This psalm poses two related questions: Who may enter God’s presence (vv3-5)? and To whom does God come (vv7-10)?
Psa 24:1 Of David. A psalm. The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it;
By affirming God’s lordship over all things, this verse sets up both the importance and the difficulty of the question of access to God.
The earth is the Lord’s– ‘How very different is this from the ignorant Jewish notion of God which prevailed in our Saviour’s day? The Jews said, “The holy land is God’s, and the seed of Abraham are his only people;” but their great Monarch had long before instructed them,—”The earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof.” The whole round world is claimed for Jehovah, “and they that dwell therein” are declared to be his subjects.’ (Spurgeon)
‘Man lives upon “the earth,” and parcels out its soil among his mimic kings and autocrats; but the earth is not man’s. He is but a tenant at will, a leaseholder upon the most precarious tenure, liable to instantaneous ejectment. The great Landowner and true Proprietor holds his court above the clouds, and laughs at the title-deeds of worms of the dust. The fee-simple”] is not with the lord of the manor nor the freeholder, but with the Creator.’ (Spurgeon)
‘Paul uses this verse twice, to show that no food is unclean, and that nothing is really the property of false gods. All things are God’s; no ban is on the face of nature, nothing is common or unclean. The world is all God’s world, and the food which is sold in the shambles is sanctified by being my Father’s, and I need not scruple to eat thereof.’ (Spurgeon)
‘The wise government of all things evinces there is a God. God is the great superintendent of the world, he holds the golden reins of government in his hand, guiding all things most regularly and harmoniously to their proper end. Who that eyes Providence but must be forced to acknowledge there is a God? Providence is the queen and governess of the world, it is the hand that turns the wheel of the whole creation; it sets the sun its race, the sea its bounds. If God did not guide the world, things would run into disorder and confusion. When one looks on a clock, and sees the motion of the wheels, the striking of the hammer, the hanging of the plummets, he would say, some artificer made it; so, when we see the excellent order and harmony in the universe, the sun, that great luminary, dispensing its light and heat to the world, without which the world were but a grave or a prison; the rivers sending forth their silver streams to refresh the bodies of men, and prevent a drought; and every creature acting within its sphere, and keeping its due bounds; we must needs acknowledge there is a God, who wisely orders and governs all these things. Who could set this great army of the creatures in their several ranks and squadrons, and keep them in their constant march, but HE, whose name is THE LORD OF HOSTS? And as God does wisely dispose all things in the whole regiment of the creatures, so, by his power, he supports them. Did God suspend and withdraw his influence ever so little, the wheels of the creation would unpin, and the axletree break asunder.’ (Thomas Watson, A Body of Divinity)
1 Cor 10:26.
Psa 24:2 for he founded it upon the seas and established it upon the waters.
Psa 24:3 Who may ascend the hill of the LORD? Who may stand in his holy place?
Psa 24:4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false.
Clean hands – ‘It is to be feared that many professors have perverted the doctrine of justification by faith in such a way as to treat good works with contempt; if so, they will receive everlasting contempt at the last great day. It is vain to prate of inward experience unless the daily life is free from impurity, dishonesty, violence, and oppression.’ (Spurgeon)
Pure heart – ‘There must be a work of grace in the core of the heart as well as in the palm of the hand, or our religion is a delusion.’ (Spurgeon)
Swear by what is false – ‘A false declaration, a fraudulent statement, a cooked account, a slander, a lie—all these may suit the assembly of the ungodly, but are detested among true saints: how could they have fellowship with the God of truth, if they did not hate every false way?’ (Spurgeon)
Psa 24:5 He will receive blessing from the LORD and vindication from God his Savior.
Psa 24:6 Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek your face, O God of Jacob. Selah
‘To desire communion with God is a purifying thing. Oh to hunger and thirst more and more after a clear vision of the face of God; this will lead us to purge ourselves from all filthiness, and to walk with heavenly circumspection. He who longs to see his friend when he passes takes care to clear the mist from the window, lest by any means his friend should go by unobserved.’ (Spurgeon)
Psa 24:7 Lift up your heads, O you gates; be lifted up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in.
Psa 24:8 Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle.
Psa 24:9 Lift up your heads, O you gates; lift them up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in.
Psa 24:10 Who is he, this King of glory? The LORD Almighty– he is the King of glory. Selah