“1 How lovely is your dwelling place,
O LORD of hosts!
2 My soul longs, indeed it faints
for the courts of the LORD;
my heart and my flesh sing for joy
to the living God.
3 Even the sparrow finds a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may lay her young,
at your altars, O LORD of hosts,
my King and my God.
4 Happy are those who live in your house,
ever singing your praise.
5 Happy are those whose strength is in you,
in whose heart are the highways to Zion.
6 As they go through the valley of Baca
they make it a place of springs;
the early rain also covers it with pools.
7 They go from strength to strength;
the God of gods will be seen in Zion.
8 O LORD God of hosts, hear my prayer;
give ear, O God of Jacob!
9 Behold our shield, O God;
look on the face of your anointed.
10 For a day in your courts is better
than a thousand elsewhere.
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
than live in the tents of wickedness.
11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield;
he bestows favor and honor.
No good thing does the LORD withhold
from those who walk uprightly.
12 O LORD of hosts,
happy is everyone who trusts in you.” (NRSV)
This beautiful Psalm reminds us of God’s great love for God’s people. “No good thing does the LORD withhold from those who walk uprightly.” But what does it mean to “walk uprightly?”
In this context it means to hold one’s head up high, stand up straight, and walk with confidence in the knowledge of God’s love and blessings for God’s people. It means to live “righteously,” following the way God set before us, doing what is right by God, neighbor, widow, orphan, and stranger in our midst. To live uprightly means all your relationships are grounded in honesty and integrity. You are kind. You honor the inherent worth of everyone and everything because everyone and everything is “of God” just as we are.
Walking uprightly is meant to be hard. It takes commitment and devotion to God and God’s ways above all else. One’s commitment and devotion to God, the very definition of faith, is the conduit through which God’s blessings flow into our lives and the lives of those around us. In Mark 4:24 we hear these words from Jesus, “Pay attention to what you hear; the measure you give will be the measure you get, and still more will be given you.”
There is a lot of self-interest that masquerades as faith. We call it piety. It comes gift-wrapped in judgment and a constant reminder of just how upright this individual is. That is not the kind of walking uprightly God has mind. It’s how we live our lives, not the running commentary about it, that garners the interest and blessings of God.
Be a blessing to someone today!