Reading & Reflection; Psalm 24
V1 The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it;
V2 for he founded it on the seas and established it on the waters.
All that we see, all that we know about of our universe, all of it is the Lord’s. It was God who made the dry land and the seas, it was God who made the birds of the air and all the beasts, it was God who breathed life into every living creature.
V3 Who may ascend the mountain of the LORD?
Throughout scripture we read of the mountaintop experiences of God’s people; the giving of the ten commandments, Moses and the burning bush, Jesus with his disciples on the mount of transfiguration, Jesus and the sermon on the mount.
V3 Who may stand in his holy place?
The Temple in Jerusalem the place where God was held to be present before the exile story. The inner sanctum, where only the great high priest may enter to offer sacrifices. Who enters into such fellowship with the Lord our God?
V4 The one who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not trust in an idol or swear by a false god.
To have this fellowship with God requires a righteous attitude and righteous actions. Every time we swear by whatever, when we try to cement our word and our action. Are we creating an idol that will take care of us, are we trusting in a false go? What about when we use that throwaway phrase, ‘touch wood’? What does that say about where our trust lies, or does it imply we actually don’t have any trust?
V5 They will receive blessing from the LORD and vindication from God their Saviour.
Is it only the people of God who receive a blessing from God? Do we need to claim God before God claims us? If that is true then how does someone on the outside become someone on the inside?
V6 Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek your face, God of Jacob.
As we stand with arms outstretched waiting to receive good things from God what about our generation? Are we seeking those things of God, are we knocking on the door and waiting to receive? We seek the God of Jacob, the God of yesterday. But we seek him still for he is the God of today. We seek to travel in his company for he is the God of tomorrow also. Young and old, male and female, together the family of the same God.
V7 Lift up your heads, you gates; be lifted up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in.
The golden gate on the east wall was the main entrance to the temple area during the first and second temples. Over the centuries the gate has been closed and reopened several times when eventually in the 16th century they were closed and have never been reopened.
8 Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle.
The Ark of the Covenant of the Lord. Described in Exodus as where the tablets of stone were placed and kept. Carried by God’s people to remind them of the covenant God made with his people. The sight of the Ark symbolized the presence of God.
V9 Lift up your heads, you gates; lift them up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in.
The only one of eight gates on the walls of Jerusalem that remains closed and sealed. This is the gate which Jewish tradition says the Messiah will enter. This is the gate Jesus entered on that humble donkey to the great cheers of Hosanna from the people. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
V10 Who is he, this King of glory? The LORD Almighty— he is the King of glory.
The great temple of yesteryear has gone. The Ark of the Covenant and the throne no longer there. How then may the king of glory enter in? Christ Jesus is the new covenant, sealed by his blood. Christ Jesus will return and reclaim the throne of David. Through the gateway of our heart the king of glory will enter. His reign will be established, not only in the temple courts, but from corner to corner across all the earth. The Lord God Almighty He is the King of Glory.