A Brief Update
Today, February 7, Greenridge Baptist Church has again closed their facility due to inclement weather, leaving us without a facility to gather for corporate worship. In light of this, we are providing some songs to sing or listen to and a brief devotional to walk through as a household. May God bless you this Lord's Day and may you enjoy his grace shown to us through Jesus Christ.
Songs to Sing or Listen To
Devotional on Psalm 24
The primary burden of Psalm 24 is it’s enduring message that describes the exaltation of the heavenly king. It’s a psalm that David paints in vivid detail “who” the heavenly king is, what he expects of us, and what he has done for us.
The Psalm begins by showing us that God is the Sovereign King.
[Read Psalm 24:1-2]
David at the outset establishes this King’s majesty and sovereignty by declaring that this King is the LORD who rules the world. It is His world, both the stuff in it, and the people in it. Every tiny molecule and every majestic mountain belong to him, and live under his sovereign rule, his providence, his direction, his management, and his purposes.
As the sovereign King, nothing and no one rules other than him. All man-made gods in this world are nothing to him. They are worthless idols who have no power to rule, no power to create, and everything that fills the earth: mountains, rivers, oceans, bugs, humidity, people, viruses, dictators, terrorists, governments belong to him, and live under his sovereign rule.
David tells us why the earth is his: He created the earth—“for he has founded it upon the seas.” This is a bit of a puzzling statement. Why would he lay the foundation of the world on the seas? Really? How can anything laid upon water ever be stable?
The “seas” in scripture typically represent chaos, so when we read that he founded the world on the seas it seems to make no sense until we recognize the chaotic nature of our world because of sin. But David knows that it is the Lord who has laid the world’s foundation, sunk deep, and nothing in this world can move what he has set in place.
But that’s not all he does. He not only created the world, but he also sustains it. Even when the world is chaotic like the seas, God holds it together as we see in the second part of Psalm 24:2. The word “established” is a present tense verb, and it means God continues to hold all things together.
The chaos of our world can often create great inner turmoil causing our society to suffer from anxiety. This anxiety comes because many in his world worship pagan gods who make it impossible to have any peace. But David describes our Sovereign King as the one who does make it possible to not be anxious. Scripture describes how he does this.
Paul describes in Colossians 1:17 that Jesus Christ “is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” And in Hebrews 1:3 it says that “He upholds all things by the word of his power.”
In Job 38:8-11 we read, “Or who shut in the sea with doors when it burst out from the womb, when I made clouds its garment and thick darkness its swaddling band, and prescribed limits for it and set bars and doors, and said, ‘thus far shall you come, and no more farther, and here shall your proud waves be stayed?”
We know God’s Word is true. We know God is faithful. We know he keeps all his promises, and so there is no need for us to be anxious because we know when we cast our cares upon him, he cares for us even in trials and turmoil.
In the aftermath of the flood, God gives us a promise of his faithful care in Genesis 8:22. It says, “While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night shall not cease.” We can be confident that the Sovereign King is always present and working to sustain our world that we might not give in to “overtones of anxiety.”
Next, this psalm shows that God is the Holy King.
[Read Psalm 24:3-6]
We have seen the King’s world and now David shows us the King’s hill, and he does it by asking us a question: “Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord?” What is the hill of the Lord? Where is the hill of the Lord?
In an earthly sense, the hill was Mount Zion where the ark of the covenant resided, but more importantly the hill paints a heavenly picture of the holy place where God dwells. The King’s holy hill is heaven where God dwells in all his holiness and glory.
When we studied the book of Exodus, we learned about the holy place where only one person could enter. It was a 15x15 room where the ark of the covenant resided. The ark had a pure gold cover with two golden cherubim on each end, their wings spread over the ark, and in that space between these Cherubim the presence of God dwelled. Only one man, the high priest could enter into this sanctuary, and only one time a year to make atonement for the sins of Israel. Even before he could enter, he needed to be cleansed by a sacrifice of shed blood. In Israel it was a place of both delight and fear.
The delight was that sin could be atoned for, and the Sovereign King could be approached, but it was also a place of fear because death awaited all who entered except the high priest.
It was a tragic truth that no one could ascend the King’s holy hill because no one had clean hands, or a pure heart. All lifted their souls to falsehood, and all spoke deceitfully.
This is the human condition that has plagued all of us since the garden. There was a time in the garden when Adam and Eve could approach God and walk with him until they sinned, and crushed that intimate relationship. We all share in that sinful moment, and the sad reality is that none of us can ascend the hill of the Lord because not one of us has clean hands (actions) or a pure heart (attitudes). We have all lifted our souls to falsehood (idols), and we have all have spoken deceitfully and used our tongues to destroy. In Romans 3:11-18 Paul doesn’t soften his words when he describes the depth of our sin. Jesus told his disciples in Luke 18 that it’s impossible for anyone to enter God’s kingdom on their own merit, but he said what is impossible for man is possible for God. The answer to David’s probing question is found in Jesus. Who can ascend God’s holy hill? Jesus can.
He is the one who clothed himself in our filthy human flesh and lived a sinless life, dying for our sin, our evil, our wickedness, and our hatred towards God that we might live through his atoning sacrifice. He became the object of God’s wrath that we might become the objects of God’s mercy.
We can never wash our hands enough to be clean, and we can never purify our own hearts enough to be holy. Only the cleansing blood of Christ can do that as the old hymn says: “There is a fountain filled with blood, drawn from Emmanuel’s veins, sinners plunge beneath the flood and lose all their guilty stains.”
If we are to ascend the hill of the Lord, we must first be cleansed of all our guilty stains, and that through Jesus alone who has made a way for us to ascend, providing the grace we need to be holy as he is holy until we arrive in heaven. What is so remarkable is that now, on this earth we can be holy, and we can follow in his steps and make our way up the hill because Jesus has made it possible.
The blessing from God that David mentions in Psalm 24:5-6 is that God sees us now clothed in the righteous of Christ. We have no righteousness of our own, but Christ’s righteousness. This Sovereign King, this Holy King is now approachable, accessible, and willing to be near you and me. What amazing grace that is, that his creatures can now, in Christ approach his throne.
Finally, this psalm shows us the King of Glory.
[Read Psalm 24:7-10]
Who is this King of glory? He is the Christ, the Mighty one who defeated sin on the cross, who defeated Satan on the cross, and who defeated death on the cross. This is who the King of glory is. He is mighty to save. He is mighty to protect and preserve his church by his “host,” his army until they enter his heavenly home which becomes their heavenly home. We have the mighty King who instructs his army to protect us on our journey to his holy hill.
It is beyond explanation that the King of Glory not only sent his Son to save us from our sins, but shares his glory with us. David writes in Psalm 8:5, “What is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? Yet you have made him a little lower that the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor.”
What is our response to all that God has done for us? What is man’s chief end? Man’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy him forever.
Because of Jesus Christ we will enjoy the Lord forever so let us live to bring him glory.
Song of Response
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