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October 12, 2021 8:00 am
Who is the King of glory, and who is worthy to come before him today on the Bible study hour with Dr. James Boyce will study the visual imagery him words of exultation from David and the Israelites in Psalm 24 as they prepare to welcome in their God and King. Welcome to the Bible study our radio and Internet broadcast with Dr. James Boyce preparing you to think and act biblically.
Have you ever thought about how we should approach God how we should come before him. God wants us to have clean hands and pure hearts, but we can achieve that on our own. Let's listen together to learn how God justifies believers and purifies hearts. If you have your Bible handy turn to Psalm 24 don't know if they 24th. Saul has historical setting that we know of many event in the Old Testament, but I suppose if there is one, it's the event that's described in second Samuel six when David because the ark of the covenant was staying in the house of a man near Jerusalem to be taken from my setting and actually brought in the holy city, the ark of the covenant had covering all the mercy seat to the mercy seat had two angels mounted on each end cherubim facing each other, their wings when outward and then match or nearly mad above the mercy seat above the ark, and in that space between the wings of the cherubim, the God of Israel was understood symbolically to dwell, so to bring the ark into the city was in a certain sense to have God enters lion if that's the case, and if that's the occasion for this Psalm. Certainly the composition of the Psalm would have been appropriate for that occasion.
This is one of the Psalms in the Old Testament and the first portion of it that is identified as a Psalm of David. You notice that in the caption, so it may very well be that David himself compose the him for this occasion and I'm not quite satisfied with at least I don't think it goes quite far enough and that is set by focusing on the symbolic act.
It's very easy to mess that was was the actual fulfillment THAT is the thing to which the symbol only pointed was an occasion in history in which the true God actually did enter the holy city and that of course is what we refer to as the coming of Jesus to Jerusalem on Palm Sunday want to look at the Psalm in that light. It's a great Psalm in that respect, there is an interesting factor about I only discovered myself as I began to study and I never heard this before. As a matter of fact, the conclusion I'm going to draw.
I didn't even find in the commentary in the liturgy of the Jewish synagogue and temple. There were certain songs that were always some uncertain days. This 24th Psalm was always on the first day of the week. Psalm 48 was on the second day. Psalm 82 on the third Psalm 94 on the fourth Psalm 81 on the fifth Psalm 93 in the six day and Psalm 92 on the seventh which was the Jewish Sabbath. This on the 24th Psalm was sung on the first day of the week which is our Sunday let's interesting, isn't it because the Lord Jesus Christ enter Jerusalem on that day and putting the facts together. It means this at the very time the Lord Jesus Christ was coming without large gathering of people mounted upon a donkey to his city. The king literally coming to Zion, the priests within the city were reciting. Perhaps antiphonal a and with great joy the words of this song.
It was a holy week. It was a special time of their celebration outside.
The people were saying hosanna to the son of David blessed his heel comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest and inside the city. The priests were saying, lift up your heads oh you gates be lifted up, you ancient doors that the King of glory may command they would've recited the whole thing. Who is this King of glory the Lord Almighty.
He is the King of glory, and yet they didn't go out to welcome Jesus. Matter of fact they were resenting his coming. They were resisting his claims.
Later in that very week they conspired to have them crucified, and the stars of people are concerned. They were outside singing, but it was only a celebration of them. It didn't touch their hearts and within the week they were going to be calling out crucified. An interesting thing is an interesting background of the Psalm. I pointed out when we were first starting in the Psalter that it is sometimes hard to tell whether the Psalms are messianic or not a messianic Psalm is a Psalm that prophesies something the Messiah would do it is fulfilled only in his coming in his acts.
Reason I say that's difficult is that often the messianic Psalms of they are messianic Psalms are couched in human language. For example, don't talk about a king you say what kind of a king is that is that King David where the Psalm is written in praise of King David to celebrate his rule were they about a descendent of King David King ruling upon his throne in his line or is this reference to the king. Looking ahead to the King of Kings and Lord of lords is always easy to determine. That's why when we look at these Psalms we have to be very careful how we give explicitly Christian allusions or applications to them. But all that's true of some Psalm some Psalms are ambiguous.
It is certainly not true.
This all the Psalm speaks of a king. But it makes very clear who this king is. This is the King of glory, Leslie Ms. Sue that is thinking that it's only describing a glorious King is an earthly king who has a great deal of power about him. It makes very clear the very last stanza that this King of glory is the Lord Almighty word is Jehovah very God of Israel. He is the King of glory of the Saul salad operate some Psalms will take a human image and then lifted up to a higher level and say well this is going to be fulfilled remotely in Christ's coming. Psalm is precisely the opposite. The Psalm says God is coming. And then, in order to describe it, it brings it down and teaches us to us in a human image that we can understand we only understand this when we recognize that it is the King of Kings, who is coming to a city now doesn't mean that the Psalm is a simple one.
It actually describes to Cummings in three parts. In the second part, verses three through six.
Describe the coming of the people of God to Jerusalem and asked the question who can come kind of an attitude. What kind of a heart. You have to have latter portion of in verses seven through 10. Describe the coming of God to his people always are coming to the city or to God and is God coming to us. You see how it operates and then those two parts are prefaced by a first part talks about the earth and all that is in it being made by God and therefore belonging to him was only when we take the three of them together that we get the full picture of what the Psalm is trying to say us as we think about it, but a problem for some of the commentators they looked at the three parts of the Psalm and they said, particularly as they looked at the first part one of the world is this idea doing here hereto versus prefaced a very moving Psalm and say the earth is the Lords of everything in the world of all who live in it he founded upon the season established upon the waters of speaking about creation. What does that have to do with a Psalm of the sin asking who can go up to the hill of the Lord and have fellowship with him or that describes God's coming to his kingdom. Generally, that scholars of been puzzled by that. Do what scholars do they get out there scissors and cut it up. I suggest that it's really parts of three separate compositions verses one and two belonging to one composition 3 to 6 to another 7 to 10 to another Psalm most inapt scholar or the doctor took the three and put it all together and the song course. That's what happened. It doesn't explain why he did it.
He must've had something in mind that they had something in mind for answers more to it than the scholars perceive actually I don't think it's all that difficult.
What is that first section doing here.
Well, it's talking about the world and all that is all the people of the world belonging to Almighty God.
Why is that important. Well if you go on to find out that here were talking about people going up to Jerusalem to worship largely Jews talking about the God of Israel, Jehovah coming to his city would be very easy in the context like that for the people who were singing the Psalm somehow to think exclusive this late-night is to think that somehow God is there God in a way that he is not the God of other people and we know that was true, they certainly thought that in the Old Testament days.
They thought just because God had put his seal upon Jerusalem. God was going to protect Jerusalem regardless and a man like Jonah the prophet was so nationalistic he didn't want to go to Nineveh and preach about those people because Strobel was a Jewish God. He wasn't supposed to bless the heathen.
Moreover, we come down to the time of the ministry of Jesus Christ we find that the disciples were thinking the same way themselves. All they were willing to have them be gracious from time to time people were Gentiles. He did a little bit there with a spiral Phoenician woman and that was okay. I would be willing to allow that to happen, but really they thought he was a Jewish Messiah, and he had to rein in Jerusalem and this was to bring blessing to the Jews, and only to the Gentiles. Incidentally, reason, we know that is that when they came to the very end after the crucifixion and the resurrection and the teaching ministry just before the time of the Ascension. When Jesus was just about to go back to heaven.
They said to him, still not understanding what was up. Lord, is it at this time that you're going to reestablish the kingdom and see what they were thinking I was the Davidic kingdom. And if you would said to them where's it going to be established able to set no doubt about that. In Jerusalem, with God city. If you would said to them what kind of a kingdom is a going to been able to set a political kingdom because that's what David had asked to be the reestablishment of his kingdom. If you had said to them, and who are to be citizens of this kingdom, they would've said why are you asking the question Jews, of course, what Jesus had to teach them is that his was to be a worldwide kingdom said God is going to have a kingdom for the Jews and he'll establish that in time it's not for you to know the time, but in the meantime what you are to do is to go into the world and be my witnesses. Your to talk about the gospel. Everyone in that context. You see it's very important that it's in that context.
That is the context of action, one that the commission as it occurs. The next one is unfolding. You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem because that's where you start Judea and Samaria, Samaria. They weren't so sure about that. They didn't like the Samaritans and he said to the very ends of the world to be a worldwide kingdom. You see with that kind of a background it's very important that the Psalm begins the way it does this is going to talk because it's written to Jews.
It would be sung by Jews of Jews going up to Jerusalem, but it's going to talk about the coming of King Jesus to that city and he did, say, in the very context in which those things are mentioned reminds the people that God is the King of all the earth. Now you and I do the same thing you say we begin to think and exclude sadistic tartness and hear the very beginning of the Psalm were reminded that God is the God of all the earth doesn't mean of course that distinctions in theology are unimportant things we should think about and talk about. Certainly the traditions that we have are important are they made a great deal to many people and perhaps rightly so. To say God isn't just your God. God is the God of the earth and when we talk as we are going to talk about coming into his presence. That is something that is spoken to us all all right.
Look at the second part second part asked the question who may come and it answers it in two basic ways. The first has to do with the heart of the worshiper. Second, has to do with his standing before God. Verse three asked the question who may ascend the hill of the Lord may stand in his holy place that's not a meaningless question you say it would be significant. Even if this were only an earthly king earthly monarch say who's able to come into the court of this great king that would be a significant question, but it's not just that this is the King of Kings. This is not himself. The thrice holy God who can come into the presence of a holy God. That's what it's asking say begins to asked by talking about the worshiper's heart and then his status what it says about his heart. He must have clean hands and a pure heart must be a person that does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false when it talks about a pure heart is talking about an internal purity talk to my clean hands is talking about outward acts says what is true in the outside must be matched by what is inside and what is true on the inside must be matched. What is out.
Jesus spoke of having a pure heart.
In the sermon on the mount. As you well know that in a very significant statement.
He said blessed are the pure in heart. What, for they shall see God.
What were talking about here. Coming to God, seeing God and so the Psalms is the same thing with the Lord Jesus said later, the heart must be pure in the hands must be clean and care. By contrast, the pilots who washed his hands at the time of the trial of Jesus Christ. He said, look, it's not my fault the blood be upon you and your children, but it was upon him as well. Thrice over in the trial said the Lord Jesus Christ was innocent. He said I find no fault in this manner, yet he condemned him he was guilty, was guilty of condemning not only an innocent man, but the very son of God, the one was absolutely innocent, not only before Bart Roman justice but before the bar of God's justice also said he was guilty but he washed his hands of set I have clean hands. This verse says we really must have clean hands and talks about our relationship to God. We must not lift up our soul to an idol.
That's the beginning of the 10 Commandments must worship the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind. You must not worship an idol. You must not have anything other than God either in heaven above or on the earth and the waters under the earth. You see, must worship the Lord and him only must you worship and then it talks about our relationship to others. We must not deal falsely with them. We must have an honest heart. That's the kind of character God desires those of the people who can approach them.
This is really a shortened version of what we find it one of the earlier songs. The 15th Psalm is much like this lease much like this card and asked the very beginning virtually the same question 15th Psalm says Lord, who may dwell in your sanctuary who may live on your holy hill almost what it's saying in Psalm 24 who may ascend the hill of the Lord, and so on. And then it begins to answer it, saying the same thing, but it spells it out a greater length look if you want to know how to please God, how to come to church with the attitude of your heart should be when you pray, here it is the one his walk is blameless, who does what is righteous and speaks the truth from his heart has no slander on his tongue does his neighbor no wrong and casts no slur on his fellow man, who despises a vile man but honors those who fear the Lord, who keeps his oath even when it hurts, lends his money without usury and does not accept a bribe against the innocent was of the people God receives the second part of this talks about our status before God is very important that we look at this as well. This is a most amazing verse, verse five it says he will receive blessing from the Lord and vindication from God and Savior was I talking about well in the census talking about what God does to those in for those who come in the way. Verse four describes is more than that asked the question what does vindication from God's Savior mean well vindication is another word for justification. This is an Old Testament statement of what we call the doctrine of justification by faith. And it says this is the one who receive blessing from the Lord.
That is, one was justified.
Well, I'm well aware that that word vindication can be used in another sense we can have righteous stance on an issue somebody can slander us and God is at work and vindicate us by proving that we are right in the other person's wrong is one way to use the word vindication. But that's not what is talking about here, and what makes it clear. Here is the continuation of the phrase vindication from God's Savior since talking about justification by the God who saves doesn't mean you say that were saved by good works.
We look at it in sequence. We might be inclined to think of it that way. If you have hands that are cleaning off a heart that is pure enough made pure by your own efforts and if you don't worship idols, and rather restrain your tong from false swearing, then God will bless you and justify you but that isn't what the verse means, and that's not the way it operates.
It's actually the other way around what we have here is an Old Testament expression of what Jesus referred to very graphically in that story he told about the Pharisee and the tax collector Pharisee was very self-righteous to say the Pharisee would've looked at himself and what he said well if there was anybody read clean hands and a pure heart and looked up his soul to an idol or swear by one small 6 million. So when he came up to the temple. He took a prominent place and he began to praise himself in prayer. You know how it goes. He said Lord I thank you that I'm not like other man. Why are men to do all sorts of things all kinds of sins. I don't do that, I thank you that I'm not like that above all, I thank you that I might like this tax collector I give a tithe of everything I possess are very faithful in all my religious duties.
Not like him and the Lord Jesus said the tax collector was standing off on the side and he was aware that he was a sinner. He didn't feel self-righteous at all and steady beat his breast.
A sign of his contrition and remorse for sin and instead of pleading his righteousness he pled the mercies of God, who said, Lord, be merciful to me a sinner and Jesus conclusion was that man is the tax collector went home justified. The other man did not. You see, that's what's involved in these verses. It says how do you come to God you come to God and the basis of his mercy, by which you were justified, and that flows all of the transformation of the heart. I'd like to take it the other way around.
You say we come out.
It is a pure heart blessing from the Lord and vindication from God's Savior. I would suggest that the proper sequence, at least as that happens historically is the reverse become the God of the basis of his mercy in the distro approaching him in on another God. And honestly I'm all about nevertheless were justified by God and by God's grace from that flow. All of the blessings of salvation. Among them are those of the fourth verse describes our heart is purified increasingly so as we go on in the Christian life God by grace keeps our hands from overt sin and were enabled to have a right relationship oath to him and to others, such as the generation of those who seek him who seek your face. Oh God of Jacob says Saul must David Dixon the 17th century Scottish diviner finished his career as a professor of divinity. First, Glasco, and that another borough wrote of these verses a holy life of the true believer is not the cause of his justification before God, but he shall receive justification and eternal life is a free gift from God by virtue of the covenant of grace.
Therefore it is said here that he shall receive righteousness from God of his salvation. Maybe that's a bit heavy Scottish divines tend to be. Let me give you something the greatest Baptist preacher who ever lived said Charles Haddon Spurgeon. He referred to that verse which says, such as the generation of those who seek him and he put it like this these of the reading generation of those that seek him. He was saying that in order to come to God you must be born again while having made the statement that the earth and everything that's in it belongs to God and then having describe those who can come to God.
Saul men's with a description of God coming to his people really wonderful thing.
Many of the Psalms were sung in Tiffin Malaysia now, and certainly that's the way this almost would been song Psalms arranged this way you notice the number of questions and it verse three is a question would've been asked by one of the singers. The answer would've followed, is another question in verse eight send a final and in verse 10, I suggest that the way it probably happened was this server was a choir approaching with the king if it were occasion of the bringing of the Ark to Jerusalem. It was acquired approaching with the ark and they would be singing in what they would be singing as this lift up your heads oh you gates be lifted up, you ancient doors that the King of glory may come in and then one of the singers, probably within the walls, perhaps perched on the wall. We called down. Who is this King of glory and the answer would come back the Lord strong and mighty Lord mighty in battle and acquired approaching with the ark would sing again. Lift up your head so you gates lift them up, you ancient doors at the King of glory may come in and the answer would come from the wall.
The solo voice. Who is this King of glory everybody would join together, Lord Almighty. He is the King of glory really a very beautiful song you say it has a real climax builds and builds the point of the coming of God's people. Yet, let me say as I close, it's very easy to get carried away with something like that that is carried away with the beauty of it door or the imagery or the flow of the words and forget that this is speaking about something very personal for anybody who would pretend to worship God. See, we sing words like this. We even sing hymns that are like this.
Often we sing about opening our heart to God wasting about taking Jesus into your life and all that but we sing it we often don't do it and were reminded that on this occasion, as I said when I began the priests within the city of Jerusalem of the been singing at his Christ came, but they did not open their hearts to him, and neither did the people who were approaching with him who is the King of glory the Lord of hosts. He is the King of glory, who is the King of glory. Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus is the King of glory, lift up your heads oh ye gates be lifted up ye everlasting doors of the King of glory may command that we say yes you and we shut our hearts against him as a that's a natural state of the human heart to barn itself up against God. The reason is obvious.
We don't want God to come in.
We don't want God to change things. God is a holy God. We don't want to become holy. We want to send is what it means to be a sinner and so naturally we throw up those barriers and unfortunately even when God by his grace is melted them in. Come in and begun the transformation we still hold back because we don't want them to take control very much.
We say all we want to be saved. We want to go to heaven when we die we want to be happy here.
We want God to take care of us provide all the blessing that we don't really want him to have control. Who is this that comes cries out wishes to enter the city of our hearts. It is the Lord of glory.
It is the King of Kings is not somebody you merely comes in to take a spot in the asked Roman perhaps have a meal with us now and then perhaps suggest something about how we should live our life from time to time as is the king. This is your King is the maker of heaven and earth, it's a wonder made you and to whom you owe a perfect allegiance to hear the word of the song and to respond is to say, I want to open my heart to you and I do open my heart to you.
All of it for Jesus. Spurgeon had a very great word about this he said at the very end of his sermon. It's possible that you're saying I shall never enter into the heaven of God. For I have neither clean hands nor a pure heart. Look then to Christ was already climbed that holy Hill is entered as the forerunner of those who trust him. Follow in his footsteps reposed upon his marriage.
He rides triumphantly into heaven, and you shall write thereto.
If you trust him say you how can I get the character describe the spirit of God will give you that he will create in you a new heart and a right spirit, faith in Jesus as the work of the Holy Spirit and it has all other virtues wrapped up in it. What a blessing it would be if you would open your heart to him. Perhaps, for the very first time on this palm Sunday.
Let us pray father, bless these cruises we've studied them, we studied the beautiful Psalm powerful words all unavailing unless your Holy Spirit takes these words and these truths and applies them to our hearts, our hearts are so resistant father melt our hearts and N for your mercy. Say amen thank you for listening to this message from the Bible study our listener supported ministry of the alliance of confessing Evangelicals.
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