Meditations on Psalm 24: Pure & Holy
Links to parts 1 & 2 HEREPsalm 24: 4-6
Exodus 29: 4-9 & 19-21
Matthew Henry Commentary on Psalm 24: 3-6 (Section 2)
[Christ] loves us, and by his sacrificial death he has freed us from our sins and made us a kingdom of priests to serve his God and Father.
Revelation 1: 5-6
The hands lifted up in prayer must be pure hands, no blot of unjust gain cleaving to them, nor any thing else that defiles the man and is offensive to the holy God. 1It is often easy to lose sight of the true calling of Christianity. The calling to be the unique people: the lights in the dark, the cities on the hilltops, the living sacrifices. Perfect, as Christ is perfect. The blood-covered priests pointing the way to the Savior Messiah.
A calling that is more easily typed than lived. I have only to hold my daily actions up against the mirror of the Psalm for my sinfulness to come out in ugly relief.
Pure in act and thought?
Never allowing distractions to come between me and my devotion?
Always faithful to my commitments?
What kind of priest am I?
This is not examination intended to bring me into a state of self-satisfaction. Its purpose is to correct my human standard against God's, and to exhibit the hills and valleys of my struggles against the magnitude of the mountain of the Lord. It was designed to convict me of my shortcomings and bring me into more perfect alignment with the purposes of God.
It does not exist to become a source of anxiety. It is here to serve as a daily reminder of my calling and to convince me more fully of the goodness of the One who blesses and saves me, declares me innocent and welcomes me into His presence.
It is a way of remembering that my strength is not equal to the task at hand, and I need help.
It is to the hill of the Lord that we must ascend, and, the way being up-hill, we have need to put forth ourselves to the utmost, as those that seek diligently. 2It is tempting, sometimes, to measure the slow fight toward perfection with human measurements, and give up in despair. But the battle is the Lord's. It is not my task to worry over the speed of my ascent to holiness, but simply, as the Levites accepted the washing and the blood, to accept the grace that is there for me each day. The grace that persistently covers my imperfections and attracts me deeper into the holy of holies.
Do I accept this grace?
Am I diligent to come before God each day, examine myself with the help of the Holy Spirit, and ask how God desires to work in me?
Is my temple the site of a daily sacrifice of self?
God, I lay my self on the altar yet again. Purify me, and refashion every part of me into the image of Christ.
We make nothing of our religion if we do not make heart-work of it. 3
1, 2 & 3 Matthew Henry Commentary on Psalm 24: 3-6 (Section 2)