The Church Militant
Psalm 15:1-5
Lord, who shall abide in your tabernacle? who shall dwell in your holy hill?…

This is a question by David propounded. Consider —

1. Who demandeth, David, the man of God, seeing the wonderful hypocrisy of men in frequenting the holy assemblies, and making a pretence of religion, being stirred up with singular love to true religion, inflamed with a fervent zeal to God's glory, burning with earnest desire to know the true saints from dissembling hypocrites, and demanded this question — "Lord, who shall dwell in Thy tabernacle, who shall rest in Thy holy hill?

2. Of whom he demandeth. He flieth unto God, because it passeth the knowledge of men, who only look into the things apparent and outward. The Lord alone can sunder the wheat from the chaff, the tares from the wheat, the grain from the cockle and darnel. It is the Lord who is Father of all the whole family, which is named either on heaven or on earth, which is His Church; it is the Lord that is the chief Governor and Ruler of His house, which are His subjects; it is God alone who keepeth the Book of Life in the closet of His own heart, wherein He hath registered all His saints. It is the Lord, and not men, which pitched the tabernacle and testimony of His presence. It is the Lord whose property and prerogative it is by right to know the heart. It is the Lord whose eyes are upon all His creatures.

3. What is demanded. By "tabernacle" here some understand the Church militant. By the "hill of God" they understand the Church triumphant. The question then is," Who shall I make some reckoning of, to be Thy Church visible and militant?"The Church of God militant here on earth is compared to the tabernacle, and to the holy hill of God.

1. To the tabernacle. This Moses reared. As the tabernacle was pitched here and there, and removed from place to place, so the Church militant hath no certain rest in any appointed place, but is now in this place, now in that, at the appointment of the Lord. As in the time of the ark and tabernacle, God there showeth Himself and His glory unto the people, so doth the Lord reveal Himself in the Church and Assembly of His saints, there declaring His glory. As the Lord promised by Moses to dwell in the tabernacle, and there to walk and be conversant with Israel His people, so does Almighty God the Father and Jesus Christ His Son, our Saviour, dwell in the Church which is His immaterial tabernacle. The Church and Assembly of God's saints is called the House of God, because He dwelleth therein. The Church militant is also compared unto a hill or mountain.

1. For the allusion that it hath unto Mount Zion, in Jerusalem, being Mount Moriah, where Abraham would have sacrificed his son Isaac. This hill was a type of the true Church, among whom God dwelleth forever.

2. The Church may be called a hill or mountain, for the height, altitude, and lifting up thereof.

3. And for the open sight thereof.

4. In regard of the strength and stayedness, the Church may be called a mountain, for the hilly and high places are most strong and most impregnable. The Church is called a "holy hill," because God hath sanctified it and made it holy for Himself, because in the Church the Lord giveth manifold testimonies and signs of His holiness, and because the Lord taketh the defence of His Church into His own hands.Doctrines . —

1. See how great the hypocrisy of man oftentimes is in the pretence of godliness.

2. The prophet flieth unto God in the discerning of the true saints from hypocrites. However apparent things may be known unto men, hidden things belong only unto the Lord.

3. Learn not to play the hypocrite.

4. When we lack wisdom we should flee unto God for instruction.

5. Learn the state and condition of the militant Church. It is but as a tabernacle.

6. In this world the saints must not look for any rest, continuance, or certain abode.

7. We must not forsake the Church of God because of afflictions and troubles.

8. Who shall rest in the holy hill of God? The Church militant rejoices in the hope of happiness to come.

9. There is no true and sound rest save in the holy hill of God.

(R. Turnbull.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: {A Psalm of David.} LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill?

WEB: Yahweh, who shall dwell in your sanctuary? Who shall live on your holy hill?

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