Daily Update #166
Let’s ascend the mountain
Today’s psalm is one of my favourites. I think it is because it reminds me of a famous sermon given by Ern Baxter, called ‘Thy Kingdom Come’. The lectionary only tantalises us with the first six verses, but that gives us plenty to consider today.
This Psalm of David was probably composed to celebrate the day when the Ark of the Covenant was brought into Jerusalem, symbolising the very tangible presence of God dwelling with his people. Such delight caused David to burst with praise.
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.
Yet we have an amazing advantage over David, as God dwells within his people now! He hasn’t just pitched his tent in St. John’s church building, he’s provided instant access to him wherever we are, lockdown or not! Reminding ourselves of this should be more than adequate motivation to launch us to praise him too.
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.
However, when approaching God, especially having been reminded of his sheer awesomeness, we are also aware of our shortcomings. David vocalises these by questioning who would be worthy to ascend into the very presence of God? Again, we have another advantage over David, as Jesus opened up the way for all who accept him as Lord and Saviour to access the throne room of God. Our hands and heart are seen by God as clean and pure, thanks to the atoning sacrifice of Jesus!
5 They will receive blessing from the Lord
and vindication from God their Saviour.
6 Such is the generation of those who seek him,
who seek your face, God of Jacob.
Verses 5 & 6 hold the promise of blessings. Praising God and coming into his presence isn’t a chore, it’s blessing. The word ‘vindication’ used here, means we will get what is ‘just’ through our Saviour, for it is by Grace we receive the benefits lavished on us by Jesus, not by our own works. So, there is much to praise God about – his Greatness, his Availability and the Blessings we receive from him. Praise the Lord! It is what we are made for and it will be fully realised when we are finally ‘returned to the manufacturer’s settings’ on that day when we see him face to face in glory. Hallelujah!
We thank you that you have provided for us the only way to approach your throne room, with clean hands and a pure heart through the blood of the Lamb. Help us to grasp this truth fully, so we may enter a new, unimpeded and full measure of worship to you today. Open our hands and hearts to receive your blessings, that they may overflow and bless those around us.