Seeker: “O LORD, who may abide in your tent? Who may dwell on your holy hill?”
Preacher:
Jesus did not call upon the scribes and religious leaders of his time to dwell with him and become his followers. He called upon ordinary men and women. He called upon those that society had overlooked. A tax collector, fishermen, women who were forced to the fringes of polite society; all in all people who the Sadducees and Pharisees presumed to be people who were least likely to qualify devote and faithful.

Jesus’ ministry was called an “upside down” kingdom, where those who thought they would be first, came last. And those who thought they had little value were looked upon with high esteem. It was not, however, reverse psychology where sneaky innovation forces the hand. Jesus’ best and most devoted followers were plain folk who knew what it was like to see their good intentions be dismissed as pipe dreams.

If you think about it, those who were called as prophets by the Most High never received accolades from those who they preached to. At least they never expected endorsement from the society from which they were called out from. If reward came their way, it was because the Divine sent it to them.

We heard yesterday that those who were at the receiving end of the worst that society threw at them were the very ones most likely to be blessed. But again, not reverse psychology. Authentic misery and misfortune. This truth was known long before Jesus came. But years of being on the wrong side of any outcome clouded over the fact that true reward comes from the Lord God and not from the people who seemed to be living the good life. The called and chosen people of God saw their neighbors form other nations have wonders and treasures, and they came to desire that for themselves, thinking little and stopping not at the foul things that they needed to do and be to receive such rewards. Being followers of the Divine is a higher calling, and calls forth attributes that humanity does not normally value.
Seeker: “Those who walk blamelessly, and do what is right, and speak the truth from their heart; who do not slander with their tongue, and do no evil to their friends, nor take up a reproach against their neighbors; in whose eyes the wicked are despised, but who honor those who fear the LORD; who stand by their oath even to their hurt; who do not lend money at interest, and do not take a bribe against the innocent. Those who do these things shall never be moved.” (Psalm 15)

Preacher: Those who are invited into the tent of the Lord God most probably lived out their lives on the outskirts of society. Because, sadly, most society lives outside of the realm of the Lord God. Shalom!