“He that putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent. He that doeth these things shall never be moved.”
Psalms 15:5 (KJV)
How are you? I hope you are enjoying the Psalms 15 Series by DUO Inspirations. Today’s post is the last post of the series. If you haven’t done so already, please consider taking the time to read the previous posts by clicking on the links below:
As you may know, King David asks a couple of questions about who will be close to God in His tabernacle and on His hill in Psalms 15:1. Then, in Psalms 15:2-5, King David gives his answers to his preceding questions. In previous posts we have pondered verses 1-4 of Psalms 15. Today, we end the series and chapter by pondering the words in Psalms 15:5 (KJV), which reads, “He that putteth not out money to usury nor taketh reward against the innocent. He that doeth these things shall never be moved.”
Psalms 15:5 has three parts. Let’s look at the first part, which reads, “He that putteth not out his money to usury…”. (KJV) In my research, I have found that “usury” seems to take on different meanings to different people. In most cases, this first part of Psalms 15:5, seems to mean that one shouldn’t charge interest to the poor. This part of the verse seems to echo Exodus 22:25 (KJV), which reads, “If thou lend money to any of my people that is poor by thee, thou shalt not be to him as an usurer, neither shalt thou lay upon him usury.” Maybe King David took his answer from this verse. I am not sure.
In my research, most people seem to think that this statement is more about personal lending to the poor from neighbor to neighbor. However, I am not so sure. Wouldn’t it be important that the poor be able to get necessities such as food, drink, clothing, and a place to live without feeling the crunch of extra fees? Maybe there is something in the original text or biblical law that would explain this more fully. Yet, I am not a scholar, so I don’t really know what is meant. It could be one of those verses where God speaks different things to different people.
Questions that go through my mind are:
Who constitutes the poor? What level of poor is really poor? Does this mean the old and elderly, the crippled and disabled, or working poor who have trouble making ends meet? Does it include just loans from neighbor to neighbor or bank and business loans as well? Does it include loans for just the bare necessities or for things that would help people improve themselves as well?
What are your thoughts? Do you know of something that would make the answers to these questions more apparent? Or, do you think it is according to what God is telling us personally at the time?
I believe that the middle part of Psalms 15:5 (KJV), which reads, “…nor taketh reward against the innocent” is the clearest part of the verse. It seems pretty straightforward that we are not to take bribes against the innocent. God protects the innocent and doesn’t want any harm to come to them. One way of protecting the innocent is making it wrong to give or take bribes, to give false testimony, or to say anything that would falsely accuse or bring harm to an innocent person.
The last part of Psalms 15:5 (KJV) reads, “He that doeth these things shall never be moved.” To tell you the truth, this part of the verse brings up quite a few questions for me as well. For example, does “doeth these things” refer to using usury and taking bribes against the innocent or not using usury and not take bribes against the innocent? Does “doeth these things” refer to the things in Psalms 15:5 or the things in Psalms 15:2-5?
In my research, most people seem to translate the last sentence of Psalms 15:5 as those who heed the words and act like the people listed in Psalms 15 will not be “swayed” or “tempted” too far away from God. These people will be able to stand firm in their faith and have a close relationship with God, instead of being tempted away and losing faith. This could be what King David meant, although, I think there is another possibility. I think that “He that doeth these thing shall never be moved” could refer to those people who practice usury and those people who take bribes against the innocent. It could mean that such people, who would do such things, have cold hearts. It could mean that if they practice such things, their hearts will never be moved to compassion and love of another. Therefor, it might be difficult to be moved towards a relationship with God.
Before I wrap up the post, I would like to go back to King David’s questions in Psalms 15:1 (KJV), which reads, “Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill?” Some of us might read that and say, “The way to God is through Jesus. How come King David didn’t say anything about being saved by Jesus?” Well, we have to remember that Jesus hadn’t come to earth yet when King David was asking and answering these questions. Even if any of the prophets had foretold the coming of Jesus by this time, King David probably didn’t know the implications and truth about what that meant for our salvation.
Thank you for you infinite wisdom and love for us. Thank you for your Word, so that we have a path to you. Help us to understand your Word and take it to heart. Help us to act according to your will. I ask you this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
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Reflective questions for Psalms 15:5:
*What does Psalms 15:5 mean to me?
*What does “putteth not his money to usury” mean to me?
*What does “nor taketh reward against the innocent” mean to me?
*What does “He that doeth these things shall never be moved” mean?
*What can I do to better heed the words in Psalms 15:5?
*What other Bible verses remind me of Psalms 15:5?
Now it is your turn.
Thank you for being here. I appreciate your support and kindness. I don’t know about for you, but for me, Psalms 15:5 brought quite a few questions to mind. If you feel led, please feel free to leave a comment. We all learn from each other’s thoughts and prayers. Again, I encourage you not to rely on the word of others though, but to pray and put your trust in God’s wisdom. Rely on Him.
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“In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the LORD. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not.”
Psalms 15:4 (KJV)
How are you? Today, we continue our journey in reflecting upon Psalms 15. If you haven’t done so already, you can read the previous posts to the Psalms 15 Series by DUO Inspirations by clicking the following links:
Let us remember that the words in Psalms 15:4 are part of the answers that King David have for his own questions he asked in Psalms 15:1 (KJV), which were “Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? Who shall dwell in thy holy hill?”
Now, with this in mind, let’s look at the first part of Psalms 15:4 (KJV), “In whose eyes a vile person is contemned…”. I think it is kind of human nature to dislike evil and cruel people, or at least their actions. For example, we may feel a sickening feeling or heart break for pets and victims who have been abused in some way. In turn, we may feel a contempt or hardness in our hearts about people who could do such things. I think when the “evil” involves violence it is easier for us to hold contempt in our hearts for the evildoer.
Yet, do we hold that same contempt in our hearts for evildoers, if the “evil” doesn’t contain violence? For example, idol worshipping is evil. It is totally wrong and against God’s will. God alone is the only one to be worshipped. So, do we hold contempt in our hearts for those who worship idols? Or, do we instead have a nonchalant, “live and let live” type attitude? Do we invite idol worshippers to our parties, to join us in business, or into our families, “as long as they don’t push their beliefs on us”?
We, as a society, seemed to be in a rut as far as NOT holding contempt in our hearts for immoral and evil actions done by others. It seems more commonplace to let everyone fit in, instead of standing up for your own beliefs. It seems more commonplace to enable people to feel entitled, instead of teaching them natural cause and effect of things.
Lessons such as, if you want to eat, you have to work, are going by the wayside. I am not talking about suffering the feeble, the elderly, the widows, and the little children to work when they aren’t able. I am not talking about people who choose to be housekeepers, stay at home parents, homeschool parents, and other jobs that society doesn’t always look upon as being jobs. I am not even talking about just the entitlement of food without earning it. It just seems that there is quite a bit of entitlement in this world that is enabled instead of discouraged or condemned.
It makes sense that if we are called to hold contempt in our hearts for doing bad, then we are called to also honor those who do what is right in the eyes of the Lord. Yes, we are called to honor those who “fear the Lord.” Again, I don’t believe that “fear” in this case means to be afraid of God in that we are afraid that God might do something mean to us. I believe it is a fear as in a reverent and respect for God’s holiness and His ability to give us natural consequences that we deserve and grace that we don’t deserve.
Just as it seems easy to hold contempt for the evil and violent people of the world, so it may seem easy to honor those who are good, loving, godly people. Yet, again, I am not so sure it is that easy. It may not be as prevalent as we may think. I am reminded of children being called “goody two shoes” or “teacher’s pet” in school for doing good or not following the mischief of the crowd.
We might think that oh, “kids will be kids” or “kids can be so cruel sometimes”. However, I believe that kids are not born this way. They are taught or conditioned to be cruel in a world that is full of cruelty. I don’t mean that kids are totally innocent and their behavior should be overlooked. I am just saying that I think if they were conditioned or treated to be kind always, than they would be less likely to be cruel and more likely to continue with “what they know and have seen” with that same level of kindness.
Even some adults, maybe because they learned it as children, talk about “do-gooders” as if doing good things was a bad thing. Instead of being honored as being God fearing, people who do good things are mocked as being bad.
The last part of Psalms 15:4 (KJV) reads, “He that sweareth his own hurt, and changeth not.” In my research, I have found many places, which state that this means to keep your promises, no matter how uncomfortable or inconvenient it is for you. These resources seem to speak of this in a general sense. However, I am not sure if it means in a general sense or a specific sense.
Maybe it is the teacher in me, but it seems that if this statement is part of the same verse as the rest, it might be relating to the same topic. It might be reinforcing the fact that we are called to disdain the cruel and empower or honor the godly. Maybe we are called to swear not to enable the evil; swear not to befriend and be nonchalant about ungodly actions, so that we will not slowly learn the evil ways of the evil. After all, it is when we are passive and nonchalant about the sinful ways of others or ourselves, that we slowly condition ourselves to be more sinful. For example, if we don’t speak out and distance ourselves from those who act as if they are entitled, then we may soon start to act with that same entitlement. Maybe it is calling us to be godly no matter how much we are hurt, mocked, or threatened.
Thank you for your Holy Word. Thank you for teaching us the way to you. Give us understanding when we are confused about your Word or anything else. Give us the strength to disdain the ungodly as well as empower and honor the godly, no matter how difficult it may seem. Help us to keep our word and to be godly, no matter the consequences given us by the world. Help us not to be nonchalant and slip into the ways of the evil. I ask you this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
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Reflective questions for Psalms 15:4 (KJV):
*What does Psalms 15:4 mean to me?
*What does “fear of the Lord” mean to me?
*What does “He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not” mean to
*Do I heed the words in Psalms 15:4?
*What do I need to do to better heed the words in Psalms 15:4?
Now, it is your turn.
As always, I encourage you to read the Word of God yourself. Don’t take my word of my reflection as your own. Pray and ask God to give you your own understanding. For example, the last sentence in Psalms 15:4 could mean that in a general sense, we need to keep our word no matter how uncomfortable or inconvenient it may be. Or, it could mean something else. Sometimes, God's Word is meant to speak one message to one person and another to the next. Sometimes, the meaning is meant to be the same to all. That is between you and God.
I welcome you to leave a comment anytime that you feel called. It is good to learn and fellowship with fellow believers. I look forward to your thoughts, prayer requests, comments, suggestions, or questions. Feel free to comment below or contact me. If you feel called to share the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations with others, please do that as well. I believe that it is good to encourage others to read and understand God's Word. I try to do that through the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations.
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“He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour.”
Psalms 15:3 (KJV)
How are you? I hope you are enjoying the Psalms 15 Series by DUO Inspirations. Today, we will ponder the words in Psalms 15:3. Last week, we pondered the words in Psalms 15:2 and saw how King David starts answering his own questions (which he posed in Psalms 15:1). You can read last week’s post here.
Like in Psalms 15:2, in Psalms 15:3 continues to answer the questions he posed in Psalms 15:1. In Psalms 15:2, King David lists some traits such people may have in order to dwell in the Lord’s tabernacle. These things include walking uprightly, righteousness, and truthfulness. In Psalms 15:3, King David mentions things in which those people are NOT. Let’s look at it.
Psalms 15:3 notes some things that we are not to do to our neighbor. However, the meaning of neighbor here doesn’t mean just the person who lives next door to us or even just in our own town. I believe the word neighbor refers to either all others. Maybe, at the very least, it means all other believers.
The first part of Psalms 15:3 KJV states, “He that backbiteth not with his tongue…”. So, we are called not to backbite our neighbors. What does that mean? I believe that backbiting refers to saying mean and cruel things, regardless of whether they are true or not about someone behind his or her back. No matter the true meaning, we can gather that it has something to do with saying not so kind things about others behind their backs.
In the second part of Psalms 15:3, we see that are not to do any sort of evil to our neighbors. Hopefully, we know this anyway. Yet, it is good to look at it as part of King David’s thought process here. If we brainstormed some specific ways to not do evil to our neighbors, we might come up with things like: not fighting others, not stealing from others, not cursing others, not cheating others, not causing harm to others, and not ruining any property or belongings of others.
In the last part of Psalms 15:3 KJV it states, “…nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour”. I am not quite sure what is meant by this part specifically. However, in my mind there could be at least two possibilities to the meaning. I think the first possible meaning is that we don’t scold or maybe join others in scolding our neighbors. We tend to want to be quick to point out the wrong that others are doing. It might be that King David is saying that it isn’t good to do point out the wrongdoings of others. The second possible meaning might be that we are not to take part in anything others are doing against our neighbors. Neither possibility seems very kind anyways, so we may want to steer clear of either action.
The bottom line that King David was saying in Psalms 15:3 is to be kind to others. We see that in so many verses of the Bible. God definitely calls us to love and be kind to others.
Thank you for loving us and showing us the way you want us to live. Help us to take your Word to heart and to heed it always. Help us to not only read your Word, but to ponder it and live it as well. Help us to be kind to our neighbors as you call us to do. I ask you this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
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Reflective questions for Psalms 15:3 (KJV):
*What does Psalms 15:3 mean to me?
*What does backbiting mean to me?
*What does “doing no evil” to my neighbor mean to me?
*What does “taking up reproach against my neighbor” mean to me?
*What is the definition of “neighbor” in the verse?
*What message is God giving me with Psalms 15:3?
*What can I do to better heed the message in Psalms 15:3?
*About what other verses does Psalms 15:3 remind me?
Now, it is your turn.
Thank you for being here. I hope you are enjoying the Psalms 15 Series by DUO Inspirations. If you find value in the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations, please feel free to share it with others. Also, if you feel called to write a comment, please do so. I look forward to hearing your thoughts. I think it is nice to be able to share thoughts about God's Word and learn from each other. However, please, remember that your ultimate teachers are God's Word and God through prayer, as well as Jesus and the Holy Spirit. (We are not called to seek each other, like we are called to seek God.)
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“He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh truth in his heart.”
Psalms 15:2 (KJV)
How are you? Last week we pondered King David’s questions in Psalms 15:1 (KJV) which are, “Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? Who shall dwell in thy holy hill?” If you haven’t read the post yet, you can read it here. Think about those questions for a moment. What would your answer be to his questions?
This week, we ponder the words in Psalms 15.2, where King David starts to answer his own questions. So, the first part of King David’s answer to his questions in verse 1 says, “He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh truth in his heart.” (Psalms 15:2 KJV) Let’s think about these words and let them really sink into our soul.
There are three parts or phrases in Psalms 15:2. I think the last one is easiest to address, so I will address it first. If we look at it, it says, “…and speaketh the truth in his heart.” One might think that means that King David is talking about someone who never lies to anyone and always speaks the truth. I think that is only partially correct. I think the words “in his heart”, makes the meaning a bit deeper.
Sometimes, we think we are telling others the truth, only to find out that we have been lying to ourselves. I think sometimes we bury the truth. Therefor, when we tell others something, we really feel that we are telling them the truth. Yet, it isn’t the case. It is just what we have been telling ourselves for so long that we know think it is the truth.
Or, maybe we only tell a half-truth. We only tell have of the story. We don’t lie about what we say, but we might withhold a small piece of information. We tell ourselves that it won’t matter. However, even if the other person never knows and it doesn’t make a difference to the other person at all, it still matters, because it matters to God.
It also matters to us, as Christians, because we are always seeking and finding God. That also means that we are constantly seeking and finding truth, because God is truth.
Sometimes “speaking truth in our heart” might mean to really reflect upon our beliefs, our words, and our actions and honestly telling ourselves and God how we are doing as well as assessing our strengths and weaknesses honestly. This can be difficult. Like I mentioned before, this difficulty could be from burying part of the truth for some reason. It could be from memory lapse, especially if we don’t reflect upon our actions regularly. It could also be from lack of understanding or discernment, which is another good reason constantly pray and read God’s Word, so God will give us the understanding and discernment we need.
I also believe that we can look at “speaketh the truth in his heart” a different way. So many times, we get in a rut or speak lies to ourselves, which sabotages our lives. We may go with the crowd or listen to common sentiment about what can and can’t be done. However, if we encourage ourselves with God’s Word, I believe that is also a way of “speaking the truth in his heart”.
Yet, Psalms 15:2 isn’t just speaking the truth. It isn’t just talking the talk, so to speak. It is about walking the walk as well. We see that we are called to live in truth as well as speak it in reading Psalms 15:2.
Now, let’s look at the other parts of Psalms 15:2. I have tried to research it, but I am uncertain of the distinction between “walketh uprightly” and “worketh righteousness”. King David may have had two different meanings in mind as he wrote this verse or maybe he just wrote two phrases with similar meanings to emphasize the importance of living a righteous life. I don’t know. (If you have comments, I would enjoy reading them.)
Maybe one phrase might have to do with being truthful, being honest, and having integrity in public life and one phrase might have to do with being truthful, being honest, and having integrity in personal life. To me, it seems that this verse is reminding us that it isn’t just what we do in public that matters, but what we do behind closed doors matter as well.
We are ALWAYS called to be righteous and do the will of God, doing right according to His will for us. We are called to not only speak the truth to ourselves and to others, but to live in truth with honesty and integrity as well.
Thank you for your Word. Thank you for giving us people through whom we can learn your Word and your will for us. Thank you for showing us the way to you, through Jesus and through your Word. Help us to walk in integrity, speak truth to ourselves and to others, and to do everything according to your will for us. I ask you this through your Son, Jesus. Amen.
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Reflective questions for Psalms 15:2 (KJV):
*What does Psalms 15:2 mean to me?
*Is there a difference in “speaking in truth” and “speaking in truth in your
*Is there a difference between “walking uprightly” and “working
*What message is God giving me through Psalms 15:2?
*Of what verse does Psalms 15:2 remind me?
*What are my answers to King David’s questions in Psalms 15:1? Are the
words in Psalms15:2 part of my answer? Why or why not?
Now, it is your turn.
I am so thankful that you are here. I appreciate your kindness and support. I encourage you to read God's Word, pray, and discern these answers for yourself. If you feel led, please feel free to write a comment so others can learn and ponder your ideas. Also, if you feel others would benefit from the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations and feel called to do so, please share it.
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This is Jodi. I am so glad you are here! I am a Christian and life-long learner. I enjoy sharing and encouraging others. I pray you are blessed by this blog. Thank you for being here.