Who may ascend the hill of the Lord?

Sunday service, Erlo Stegen, 02 April 2017
(Wedding of Christoff and Elona)

Ps 24:3
“Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place?”

This is an amazing psalm. Here we read of the majesty of the coming King. This psalm describes firstly the authority and power of the King. And then this question is asked, “Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord?” And at the end it describes the actual coming of the King.

Let’s look at these points. In verses 1 and 2, David reminds us who is in charge of the earth, and the whole universe. Everything belongs to the Lord. All the riches, material and physical things that we see and think of are God’s. Not only this, every inhabitant of the earth belongs to the Lord. How easy it is for us to lose sight of this reality. We quickly forget that our money is not ours, but the Lord’s. That our houses, cars and all other possessions are not ours, but the Lord’s. There is nothing that is ours, yet we selfishly believe that the things we have belong to us. Our time is not ours. Our lives are not ours. Nothing belongs to us. But all belong to the Lord. It reminds one of the parable of the talents in Matt 25 (Matt 25:14-30). Jesus made the point that the servants will be judged on how they used their master’s possessions and whether they used it wisely or wasted it. We are to be fruitful and productive regarding all God gave us in His love, grace and providence. That’s why David reminds us with this psalm that absolutely everything belongs to the Lord. And David even gives us the reason, because He laid the earth’s foundation and established it. Everything around us had been created by God. He created every man and woman in His own image, and therefore they belong to Him.

Therefore, all that we do must be in obedience and pleasing to the King. The way we use what God had given us must bring joy to God. Everything we have must be used to further the Gospel, bring glory to God and for the extension of the Kingdom of God. Although we can enjoy the fruit of our labours we will be called to account how we used what we were blessed with.

In verse 3 we read, “Who may ascend the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place?” David wants us to realise that it is not everybody who can approach the glory of the King and stand in His presence. David also gives us the answer, “The one who has clean hands and a pure heart” (Ps 24:4). David is asking us to test ourselves, whether whatever we do is holy and acceptable to God. We must be involved in works or righteousness and deeds fit for God’s service and nothing else. We cannot have hands stained with sin and evil, busy in places God has not directed. James made this declaration, “cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded” (James 4:8). God looks to see what our hands have been involved in. Are those activities pure and righteous, or are they full of evil, sin and filth? God looks at our intentions and motives.

In the next verses David describes the rewards of those who have clean hands and a pure heart, “They will receive blessing from the Lord and vindication from God their Savior.”

God has made it possible for everyone of us to be justified in God’s sight, and inherit Eternal Life from the Father. Not only do we receive Eternal Life to come, but true life now.

May this word be true in our lives!

Sermon audio in other languages:
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Music:
KwaSizabantu Choir:
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KwaSizabantu Choir:
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KwaSizabantu Choir:
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Ross & Margot & family:
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