How Can Man Approach God? | Psalm 24
Psalm 24 Of David. A psalm. The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for he founded it on the seas and established it on the waters. Who may ascend the mountain of the LORD? Who may stand in his holy place? The one who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not trust in an idol or swear by a false god. They will receive blessing from the LORD and vindication from God their Savior. Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek your face, God of Jacob. Lift up your heads, you gates; be lifted up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, you gates; lift them up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Who is he, this King of glory? The LORD Almighty—he is the King of glory.
God reigns with absolute authority. Everything and everyone under the sun belongs to him. He created the world, owns it and rules it. The Lord Almighty, the King of glory, is all-powerful; so, how in the world can a person approach the sovereign God?
David responds with a three-part answer. First, clean hands are required. Clean hands refers to right actions. Second, one must have a pure heart. This refers to a right attitude and will. Third, a person who trusts in idols and serves false gods cannot show up expecting to worship the only true God. How can a person have clean hands and a pure heart?
The only answer is Jesus. It is only through the work of Jesus on the cross that a person can approach the sovereign God. When we trust in Jesus our sins are forgiven, our hearts are cleansed, our standing as his children is established. We are made clean by the work of his Son. Have you trusted in Jesus as the only way to approach the Father? If not, let the following prayer be your guide.
Father, I admit my hands and heart are not clean. I have chased after the false gods of this world. On my own I cannot approach you - the Lord Almighty, the King of glory - so right now I trust in Jesus as the one who died for my sins on the cross. I trust in Jesus alone as the only way I can approach you and call you my Father. Please forgive me, cleanse me and make me your son/daughter. In Jesus’ name. Amen.