1 The earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.
2 For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods.
3 Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in his holy place?
4 He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.
5 He shall receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.
6 This is the generation of them that seek him, that seek thy face, O Jacob. Selah.
7 Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.
8 Who is this King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle.
9 Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.
10 Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah.
I have always loved this Psalm. This is God’s universe so He can make the rules for it or do with it as He likes. Wow! The second part has a different challenge. How do I as a mere human approach God? How will I climb up to Him? How will I be able to stand and remain standing in His awesome presence? The third part is where I proudly advertise my awesome God.
God summoned Moses to meet Him on mount Sinai. The nation was afraid of God because there was lightning and fire every time He spoke. God had a loud and fearsome voice. They were not allowed to come near the mountain in case they would perish. But Moses ascended the mountain with the help of Joshua. There God spoke to Moses for 40 days. Even today you will see the black burned sand and rocks on top of mount Sinai.
So who will be able to be like Moses and ascend God’s mountain and stand there in His terrible presence? Verse 4 gives the answer. I looked at different translations and spend some time thinking about this. The verse mentions 3 requirements:
a) The person who lives right and pure in deeds and thoughts.
b) A person who does not waste time on vanity and nonsense.
c) A person who is sincere and truthful.
These requirements are a bit steep and yet many people in the Old Testament managed to stand in God’s presence, e.g. MOSES and also Abraham, David, Solomon, Elijah and Isaiah. The Law of God highlights that we, you and I fail terribly. So how did these guys get it right? Well, there is another mountain, called mount Zion. Mount Zion is not the mountain of the law. There is something more important and STRONGER than the law that gives a simple man like me a VIP ticket to stand in God’s awesome presence. With this VIP ticket I may spend a few hours in His presence. Don’t you think that this is just awesome and wonderful? I will not be surprised if you are totally jealous of me!!!
I must say that to spend time in God’s glorious presence had a life changing effect on me. Truly, it lead to the third part of Psalm 24. I feel like joining David in shouting it out…loud and proud: “Open the gates that the king of glory can enter. The king of heaven’s armies! The LORD mighty in battle!”
Open the gates, silly.