My wife and I are reading through the Psalms in our evening reading and occasionally a nugget of the Psalms jumps out of the page. Don’t you love it when, after years of reading the “Old Book” passages become alive, reinforcing old teachings or simply warming your heart.
This is the book of Psalms, and it is rich.
I pray I can communicate a portion of the blessing we receive from this wonderful book. Lets read it before we consider the message the psalmist is communicating
1 A Psalm of David. The earth is the LORD’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein,
2 for he has founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers.
3 Who shall ascend the hill of the LORD? And who shall stand in his holy place?
4 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.
5 He will receive blessing from the LORD and righteousness from the God of his salvation.
6 Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek the face of the God of Jacob. Selah
7 Lift up your heads, O gates! And be lifted up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may 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 gates! And lift them up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in.
10 Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory! Selah
Such a rich psalm. Our last post touched on the first verse and the ownership of the LORD, His extent of ownership, His far reaching possessions.
As I mentioned in that post, my original intention was to address verses 3 – 6, which I will attempt with this post. So lets take a few minutes to consider.
I settled (eventually) on these verses since one of my favorite psalms is Psalm 15, and the similarities between these verses and Psalm 15 are so obvious. (If you recently found this blog, consider reading Psalms for Psome – 15)
The psalmist is questioning the believers ability to “ascend the hill of the LORD”. He is speaking to the populace and stating – You people of God – there are requirements to meet if you seek to enter the temple, to share in His company.
The believer, in order to approach the LORD, is to have clean hands. His actions are to be right, observing the moral standards set down by the King. Not simply performance to the standards set by the culture, or by legal precedence of a population, but by the moral standards of the King who gave His law.
The King has given us “the law” to live by. This law is the outworking of the commandments, and is described in the beatitudes. Check it out.
Consider 2 Timothy 2:19
But God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: “The Lord knows those who are his,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of the Lord depart from iniquity.”
Clean hands – Departing from iniquity.
A Pure Heart
Again, my mind takes me to the apostle Paul when he wrote to the young Timothy.
1 Timothy 1:5
The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.
Sometimes it is truly amazing that the New Testament is so dependent on the Old Testament, that the faith described in the Old is so in line with the New.
To be in possession of a pure heart, a clean heart, is a gift of God through our faith, that is to be maintained in fellowship with the Savior. Confession of sins to the Lord, and to those we offend or sin against, seeking restitution with our brothers, pursuing peace with all and exercising love towards them that breathe. A pure heart is a gift, and it is also a responsibility.
Who does not lift up his soul to what is false
To lift up, in the hebrew is the term nāśā’, and refers to directing our mind or soul to something or someone. The one who would ascend the hill of the Lord, will direct his mind and soul to the true and righteous God, the only One who is worthy of our attention.
To the false, the one who ascends will not direct his mind or soul. It is an affront to consider a falsehood for the believer.
Does not swear deceitfully
The topic of truth comes to the fore front again, yet this time it is not referring to our object of worship, but of the message that pours from our mouth, even our faithfulness in keeping oaths and our word to others. It is the believers responsibility to keep his word to his neighbor if he is to ascend the hill of the Lord.
As believers, we are to consider approaching God, through our Lord Jesus, as a high privilege that is granted to those who consider it so, acting on the requirements of the King. True He has opened the veil for us to enter, but the cost was His blood, His very life.
When I ponder this, it is a sobering thought, and the psalmist reminds me that there is a price to pay to ascend that hill.
Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.