Psalm 24 (May 4, 2011)

The earth is the LORD’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein,   for he has founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers. Who shall ascend the hill of the LORD? And who shall stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully. He will receive blessing from the LORD and righteousness from the God of his salvation. Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek the face of the God of Jacob. Selah Lift up your heads, O gates! And be lifted up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD, strong and mighty, the LORD, mighty in battle! Lift up your heads, O gates! And lift them up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory! Selah (Psalm 24 ESV)

Consecration of True Israel

In the face of such a glorious God, the God who owns all, sees all, and reigns over all, the question and answer of 3-6 comes naturally.

Who shall ascend the hill of the LORD? And who shall stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully. He will receive blessing from the LORD and righteousness from the God of his salvation. Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek the face of the God of Jacob. Selah

Who can approach him? Who can abide with him? The one who can approach and abide with God is described in the details of his behavior as well as the description of his blessing. First, he has clean hands (external) and a pure heart (internal). This is critical. We all can engage in behavior modification if we want to appear better in the sight of others, but we know that God still looks on our hearts (1 Samuel 16:7).

“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire. So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. (Matthew 5:21-24 ESV)

Jesus’ instruction is clear. Before you even think of approaching God, be clean in your actions and in your intentions. Look to your behavior both inside and out. The blessings that accompany such actions are wonderful: righteousness and blessing from the God of his salvation. At the end of the day, Christians are the ones who are concerned about their hearts before God. The righteous are those who are concerned about righteousness, living to glorify and honor the God of their salvation. What about you? Is this your life? Do you see yourself as blessed because God is at work in you to make you holy?

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