Psalm 15 - Presence of God

Psalm 15: Who May Enter the Presence of God in His Holy Hill?

What is the holiest place ever? Of course, it’s standing in the Presence of God. In Psalm 15, King David asks who is good enough to worship or even enter the Presence of God? Where is the Presence of God today? Can anyone enter? Let’s dig in and find out…

Psalm 15

King Jesus at the judgment seat. Image by Good News Productions International from
(CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)
King Jesus at the judgment seat. Image by Good News Productions International from
(CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)

A psalm of David.

Who may worship in your sanctuary, Lord?
    Who may enter your presence on your holy hill?
Those who lead blameless lives and do what is right,
    speaking the truth from sincere hearts.
Those who refuse to gossip
    or harm their neighbors
    or speak evil of their friends.
Those who despise flagrant sinners,
    and honor the faithful followers of the Lord,
    and keep their promises even when it hurts.
Those who lend money without charging interest,
    and who cannot be bribed to lie about the innocent.
Such people will stand firm forever.

Psalm 15 NLT

How to Enter the Presence of God

King David brings the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem
King David brings the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem image by Sweet Publishing from, (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Technically, every time we sincerely pray, with the right motives, we enter God’s Presence. However, let’s look at King David’s circumstances when he wrote this.

  • David wanted to bring the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem where he wanted to build a marvelous temple worthy enough to house the Presence of God. The problem was that he was transporting it the wrong way and one of his guys lost his life because of it. That story is in 1 Chronicles 13.
  • Finally, 3 months later, he brought the Ark to Jerusalem and placed it inside a tent. More than likely, that’s when he wrote this psalm.
  • He desperately wanted to build the Ark a permanent home, but God said no. That task would fall on his son, Solomon. See, David was a man of war and Solomon would be a man of wisdom and peace.

Knowing that, let’s now go through the message of this psalm…

  • First, David asked, who may worship in the sanctuary? And who may enter the Lord’s Holy Presence? Basically, he’s asking who is good enough? Is anyone good enough? Can anyone EVER be good enough?
  • Then, he goes on to describe the qualities of righteous people…
    • lead blameless lives
    • do what is right
    • refuse to gossip, harm, or speak evil of other people
    • detest people who sin continuously — knowing they are doing wrong yet they still do it.
    • honor the faithful
    • keep their promises — integrity — even when it hurts!
    • honest lenders
    • cannot be bribed to lie about the innocent
  • He finally ends by saying that these righteous people will stand firm forever. In other words, when temptations from the devil come along, they can reject them. Why? Because they are rooted firmly in the Word of God.

What’s the Problem Here?

The problem is that no matter how hard we try, by ourselves, we can NEVER be GOOD enough, PURE enough, or RIGHTEOUS enough to enter God’s Presence in the Kingdom of God. We are human and we will fail every time. That’s when Jesus stepped in and cleansed us, purified us with His blood on the cross. Consequently, He took our sins away FOREVER! When we repent of our sins, ask His forgiveness, and declare that He is our Lord and Savior — wholeheartedly — sincerely — we are made GOOD ENOUGH to enter God’s Presence in Heaven. We are born again.

Even the Old Testament Prophet Isaiah felt unworthy to be in His Presence…

It was in the year King Uzziah died that I saw the Lord. He was sitting on a lofty throne, and the train of his robe filled the Temple. Attending him were mighty seraphim, each having six wings. With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they flew. They were calling out to each other,

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Heaven’s Armies!
    The whole earth is filled with his glory!”

Their voices shook the Temple to its foundations, and the entire building was filled with smoke.

Then I said, “It’s all over! I am doomed, for I am a sinful man. I have filthy lips, and I live among a people with filthy lips. Yet I have seen the King, the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.”

Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a burning coal he had taken from the altar with a pair of tongs. He touched my lips with it and said, “See, this coal has touched your lips. Now your guilt is removed, and your sins are forgiven.”

Then I heard the Lord asking, “Whom should I send as a messenger to this people? Who will go for us?”

I said, “Here I am. Send me.”

Isaiah 6:1-8 NLT

God gave the Prophet Ezekiel a stern message about righteousness and wickedness…

Righteous people will be rewarded for their own righteous behavior, and wicked people will be punished for their own wickedness. 21 But if wicked people turn away from all their sins and begin to obey my decrees and do what is just and right, they will surely live and not die. 22 All their past sins will be forgotten, and they will live because of the righteous things they have done.

23 “Do you think that I like to see wicked people die? says the Sovereign Lord. Of course not! I want them to turn from their wicked ways and live. 24 However, if righteous people turn from their righteous behavior and start doing sinful things and act like other sinners, should they be allowed to live? No, of course not! All their righteous acts will be forgotten, and they will die for their sins.

25 “Yet you say, ‘The Lord isn’t doing what’s right!’ Listen to me, O people of Israel. Am I the one not doing what’s right, or is it you? 26 When righteous people turn from their righteous behavior and start doing sinful things, they will die for it. Yes, they will die because of their sinful deeds. 27 And if wicked people turn from their wickedness, obey the law, and do what is just and right, they will save their lives. 28 They will live because they thought it over and decided to turn from their sins. Such people will not die. 29 And yet the people of Israel keep saying, ‘The Lord isn’t doing what’s right!’ O people of Israel, it is you who are not doing what’s right, not I.

30 “Therefore, I will judge each of you, O people of Israel, according to your actions, says the Sovereign Lord. Repent, and turn from your sins. Don’t let them destroy you! 31 Put all your rebellion behind you, and find yourselves a new heart and a new spirit. For why should you die, O people of Israel? 32 I don’t want you to die, says the Sovereign Lord. Turn back and live!

Ezekiel 18:20b-32 NLT

Ultimately, it will be Jesus who says who can and cannot get into Heaven…

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the old heaven and the old earth had disappeared. And the sea was also gone. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven like a bride beautifully dressed for her husband.

I heard a loud shout from the throne, saying, “Look, God’s home is now among his people! He will live with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them. He will wipe every tear from their eyes, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. All these things are gone forever.”

And the one sitting on the throne (King Jesus) said, “Look, I am making everything new!” And then he said to me, “Write this down, for what I tell you is trustworthy and true.” And he also said, “It is finished! I am the Alpha and the Omega—the Beginning and the End. To all who are thirsty I will give freely from the springs of the water of life. All who are victorious will inherit all these blessings, and I will be their God, and they will be my children.

“But cowards, unbelievers, the corrupt, murderers, the immoral, those who practice witchcraft, idol worshipers, and all liars—their fate is in the fiery lake of burning sulfur (hell). This is the second death.”

Revelation 21:1-8 NLT

Only through the purification and sanctification that Jesus offers freely can we EVER be GOOD ENOUGH to enter into His Presence. It’s YOUR choice — Heaven or hell. Furthermore, it’s a choice you need to make NOW before it’s too late!

How to Pray Psalm 15

Here is my version of Psalm 15 as a prayer…

Dear Lord Jesus, I want to enter Your sanctuary and Your Presence on Your Holy Hill. Please help me, give me wisdom, and guide me each day so I can lead a blameless life and do what is right in Your eyes. I refuse to gossip or speak evil of my friends. I hate the sins people commit and I will pray that they will humble themselves and repent. I will keep any promises that I make, even if they hurt. Because of YOU, Jesus, I can stand firm in my faith forever no matter what happens. Thank you for your mercy, grace, and salvation. In Jesus’ mighty name, Amen.

Paraphrase on Psalm 15 by Giselle Aguiar

So, what about you? Have you accepted the fact that Jesus took your sins away forever? Are you ready to stand in His Holy Presence?

If you’re not sure if you’re saved or not, if you truly want to be born again and have the assurance of salvation, receive the Holy Spirit, feel His Shalom — a peace that surpasses all understanding, and get a 1-way, non-stop ticket to Heaven after you die, or that you won’t be left behind at the Rapture, which can happen at any moment, this is what you have to do…

Believe. Repent. Be Baptized. Receive the Holy Spirit.

  • Believe — have Faith — that Jesus is the Christ and He died taking your sins away forever and that He rose from the dead 3 days later.
  • Repent of your sins — stop sinning! Do a complete 180-degree turn in your life and surrender your life to Him. When you ask Jesus to forgive you He will. ALL your sins will be wiped clean — past, present, and future! And All means ALL!
  • Be Baptized by water baptism — show the world and yourself that you have died to your old life and are born again in Christ.
  • Receive the gift of Holy Spirit in your heart.

Invite Jesus into Your Heart and Receive the Gift of Grace, Joy, Peace, and the Confident Hope of Eternal Life…

Holiness- The Bible Project

Build My Life

Soli Deo Gloria — To God Alone Be The Glory!

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