Friday, Apr 28th

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Psalm 24

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 Do any of us truly appreciate the gloriousness of God? I doubt it - we speak like princes but act like spiritual paupers.

Do we truly believe God made everything, and he did so in six days? Very few ‘Christians’ do – they have fallen for the unscientific lie of evolution.

Do we truly believe God is the King of kings and can do anything He wishes? It does not seem like it as we go about our daily business of accruing money, or status, or give our whole energies to job, or pursuits.

As the world sinks lower, and very quickly, into a pit of its own making, paying regard to Satan and not God, one must wonder whether or not Christians mean what they say, and if what they say is really representative of their faith. Time is short. Get it right – or live what is wrong.

Verses 1&2

  1. The earth is the LORD's, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.

  2. For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods.

Not many Christians understand this first verse! They have either a vague or a non-existent idea. What does this first verse really mean? Nothing is hidden – by ‘really’ I mean NOT of human invention!

The earth is the Lord’s is a definite statement of ownership; an imperative of indescribable importance. Though the word ‘is’ is not found in the Hebrew text, it is implied, and that is why you see it in brackets in the 1611 AV Bible. It is not, then, an invention of the translators, but an aid to flow of reading. Indeed, it can be used because it is implied by the rest of the verse.

David is not just saying God owns it as real estate. He means that God made it and has every right to it, not just to its land and sea but to everything in, on and around it! Including the people… though I know most unbelievers would not accept this ownership, because they vaunt themselves as having free-will and ownership of themselves and what they have. Everything, from the core of its mass to its surface and everything in, on and above it, belongs to Jehovah!

The word “fullness” tells us this is so, because it literally means ‘entire contents’. The final part of the verse adds to this authoritative statement: the world and everybody in it. Nothing on, or in, or around, the earth belongs to a country, an earthly king, a business, or anyone but Jehovah. That is why being charged by companies for water, or land, or food, is so ludicrous.

The earth (the same applies to the whole universe) belongs to the One Who created it, not to those who inhabit it. God “founded it upon the seas”. Look at the creation account and you will find the land mass was divided by the sea. Thus, this text refers back to the beginning. The reference to the “floods” can have a number of explanations but I would suggest it can also refer to the way God re-established the earth after the great Flood. However, the main meaning is that God surrounded the land mass with sea/water.

In other words, God owns everything and is Lord of everything. That includes its minerals, its diamonds, its coal, its oil… all those things that make some individuals very wealthy and murderous!

It is my inner notion that God mentions this water to remind us that nothing is fixed, but that everything is, literally, fluid. Water can devastate the world, as it did in the mighty universal Flood of Noah’s day, and in several countries even recently. It can wash away every pretention. The object here is not the water itself, but the power of God to tear-down what Man arrogantly puts up in his own perverse image, and his belief in his own self and efforts.

I have come to see this in my own life, where money is not mine, but is ‘in transit’ for other purposes. It is probably why, whenever I have had extra, it is always taken from me again! ‘Square one’ is my usual place of rest! Others may have pensions, or savings, or some other access to money, and they come to see it as ‘fixed’ and a ‘right’, but God has seen to it that this should not be for me, for His own reasons.

He gives it at times, and it goes again, not on luxuries, but on what is necessary. And He only gives when He deems fit, so its arrival time is not known to me. And this is what He promises every child of God. Those who have more have it because God allows it. Those who have less are equally given, or not, as God wills. Nothing comes merely by our efforts, or skills, or work!

Verses 3-6

  1. Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place?

  2. He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.

  3. He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.

  4. This is the generation of them that seek him, that seek thy face, O Jacob. Selah.

Knowing that God is supreme, and is the Lord of all, David asks: “Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord?” Who is able? Who is pure enough? Who is mighty? “Who shall stand in his holy place?” No-one of humanity alone. Only those elected by God to do so, and who live as they ought. David speaks of both the Temple and Heaven.

Heaven is reached ONLY by those with “clean hands, and a pure heart”. If left to us, it would mean NO man or woman could ever reach Heaven. Thankfully, it is not up to us, but is solely up to God, Who has made a way for us to be accepted through His Son and through faith, which is a gift. We must not be guilty before Him and must not harbour sin in our hearts. This is ONLY possible through salvation in Jesus Christ, Who stands between us and the Father, pleading our case.

Does this mean that if we sin in our lives we will not enter Heaven? No, it does not. As saved men and women we will enter Heaven no matter what. Do not mistake this to mean we can do whatever we like after being saved! After salvation the genuine son and daughter of the Lord will want to live righteously and will not want to sin against God. But, we will at times, because of our human nature, and when we do, repentance puts us back in God’s favour on this earth.

As the saved, we must not become vain and believe or do things that are not good for us, spiritually, emotionally or physically. Nor may we swear falsely about anything at all, or deny to others what has been promised. In other words, we must be upright and honest, saying and doing only that which is beneficial to our souls and reflective of God’s purity.

Such persons will be given many blessings by God, Who will ensure the person lives a life consistent with his or her claim to salvation. Many claim salvation, but few live it out. And so few are actually righteous – a condition necessary for life on this earth, but rarely found amongst the brethren.

David says this generation of the righteous seek God, searching for His approval of their lives and hearts. Interestingly, David says “that seek thy face, O Jacob”. This is reference to the people of God, the believing-seed of Abraham and Jacob, etc., who seek after God. David then writes-in a pause in the music, Selah.

Today most local churches are divided from their fellows. They adopt different views of what scripture says, although scripture only has one meaning; even within one local; church, its members erroneously think they can offer their own ‘interpretations’ to scripture, though what they offer is ignorant.

They deliberately resist joining with those of like mind, preferring their own company – because what they believe or do is (wrongly) peculiar to themselves, and they do not wish to change, or to go back to God’s word alone. They seek God’s face for their own benefit, whereas David appealed to all of God’s chosen people. David’s call was not ecumenical in the modern sense, but inclusive in the saved sense. We are all saved by the same Lord, and are all accepted in and by the same Saviour. But, few show it. In my own experience I see fellow believers in my own city avoiding me and those I pastor, for no other reason than we do not attend their church! And so – the feeling runs – we cannot possibly be legitimate and must be backslidden!

Verses 7-10

  1. Lift up your head, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.

  2. Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle.

  3. Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.

  4. Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah.

We now come to some repetition. When there is a repeat statement it is always to emphasise its importance, just as Jesus said “verily, verily”. What are these gates? It refers to an entrance, sha’ar, but to a palace or the tabernacle of the Temple. The ‘head’ refers to its height, as in the stars. So, the summation is that David is saying something like ‘Open your doors, O Heavenly places’, from the root, meaning to split open. This is obviously about Heaven, because it says so in verse 7: “ye everlasting doors”.

“be ye lift up” = be exalted and bring in. Bring in what, or whom? The “King of glory”. There are several ways to interpret this. For example, we could say that God the Father is the ‘King of glory’, especially as He is the ‘Lord of hosts’. Or, that the triune God is that person. Or, that it refers to Jesus the Christ. Which is it?

In a wider sense it does not matter, because each is God. In a narrower sense, we should follow the clues. One of them has already been given – David is talking about the Creator. We have another in that the King of glory “shall come in”. Only the Son and the Holy Spirit have gone ‘out’ (in a semantic sense only, for they are always at one with each other) of Heaven. The Father remained. On the other hand, God, as a trinity and as an individual person of the God-head, is omnipresent! The ‘king’ is melek, which simply means – king.

David asks “Who is this King of glory?” He defines Him as “The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle.” So, this king, melek, is also the LORD, Jehovah. Therefore, the King Who will enter heaven is Jehovah. David repeats his call to Heaven to open up to Jehovah, Who is also called the “LORD of hosts” as well as the “King of glory”. The ‘hosts’ can be everything in the universe, or angels who, in this text, would be considered an ‘army’.

Some see these texts as referring to Jesus Christ. This may, or may not, be accurate. It is my view that David refers to God as a trinity. Yahweh Sabaoth, or Lord of Hosts, is rarely used in scripture and appears to refer to ‘God’, rather than to one of the trinity as an individual. This is one of those rare occasions when we cannot give a final answer. Therefore, this interpretation is only my personal view.

Would it make much of a difference if you wish to see it as a reference to Christ? Not really, because Christ is God. But, in terms of strict interpretation, this appears to be a reference to ‘God’ rather than to an individual in the God-head.

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Published on www.christiandoctrine.com

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