Psalm 24 tests us by testing how we welcome the King of Glory
Some scholars believe Psalm 24 was written for bringing the tabernacle into Jerusalem for the first time, when David went before the Ark of the Covenant dancing. Later, Jewish leaders prescribed Psalm 24 as the psalm of the first day of the week, the psalm of creation. In that context, Psalm 24 takes on significance in the triumphal entry of Christ on the first day of the week before His crucifixion…”that the King of Glory may come in” pointing to His Second Coming.
The same scripture can have multiple fulfillments. So some theologians see in Psalm 24 the song of heaven at the ascension of Christ. But for us in the third week of Advent in Auburn Alabama, it seems good to think of this psalm in view of Christ’s first coming. This last view is not just a convenient one. Eminent OT scholar Franz Deilitzsch called this psalm: “an old Testament Advent hymn in honor of the Lord who would come into His temple” and in which “we are called upon to prepare Him a worthy reception.”
Psalm 24 identifies three ways to welcome Christ, prepare Him a worthy reception, this Christmas — and the rest of the year.
We can welcome Christ with an unnecessary gift. The King of Glory comes as the Owner of all (24:1-2)But we will not welcome the King of Glory well if we have laid claim to that which belongs to Him only. The worthy welcome is to give Him what is His: everything. It is an unnecessary gift, but He delights in it.
- Abraham Kuyper once wrote: “… there is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry: ‘Mine!'”
Such a welcoming gift to Christ changes our relationship with our things, and we can become more free in our giving, both to Him and to others on His behalf.
We welcome Christ simply by seeking Him, too; by being like those who run out of the city gates to find Him, meet Him and praise Him. But, we will not welcome the King of Glory if we are practicing sin. We will hide, for He is holy; we are not. So “who can ascend the hill of the Lord. Who can dwell in His holy place?” Psalm 24 tells us that we must have a gift of righteousness that comes from Him (:6) The garments of our own efforts are unworthy to welcome Him. But He delights to see the robe of His righteousness on us when we greet Him. The One who requires holiness has provided it in the holiness of His Son. Psalm 24 tells us to greet the King of glory “wearing His grace”.
Finally, we welcome the King of glory when we savor His victory. The Lord is strong and mighty, the Lord, mighty in battle. In the glory of His strength, He is our champion – We can’t lose! As we savor all His victories in our lives, in His church and in the world, our delight in Him overflows. We will glory in the King of glory…and welcome Him when He comes…today, this Christmas and on that final day. Come Lord Jesus.