As I again read the answers given in Psalm 15 and Isaiah 33, I noted a common word which occurs not only here but in many other places in both the OT and the NT. That word is walk.
Generally speaking, once we as humans have learnt the art of walking at about 12-18 months old, we rarely think about it until something happens to prevent us from walking. Something temporary like a broken leg or a twisted ankle or even something very final like an accident causing paraplegia.
But it is also interesting, that when nothing hinders us, there are many ways to walk. Here are some synonyms for the word walk:
|stroll, saunter, amble, trudge, plod, hike, tramp, trek, march stride, wander, ramble, tread, prowl, promenade, roam, traipse and mosey along.|
The way we walk often reveals what is going on in our lives. For example, If we are busy with a lot on our plate, then we will often walk briskly with purpose, taking little time to “smell the roses” as we go. On the other hand, if we are ill or depressed, then our walk will often be slow with our body language revealing obvious signs of the sickness or sadness or confusion within.
No wonder walk is such a common and important word in the Bible. It is a very intentional word and it reveals so much about our condition – physically, emotionally and spiritually.
Let me quote some important verses in the OT with the word walk in them:
Firstly, Deuteronomy 10:12-13
12 And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God ask of you but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, 13 and to observe the Lord’s commands and decrees that I am giving you today for your own good?
Secondly, Micah 6:6-8
6 With what shall I come before the Lord and bow down before the exalted God? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? 7 Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousand rivers of olive oil? Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? 8 He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
And then in the NT:
12 When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
And 1 John 1:5-7
5 This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.
And so, to the answer to the question “who can come into the presence of God?” Psalm 15: 2 says:
The one whose walk is blameless, who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from their heart;
3 whose tongue utters no slander, who does no wrong to a neighbour, and casts no slur on others; 4 who despises a vile person but honours those who fear the Lord; who keeps an oath even when it hurts, and does not change their mind; 5 who lends money to the poor without interest; who does not accept a bribe against the innocent.
Psalm 24:4 says:
4 The one who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not trust in an idol or swear by a false god.
And Isaiah 33 says:
15 Those who walk righteously and speak what is right, who reject gain from extortion and keep their hands from accepting bribes, who stop their ears against plots of murder and shut their eyes against contemplating evil—
So, how are we walking today? To use the language of the Bible:
Are we walking in ‘obedience to Him’? Are we walking ‘humbly before our God’? Are we walking in the ‘light’ or in ‘darkness’? Is our walk ‘blameless’? Is our walk ‘righteous’? And the verses above describe what all this looks like.
Of course, none of us will always walk as we should, we will often fail, but, it seems that here, in the simple word, walk, we have the answer to the Psalmist’s question. As we walk in the ways of God we can be confident to ‘come before the Lord’ and be able to have ‘fellowship with one another’ knowing that ‘the blood of Jesus, God’s Son, cleanses us from all sin.’
“Blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in His ways.” (Psalm 128:1)
Father, just as we appreciate what a privilege it is to be able to walk well physically, then help us to walk spiritually in a way that reveals our heart for you and the people around us. Amen.