Psalm 24

May 31, 2023    Pastor Daryl Zachman

“Who may ascend into the hill of the LORD? Or who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, nor sworn deceitfully.” (Psalm 24:3–4, NKJV)


Psalm 24 celebrates the King of glory. He is the triumphant LORD of the armies of heaven. He is strong and mighty in battle, and the gates of heaven open wide to receive Him. The earth and everything in it belong to Him including all the people.


David wrote in Psalm 68:


“You ascended on high, leading a host of captives in your train and receiving gifts among men, even among the rebellious, that the LORD God may dwell there.” (Psalm 68:18, ESV)


It seems that David pictures the Lord returning to heaven after defeating the enemy. In His train are a host of people who have been liberated from their captivity. Of course, we know this is exactly what happened after Jesus was crucified and preached to the souls in Hades. Then after He was resurrected, graves were opened and many bodies of the saints were raised and were seen in Jerusalem (Matthew 27:52-53). We believe that Christ emptied Hades of the Old Testament saints, having redeemed them from their sins with His own blood. Picture Christ ascending into heaven with this throng of happy saints and the gates opening wide to receive them!


But who shall ascend this holy hill to dwell with the LORD? Only those who have clean hands and a pure heart. God is concerned with both our works and our character. Evildoers and hypocrites shall not enter through the gates and stand in the holy place.


“Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may enter through the gates into the city. But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie.” (Revelation 22:14–15, NKJV)


The truth is that we are incapable of having clean hands and a pure heart apart from grace. It is only by the blood of the Lamb that our sins are washed away and our hands are cleansed from works of death. It is only by the sharp two-edged sword of the Word that our hearts are purified from idolatry and hypocrisy. Though we were once rebellious, now we have received gifts from our Lord. But these are merely a foretaste of the glory that awaits the faithful.


“He shall receive blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.” (Psalm 24:5, NKJV)


Let us praise the King of glory, for our righteousness comes from Him!