|Psalm 24:3-5 Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who may stand in His holy place? 4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, nor sworn deceitfully. 5. He shall receive blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.
These verses from Psalm 24 have long been a challenge to my own heart, one that on my best days calls me to a standard of holiness and purity that leads to the powerful place of encounter with the Living God. On those good days, I find myself with some measure of confidence that I, too, may stand on the holy hill of God’s Presence, and live in the full blessing that He has promised to the generation that seeks Him with a whole heart.
However, like Joshua standing before the Lord in Zechariah 3, the enemy of my soul is right alongside, even on my best days. Satan does his job well, pointing out that my hands in fact are not clean, that my heart is not pure, that I have in fact lifted up my soul to false things, looking for fulfillment where it can’t be found. Again, like Joshua, I’m faced with the fact that my garments are soiled, and that I too, on my best day, am disqualified, and need the cleansing that only God can provide.
As the enemy’s voice echoes in my ears, the hope of Psalm 24 seems very distant, unreachable for me. If on my best day, I stand accused and disqualified, where’s the hope?
This past week, I was meditating on that Psalm, again in that familiar place of being weighed in the scales of righteousness and found wanting. Suddenly, another voice came into my mind, and the Spirit of the Lord spoke to me. He said, “There is One who ascended the hill of the Lord, with clean hands and a pure heart. He never lifted up His soul to anything false, He was never deceitful, and He has inherited all righteousness and all blessing from His Father. And He carries you with Him into the Father’s Presence, qualified by His life.”
Something quickened in my heart in that moment, a new ray of light and understanding. Psalm 24 is speaking, primarily, about the entrance of Jesus, the King of Glory, into the exalted place of the Father’s Presence. He alone is qualified to do so, He alone has been weighed in the most exacting way and found to be worthy. He has opened the way to the Father, and He carries me, and He carries you, with Him into the Most Holy Place of the Presence of God.
Because He carries me, because I am in Him, my best days and my worst days are the same. I need Him, and He is willing. I am my Beloved’s, and His desire is for me; therefore, every day He washes me, He gives me His own garment of righteousness, He places a new and clean covering on my head, and enables me to stand with Him in the Holy Place, before the Father, having been qualified by the King of Glory.
So, I will no longer measure myself against Psalm 24. Rather, I will worship Him who is the fulfillment of that Psalm. I will defer to the King of Glory, receive His merciful cleansing, letting His Word wash me every day, and receive the grace I need to live like a son of God, a brother to the King.
That’s a good day.