Psalm 24 – The King of Glory

Reading Time: 7 Minutes

The Owner of All

Who owns the world? Is it various nations that stake out boundaries and use armies to protect their property?

Possibly, multi-national corporations are the owners of the world. After all, some corporations have as much wealth as small countries.

On the other hand, are people like you and me owners? I look out my basement window at our backyard and think of the title to our property that says this plot of ground is ours. Isn’t this – and more – mine?

The speaker in Psalm 24 declares that “the world and all that is in it belongs to the Lord.” He is the true owner of all.

The world and all that is in it belong to the Lord;
the earth and all who live on it are his.
He built it on the deep waters beneath the earth
and laid its foundations in the ocean depths.
(Psalm 24.1-2)

Verse 2 doesn’t have the same meaning to people today as it did to the ancient world. It is easy to see this verse as pretty, but meaningless poetry.

However, world religions of the ancient world saw the deep waters of the ocean and the rivers as gods who needed to be tamed by other gods. Genesis 1 declared that God was the Creator of the oceans and rivers, not a rival who needed to conquer the chaos-god of the oceans and rivers.

God is not in competition with oceans and rivers. Neither does he compete with nations, multi-national corporations, or even people like us. He is our Creator. As our Creator, he is also the owner of everything.

If God is the owner, what does that mean for people like you and me? According to Psalm 8, we are God’s agents. We have been given authority by God to act on his behalf to bless his creation. If we are aligned with his purposes, he can and will use us to bring his life-giving order to the chaos of this world.

Who is Qualified to Meet with the Owner?

What sort of person is qualified to meet with the Owner of the entire universe? Who can enter the presence of the Creator and receive a blessing from him? The next verses give us the answer.

The verses are arranged in this form: (1) question, (2) answer, (3) promise, and (4) confirmation.

Question: Who has the right to go up the Lord’s hill?
Who may enter his holy Temple?
Answer: Those who are pure in act and in thought,
who do not worship idols
or make false promises.
Promise: The Lord will bless them and save them;
God will declare them innocent.
Confirmation: Such are the people who come to God,
who come into the presence of the God of Jacob.
(Psalm 24.3-6)

Who is qualified to have a meeting with the Creator and Owner of everything? Four statements give the answer.

(1-2) A qualified person knows and does God’s will as both an internal compass and as an outward expression of their behavior.

(3) This person does not rely on substitutes for God. They are “all in” with God and do not have a “plan B,” in case they don’t get what they want from God.

(4) They don’t use words to manipulate the behavior of others. They follow Jesus’ teaching and their “yes” is yes and their “no” is no (Matthew 5.37).

When people come to God with intentions and actions that are aligned with his will, they can expect to received his promised blessing.

Jesus frequently encouraged people to pray. He expects us to come to the Father for the purpose of receiving a blessing.

For example, he said: “Ask, and you will receive; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks will receive, and anyone who seeks will find, and the door will be opened to those who knock” (Matthew 7.7-8).

Any agent for a company relies on the owner to supply what is needed for his work. God is no less than a human business owner. As we come to him, he will supply what we need.

As if we needed more motivation to be God’s agents, who know and do his will, the last verse reminds us: “Such are the people who come to God, who come into his presence.” Let’s determine to be such people.

Fling Wide the Gates!

Every time I read the last section of this Psalm, I remember Dr. David Bryant using them in a message to the churches of Kansas City. Dr. Bryant is a great preacher and an even better prayer leader.

Church and prayer leaders were assembled the night we heard Dr. Bryant exhort us to invite Jesus to come to the Kansas City metropolitan area. It was a pivotal event in my life, as I am sure it was crucial for many others. We believed that Jesus would hear our prayer and come to our area in a new and powerful way.

In his booming voice, Dr. Bryant spoke and prayed the last verses of this Psalm.

Fling wide the gates,
open the ancient doors,
and the great king will come in.
Who is this great king?
He is the Lord, strong and mighty,
the Lord, victorious in battle.
Fling wide the gates,
open the ancient doors,
and the great king will come in.
Who is this great king?
The triumphant Lord—he is the great king!
(Psalm 24.7-10)

Who is King that we invite to Independence, the Kansas City metro area, our churches, our families, and our individual lives? He is strong, mighty, victorious, and triumphant. He is the Creator and Owner of the Universe.

The blessing we pray for in verses 3-6 is nothing less than an encounter with God’s presence. When throw open the doors to our lives, he enters with his presence and power.

Pray with Luther’s Method

In yesterday’s article on Psalm 23, I recommended that we use Martin Luther’s method for approaching the Psalms. Please consider using Luther’s method as you pray Psalm 24.

Pray – Open your Bible and read Psalm 24. Use the words of the Psalm or paraphrase the words in prayer to God.

Meditate – Choose one or two verses to think about all day today. I am going to use the last two verses as my meditation.

Fling wide the gates,
open the ancient doors,
and the great king will come in.
Who is this great king?
The triumphant Lord—he is the great king.
(Psalm 24.9-10)

Absorb – Apply this Psalm to an issue in your life. I am praying the last verses of the Psalm for western Independence, for the churches in the area, for our family and for myself. I am telling God that the door is open and I want him to enter with his presence.

May We Pray for You?

Maywood Baptist Church has a prayer team. We are happy to pray for you. Please send me your prayer needs at bsprad49@gmail.com or private message me on Facebook. I will pray for you and communicate your concerns to the prayer team.

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