“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.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
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.
If you have found value in the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations, I encourage you to share it with others. My hope is to plant seeds of God’s Word for many people to use in order to grow in their own faith journeys. I hope you will help me and help others to do that.
If you haven’t done so already, please consider signing up below to get the Faith Blog by DUO Inspirations and other faith content in your inbox. In that way, you don’t have to remember to look up the Faith Blog each week, because the link is sent right to you.
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.