.  He is our path to that holy mountain, we simply need to have faith in him and the path for each and every one of us:)


God does not delight in sacrifice

Psalm 51:13–17 (NRSV)

13     Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
                and sinners will return to you.
14     Deliver me from bloodshed, O God,
                O God of my salvation,
                and my tongue will sing aloud of your deliverance.
15     O Lord, open my lips,
                and my mouth will declare your praise.
16     For you have no delight in sacrifice;
                if I were to give a burnt offering, you would not be pleased.
17     The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit;
                a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

I read this today and the first verse, 13, really caught my attention.  It is a call for me to teach transgressors God’s ways.  When I looked up that verse, it brought my attention to verse 17.  When I re-read it, I saw that we are called to teach transgressors the way of the broken spirit, not of sacrifice.  Simple, not easy!