Read Psalm 24
Of David. A psalm.
1 The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it,
the world, and all who live in it;
2 for he founded it on the seas
and established it on the waters.
3 Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord?
Who may stand in his holy place?
4 The one who has clean hands and a pure heart,
who does not trust in an idol
or swear by a false god.
5 They will receive blessing from the Lord
and vindication from God their Savior.
6 Such is the generation of those who seek him,
who seek your face, God of Jacob.
7 Lift up your heads, you gates;
be lifted up, you 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, you gates;
lift them up, you ancient doors,
that the King of glory may come in.
10 Who is he, this King of glory?
The Lord Almighty—
he is the King of glory.
In the first section of Psalm 24, David asserts God’s greatness and power and then provides a road map of how we can seek after and draw near to God. He begins by declaring God’s power and dominion over creation. Even the “fullness of the earth” belongs to God, including everything from culture and worship to wealth and glory. But in light of God’s greatness and awesome power, who among His creation will ever be close to God? This is what David asks when he says, “Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in His holy place?” These questions are reminiscent of Psalm 8, where in light of the grandeur of nature, David asks, “what is man that you are mindful of him? And the son of man that you care for him?” In both verses David is overwhelmed with the power and majesty of God, and he responds with those humble questions. When we consider God and understand ourselves in relation to Him, how can we not be struck by our depravity and smallness?
God is perfect, and we are not. God is the embodiment of love, and we are not. (Isaiah 55 expounds on these themes more). This realization transforms how we think and act and what we seek after. Meditating on Him makes us deeply aware of our desperate need of salvation, of our need to seek after God, and our inability to seek God without His help. By considering him we can be continually struck by the power of the gospel—which transforms everything.
In our busy and seemingly chaotic lives, it is easy for our prayers to turn into continual cries for help. Our anxieties can overwhelm us, and in our attempt to cast those cares on God, we forget to just sit in God’s presence. How often do we praise God just for who He is? How often do we contemplate His nature? Our eyes were never meant to rest on ourselves—they were designed to seek after God.
When we take time to think about Him, rather than ourselves, we will experience what David did in Psalm 24. David contemplates God, considers his own depravity, but then rejoices in God’s salvation, His promises, and His character! What an incredible way to recenter ourselves on God and focus on Him rather than ourselves.
- What parts of God’s character strike you with awe?
- How has the gospel transformed how you live everyday?
- How can you make time in your day to meditate on God and subsequently, praise Him?
Heavenly Father, you are the creator of the universe and the almighty God. You are a just God and will reconcile all things! You are a beautiful God—Your creation provides a glimpse of Your majesty! You see all things, know all things, and you care for me.
You love me.
Thank you for actively loving me despite my nature and despite my mistakes. Thank you for making a way for me to seek after You and know You. I praise You for who You are, and I thank You for the salvation You secured for me! Father, as I seek after You today, please continue to grow my capacity to love others and love You. Please continue to instruct me in your ways and sanctify me. I love You. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
3 thoughts on “Psalm 24”
I’m reminded of something JP shared regarding healthy habits for the believer:
We need the pause to ground/center ourselves in the flurry of busyness, stress & activity that capture our attention. When we truly SEE him, our troubles fade in the light of his presence. One way I remind myself is journaling every attribute/character trait ascribed to God in scripture. The list is inexhaustible! I read & meditate on each trait and turn it into a prayer of praise. Today, I want my thoughts, attitude, affections, and will to flow from a pure heart. I will seek the face of the God of Jacob, the Lord of Hosts, the King of glory!
This is a beautiful Psalm; no wonder it was one of many set to music in Handel’s “Messiah.” Enjoy this lovely arrangement here:
That was beautiful!
Thank you Pam.