Scripture Reading: Psalm 24:3-6
“Who may ascend the hill of the Lord? Who may stand in His holy place?” (Psalm 24:3)
Most likely David had worship in mind when he wrote this Psalm. To ascend and to stand presents a picture of one who desires to participate in worshiping the Lord. The temple was the central place of worship in the Old Testament. It was located on Mount Zion. Worshipers would ascend up the hills toward Jerusalem and then up to the temple mount to gather for worship. When they arrived, they stood in God’s holy place.
The question David poses is one of qualification. Who is able to ascend and to stand in God’s holy place? He gives the answer — “He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false” (v. 4). Obviously, the only way we can have clean hands and a pure heart is by God’s grace. On our side of the cross, we know that Jesus is, in fact, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. Worshipers in the Old Testament must first be cleansed by offering a sacrifice at the temple. But we have Christ. He has created in us a pure heart and made our hands clean through His sacrificial death on the cross. Once we have been justified by grace through faith, we are called to honor and obey God — not lifting our souls to idols or swearing by what is false.
When we have repented of our sins and have trusted Christ alone for our salvation, we receive blessing after blessing from the Lord — “He will receive blessing from the Lord and vindication from God his Savior” (v. 5).
As we earnestly seek the Lord, we will desire to stand in His holy place. In doing so we will seek the face of our Lord and find joy and peace beyond measure — “Such is the generation of those who seek Him, who seek Your face, O God of Jacob” (v. 6).
Lord Jesus, thank You for cleansing my hands and purifying my heart. You alone are able to do these things. Thank You for the privilege of worship. Because I have been justified, I am able to ascend the hill of the Lord and stand in Your holy place. Receive my worship and praise this day.
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