I just couldn’t let go of Psalm 15, I read something yesterday that I was still thinking about when I opened my bible this morning and I just had to go back over it. I needed to dig into it a little deeper. Or at least I needed to do some writing on it.
I’ve shared with many of you that I’ve been using a new bible, the Ancient Faith Bible. The footnotes are all written by the early (and I mean early) church fathers. Psalm 15:1 says, “Lord, who can dwell (sojourn) in your tent? Who can live on your holy mountain?” The footnote for this verse was written by Augustine of Hippo, he lived from 354AD to 430AD. This is what he has to say;
“… strictly speaking a tent is something associated with war. Hence soldiers are referred to as tent companions, because their tents are grouped together. This
interpretation receives further backing from the words ‘who will sojourn?’ (sojourn means a temporary stay, quite a different idea from the translation of the word to dwell, which has a much more permanent connotation). For we do battle with the devil for a time, and we need a tent in which to regain our strength. This points in particular to faith under this temporal dispensation (allocation, allotment) established for us within time by our Lord’s incarnation.” From Augustine’s Exposition of the Psalms, cited in the Ancient
Faith Bible, p.629
“Who can sojourn in your tent?” A sojourn is a temporary stay, our temporary stay is here on earth because our permanent home is in heaven.
tent - this earthly life/time, but also the church as a tent, the place we regain our strength as we do battle/wage war with the enemy here in our temporary home.
“tent companions” - my brothers and sisters in Christ, the church is my tent but also, or more specifically, it holds/houses my “tent companions”.
“grouped together” - proximity for safety, we need to stay close to stay strong as we battle against the enemy. As Hebrews 10:25 says, “And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” We meet together for encouragement, to spur one another on in the fight of faith, the fight to protect the faith that it would be the fuel to spread the gospel to a lost and dying world.
I had breakfast yesterday with two friends, one I’ve know since we were 15, the other I met through our son’s friendship but we all used to go to church together. These women mean so much to me, as do their families. I feel safe and like I’m home when I’m with them and after reading Augustine yesterday morning I feel like I have the words to articulate why. They are my tent companions, they inhabit the same temporal home as I do, and some day we will inhabit the same eternal home. And we are fellow soldiers, we wage war for our husbands, our children, our friends, and our faith. I need them, and they need me. Augustine says “we need a tent in which to regain our strength.” I don’t know about you, but it feels to me like the battle is really heating up and I need a place to “regain my strength,” I need my tent companions like never before. You probably do too. Thank God today for his church, your tent, and for the tent companions he’s given you, and if you’re able, tell them how grateful you are for them.