Walk blamelessly, or perfectly, or with uprightness. Now, I can walk with uprightness, but I’ll tell you right now that I can’t walk blamelessly. I guarantee by the end of the day (53 minutes from right now) there will be something you’ll be able to blame me for.
Is God saying that only those who are perfect will able to go to heaven? Read what Psalm 115, verses 1 and 2 say:
1 A Psalm of David. O LORD, who shall sojourn in your tent? Who shall dwell on your holy hill?
2 He who walks blamelessly and does what is right and speaks truth in his heart . . .
When I read that, I shook my head. I looked up the original word for “blameless,” and found out that typically, when used in the Psalms, it’s translated “perfect.” Elsewhere in the Bible, the most common translation is “without blemish.” Give me a break. Like I can do that.
When I come across verses like this, it’s easy for me to try to find a way out. The word “perfect” can’t really mean “perfect.” It must mean “mostly perfect” or “able to avoid really serious sins” like adultery or murder. We can avoid those things, right?
But I think we do the Word of God a disservice when we discount what it says. It says that those who are blameless, or perfect, will dwell with God.
I can always go back to the verse in the New Testament . . . you know, the one that says it’s harder for a rich man to enter heaven than for a camel to go through the eye of a needle. Right after that it says that things that are impossible with man are possible with God. So, with the help of the Spirit, perhaps I can be perfect! Hmmmm. I doubt it.
It’s not that I lack faith, but I know myself. I am not perfect. I will never be perfect. I’m human. I’m fallible. I have flaws. I get angry. I have pride. I’m over-competitive.
So what now? Have I just concluded that I’m headed for hell? I don’t think so. As I read this Psalm I don’t read that anyone who’s not perfect is condemned to hell. It’s not in the text. What I do read is that a person who achieves perfection will be able to dwell with God.
I suspect God wrote this to remind us to strive to be perfect. God expects us to read His Word, to listen to Him, and to become more like Him. We need to love our neighbors and hate evil.
The problem with all this is that none of us are perfect, or ever will be. We all sin. But God doesn’t say we can’t live with Him if we aren’t perfect. Yes, He wants us to be blameless. He wanted Israel to be blameless. Were they? Far from it. Yet He relented from destroying them. And He will continue to forgive us if we continue to return to Him.
So, I have hope.
And I also have Jesus, so I have life.
12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.