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Psalm 24  -  A psalm Of David. NIV



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 Lordstrong and mighty,
the Lordmighty 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.


Devotional comment from Rick Hill



Someone once described knowing God as “mixing friendship with fear.” This resonates with me because it captures the balance between approaching an all-powerful, awe-inspiring and utterly holy God with reverence and fear, while also knowing that He welcomes us close as loved children and familiar friends.

For me this idea is perfectly captured in the words of Psalm 24. It builds an incredible picture of a powerful and mighty God. One who owns the entire world and created the seas. One who is a glorious King and mighty in battle. One who rules in authority and reigns on high.

I need this reminder that God is not a slightly bigger version of us but something totally beyond my comprehension. His power reminds me of my weakness. His perfection emphasises my failures.

The writer of this Psalm questions if anyone can climb the mountain of God to stand with him in his holy place. After the opening few sentences, there might be an assumption that the answer is no-one, yet we’re told that those who have clean hands and a pure heart can be with God.

While this might seem like an opportunity, having clean hands and a pure heart is actually a high bar to reach. High enough to be impossible. Even though we might strive for it, purity and cleanliness before God can’t be achieved by ourselves. No amount of strong willpower or wise choices will keep our hands clean and our heart pure, and so we need help.

This Psalm reminds me that if it wasn’t for Jesus making my hands clean and my heart pure, I would have no chance of approaching God, having access to Him or standing in his holy place, but because of His sacrifice I can now boldly approach His throne and lift up my head in his presence. Our hands can be cleansed and our hearts can be purified through the sacrifice of Jesus. He is the One who can move us from fearfulness to friendship; from distance to proximity; from being unreachable to becoming accessible.

So if you have been focused on God’s friendship, be reminded of His awe and His power. Or it you have focused on fearing God, don’t overlook the welcoming embrace. As the song reminds us, “I’ve known You as a Father, I’ve known you as a friend.”

Rick Hill is married to Sarah and Dad to their 2 sons, Noah and Micah. He is a leader in Carnmoney Church and works for the Presbyterian Church in Ireland. Rick loves all things sport-related and in his spare time he enjoys running and endures supporting Spurs.