Psalm 15: Nature of God’s People

If the Jews were unable to keep the Law, how can Christians live by an even higher standard?

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Psalm 15:1–2 A song of David.
Lord, who can stay where you live, a place so far above where we are? Those who walk the walk and talk the talk—the people who do what is right and speak truth from pure hearts.
Matthew 5:21–22 “Since ancient times, you have heard it said, ‘Do not commit murder,’ and, ‘A murderer must be brought to trial.’ But I tell you, anyone who is angry with his brother will stand trial. For slander, someone may be brought to court, but anyone who calls another person stupid is in danger of Hell’s fire.”
King James
Psalm 15:1–2 <A Psalm of David.> Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill? He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart.
Matthew 5:21–22 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.

What motivates people to gossip? Why is that a problem?

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Psalm 15:3 Instead of gossiping, they defend their neighbors, refusing to say anything bad about them.
King James
Psalm 15:3 He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour.

Under what circumstances and at what cost will people break their promises?

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Psalm 15:4–5 No matter the cost, they keep their promises. They honor those who fear the Lord, but they have no respect for evil people.
They lend without charging interest. They refuse payment for work they didn’t do and won’t accept recognition that should go to others. Such people will still be standing at the end.
Matthew 21:28–31 “Tell me what you think. A man told the older of two sons to go work in his vineyard. The son said, ‘No. I have other things to do.’ Later, he changed his mind and went. The man made the same request of the younger son, who said, ‘Yes, sir. I will.’ But he did not go. Which of the two did what his father wanted?”
“Obviously, the older son.”
“I guarantee,” Jesus said, “that tax collectors and prostitutes will reach the Kingdom of God ahead of you.
King James
Psalm 15:4–5 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. He that putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent. He that doeth these things shall never be moved.
Matthew 21:28–31 But what think ye? A certain man had two sons; and he came to the first, and said, Son, go work to day in my vineyard. He answered and said, I will not: but afterward he repented, and went. And he came to the second, and said likewise. And he answered and said, I go, sir: and went not. Whether of them twain did the will of his father?
They say unto him, The first.
Jesus saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That the publicans and the harlots go into the kingdom of God before you.

How would “refusing pay for work they didn’t do” fit in social values today?

Author’s Thoughts
Author’s Insights Pending
Author’s Paraphrase
Psalm 15:4–5 No matter the cost, they keep their promises. They honor those who fear the Lord, but they have no respect for evil people.
They lend without charging interest. They refuse payment for work they didn’t do and won’t accept recognition that should go to others. Such people will still be standing at the end.
King James
Psalm 15:4–5 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. He that putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent. He that doeth these things shall never be moved.