The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for he founded it on the seas and established it on the waters.
Who may ascend the mountain of the LORD? Who may stand in his holy place?
The one who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not trust in an idol or swear by a false god. They will receive blessing from the LORD and vindication from God their Savior.
Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek your face, God of Jacob.,
Lift up your heads, you gates; be lifted up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle.
Lift up your heads, you gates; lift them up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Who is he, this King of glory? The LORD Almighty—he is the King of glory.
This past week I had two separate meetings during which I learned that each of my friends had just returned from Israel. The first question I always ask anyone that has gone to Israel is “How did visiting the Holy Land impact the way they read scripture?” Everyone almost always replies that it gave them the ability to picture where, how, and sometimes even why events took place as written in the Bible. Each one of my friends said Scripture now comes that much more alive. Being in the Holy Land gives their devotional reading and study of God’s word an additional layer of context they never could have otherwise gotten without being there in person. I love it, and highly recommend visiting Israel if at all possible at least once in your life!
As I read Psalms 24 this morning I put myself back in Jerusalem. I remembered that this particular Psalm is a Psalm of ascent. Worshippers would sing this Psalm while in Jerusalem as they made their way up from the pool of Siloam, a place of ritual cleansing to the temple mount. This ritual cleansing was to practice what Isaiah said in Isa. 12:3, “With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.” They would then ascend some 500 steps to the Temple, usually for one of the three annual pilgrimage festivals: Passover, Shavuot, or Sukkot.
Psalm 24 is a psalm by King David declaring that God is sovereign over all the earth. As worshippers sang this psalm, they would have been surrounded by the physical landscape of Jerusalem, seeing the white palace of the king of Judah, and the mansions of the rich, including the high priest. They would see the city and the temple in all its grandeur and declare that all of it, belonged to the Lord.
As they approached the gates to the temple mount, they would declare verse 7 “Lift up your heads, you gates; be lifted up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in, Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle! Then, repeating it again, Lift up your heads, you gates; lift them up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Who is he, this King of glory? The LORD Almighty[ El Elyon]—he is the King of glory.
Remember, El Elyon means God, the most elevated of the elevated, the most supreme of the supreme, and the most powerful of the powerful, and as such, the one who has all authority and transcends all things! The Milky Way, the stars, the skies, the mountains, the fields, and the city that surrounded those that were ascending up to the temple, all of it, belongs to the Lord.
As verse 6 says; May we be the generation of those who seek him, who seek His face!
Picturing all of this in my mind’s eye and praising the Lord this morning!