The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein, for he has founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers. (Psalm 24:1–2)
There is God. He existed before anything existed, for he has always existed and he will always exist. He created everything that exists outside of himself, and therefore he owns it all, including humankind.
Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in his holy place? (v. 3)
How can we enjoy fellowship with this awfully holy God? Who can justifiably enter his presence? The answer:
He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully. He will receive blessing from the Lord and righteousness from the God of his salvation. Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek the face of the God of Jacob. Selah. (v. 4–6)
Sigh. I would love to enjoy fellowship with God, to receive his blessing and his righteousness. But I don’t have clean hands and a pure heart, and I have often lifted up my soul to falsehood and have sworn deceitfully. If that’s the standard for acceptance unto God’s favor, I can only hang my head in shame and sorrow.
Lift up your heads, O gates! And be lifted up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. (v. 7)
What? What do you mean?
Who is this King of glory? The Lord, strong and mighty, the Lord, mighty in battle! Lift up your heads, O gates! And lift them up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. (vv. 8–9)
Wait, what? Christ the Lord enters the equation? Well, of course! Of course he can do it! Jesus can abide in his presence, he can receive blessing from the Lord, he has a pure heart and clean hands, he is not false or deceitful in any way, and certainly he has sought the will of the Father at all times. I don’t have to hang my head in shame any more: Christ my righteousness has entered and purchased justification before the holy God for me!
Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, he is the King of glory! Selah. (v. 10)