My husband has been preaching out of the book of Psalms on Wednesday nights, so I have been taking notes and sharing these encouraging messages here. During this time of confusion, we need to have times of refreshment from God’s Word.
This week, he preached on Psalm 24. There are links on the bottom of this post to the other posts I have written so far from the Psalms.
Psalm 24 was probably designed to be sung as the Ark of the Covenant is brought to Jerusalem. It is good to note that the ark represented God’s law, God’s presence, and the mercy seat.
The Jewish tradition is that this song is sung on Sunday. A different psalm/song was sung on different days. This tradition started during the Babylonian era. It would be a responsive reading.
Matthew 20:1-11 is the New Testament equivalent of this psalm. The priests would have been in the temple singing this song while Jesus was doing His triumphant journey into the city of Jerusalem. The priests are saying, “Who is this King of glory?” and the people on the streets are saying, “It’s Jesus!”
I. The King’s glory in His creation
The earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein. For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods. vv.1-2
- His glory includes the entire earth.
The heavens even declare His glory.
- His glory includes all the people who dwell upon the earth.
He owns it all.
Everything we have is His. We are just stewards of everything we have. This should bring us humility and not pride.
. . . and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it? I Corinthians 4:7
II. The King’s glory in His companions.
Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in his holy place? He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully. vv. 3-4
The king’s companions need to fulfill certain requirements.
- Where should they meet? The holy place (where David is setting up the tabernacle. ) This is God’s dwelling place. The presence of the Lord is there.
- Who can meet with Him? Who is acceptable into the presence of this King and into His holy place? How can you prepare yourself for fellowship with the King?
- Those who are ritually and practically clean — we have to do whatever God tells us to do.
- He who has clean hands which is symbol of a faultless life. No one can look at you and blame you of a habitual sin. Your actions are righteous, blameless.
- He who has a pure heart. This is a symbol of a right attitude. Our motives are sincere and our minds are not corrupted. We are continually hungering and thirsting after righteousness.
- He who has not lifted up his soul unto vanity. This means that he is not trusting in the things of this world but rather he is trusting in God. They don’t have an appetite to do foolish things.
- He has not sworn deceitfully. He keeps his word; he has integrity.
The big idea of these two verses is that there are two sides of being able to stand before God:
- Internal godliness (I’m pure on the inside.)
- External righteousness on the outside. People can tell that there is a redeemed relationship.
What blessing shall the King’s companions receive?
He shall receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation. This is the generation of them that seek him, that seek thy face, O Jacob. Selah. vv. 5-6
Here is an example after the list of requirements to receive the blessing from the Lord. This gives us hope as Jacob wasn’t perfect, but God watched over him and brought him back.
The blessing is God’s presence. This is what we get when we choose to live a life of righteousness. When we walk with God, we get the favor of God. We also get righteousness when we are in His presence. When we stay in His presence, we will become more like Him. We will not want to sin in His presence. This is also talking about how we are justified, made righteous in the eyes of God, when we accept His saving favor in our lives.
Summary statement for verses 3-6: The King’s companions don’t worship idols; they are true worshippers and they walk in faith and integrity.
III. The King’s glory and His conquest (vv. 7-10)
Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in. Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah. vv. 7-10
- The call of the people in verse 7 to be encouraged because the King of glory is coming.
- The clarification is in verse 8. Who is this King of Glory? The Lord strong and mighty. This is similar to Moses’s sang in Exodus in 15 after the destruction of the Egyptian army.
- Repetition in verse 9 reminding the people to be encouraged because the King is coming.
- Repeated clarification is in verse 10 saying The Lord of Hosts is the King of glory. This is in part a reference to the Messiah coming on Palm Sunday. We know Jesus is the King of Glory shown when He had victory over Satan, sin, death, and the grave.
Two big idea applications from this chapter:
- Everything we have (our wealth, etc) is God’s. Be faithful with what you have for God’s glory.
- Our physical and spiritual health is His.
Is your stewardship of everything that you are under His control — your body, soul, and mind? Are your hands clean, is your heart pure, and do you speak truth?
What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s. I Corinthians 6:19-20
More posts from the Book of Psalms:
- Rejoicing in Answered Prayer, Psalm 21
- A Prayer for Suffering, Psalm 22
- The Lord is My Shepherd, Psalm 23
- Encouragement from Psalm 18
- Encouragement from Psalm 37
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