We are looking at Psalm 24 today, which Bible experts tell me may have been written or used to celebrate the bringing of the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem as recorded in 2 Samuel Ch.6.
The Psalm begins (vs.1-2) with a reminder that the whole earth/world and everything in it belongs to the Lord because He is the creator and sustainer. That links in my mind to what we looked at last Sunday morning from Acts Chapter 17 since the apostle Paul was making a similar point, and why he was distressed at the number of false gods and idols that were there. His God, the Lord, wasn’t just a Jewish God, but the one true God, who was Lord of everyone and everything.
The next section (vs.3-6) asks 2 questions and then answers them, which hopefully brings us up short because we realise that by ourselves we have no right to ascend the hill of the Lord because our hands are not clean and our heart is not pure. Even David the Psalmist, the chosen and anointed king, who trusted and walked with the Lord in many ways, could not have ascended in his own right. He, like us, needed to be forgiven, to be washed and cleansed. He, like us, needed God to be his Saviour (v.5).
And the final verses (vs.7-10) celebrates the entrance of the King of glory, the One who is strong and victorious, and to emphasise these things, there is repetition to make sure we get the point!
And of course, this Psalm must point forward to the One who could fulfil these verses, who could ascend the hill of the Lord, who could stand in His holy place, who is worthy and pure and sinless, who doesn’t need a saviour, because He is THE Saviour, even our Lord Jesus.
And in the Christian tradition this Psalm is often used to celebrate the Ascension of Jesus into heaven, into the heavenly Jerusalem, where He is welcomed with great praise, because He had won the great victory over sin and death and His work on earth was completed.
And therefore amazingly we can pray and praise these words ourselves, confident of our own standing and our own destination, we too may ascend, not because we are worthy, but because we are in Christ, and we are raised with Him.
We remember in our prayers today our 2 placement students, Andrew and Evie, that the Lord may continue to help them in their training and formation, and guide them into their future ministries.