As we have been studying Psalm 15, we have looked at several categories in which a person must be righteous in order to dwell on God’s Holy hill: they must be righteous in their actions (v.2); they must be righteous with their words (v.3); they must be righteous in their opinion of evil (v.4). And, in today’s verse we will see the final qualification: they must be righteous with their money (v.5).
Please read Psalm 15 now, and focus on verse 5.
It has been said, “if you want to know what someone worships, examine their calendar and their checkbook.” We worship that to which we give our time and our money.
Many people call themselves Christians but don’t spend time with God each morning because they stayed up too late watching tv, or they don’t go to church each week because their children have sporting events they have to attend. What do they really worship?
Many people call themselves Christians, but give little or nothing to the church, missionaries, or other Christian organizations. Instead, they spend most of their money on Amazon or the mall or their hobbies. What do they really worship?
Christians recognize that every penny which we earn is given to us by God. That is why we sacrifice in order to give some of it back to Him. Many Christians practice tithing (giving a tenth of your income to the church), which is a good start. But the Old Testament saints gave tithes and offerings. The Levitical sacrifices and offerings required by a follower of God would amount to closer to 50% of one’s total income.
We don’t have to be legalistic about this, but we should examine our hearts by asking certain questions: do we even consider giving more than just our tithe to the church? Is it too much for us to purchase a meal for a family in need, to donate to the local food bank, or provide a little extra help to our neighbor? When a missionary asks for extra support, do we look at where we can cut back in our budget so that we can give, or do we think that it is someone else’s responsibility? Do we really need to make that large purchase, or could that money be better used to further God’s kingdom?
All of these questions are important litmus tests for us to use regarding the importance of money in our hearts. But, when it comes to money, we honor God not just in how we spend it, but in how we attain it. That is the point that David is driving home in Psalm 15:5.
This provides a whole other set of questions: am I honest with the way I spend my time at work, or am I robbing my employer by using social media, or working on personal tasks while I’m on the clock? Do I lend to those in need without expecting anything in return, or do I charge incredible interest rates and hassle them until I get my money back? Do I use my money to buy influence or bribe people to give me what I want? Do I cheat, steal, or lie about finances? Do I pay my taxes honestly? Am I hurting other people by the way that I earn my living?
As Christians, we have been bought and paid for by the blood of Jesus Christ. We are no longer our own masters; we are servants of the Most High. As such, we should honor Him in all of our dealings—especially those regarding money. David says that the man who honors God with his money “shall never be moved.” He will rest on God’s holy hill forever. What an encouragement! May we ever be willing to sacrifice a bit of financial success or luxury in this temporary world so that we may enjoy innumerable riches in the life to come.
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