Meditations on Psalm 24: Light, Accessible

Go HERE for for Part 1
Psalm 24: 3
Exodus 33: 14-23
Matthew Henry Commentary on Psalm 24:3-6 (Section 1)
Matthew Henry Commentary on Exodus 33: 12-23 (Section 2)

God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and the Lord of lords. He alone is immortal; he lives in the light that no one can approach. No one has ever seen him; no one can ever see him. To him be honor and eternal power! Amen. 
1 Timothy 6: 15-16

I have little concept of the awe and terror of holiness. In my world, there is a lot of talk about 'boldly approaching the throne of grace'1, or everyone's favorite; crying 'Abba, Father 2.' But in the time when David penned this psalm, the stories of holiness were terrifying: pillars of cloud and fire, Nadab and Abihu being struck dead for offering 'strange fire' to the Lord 3, arduous rules and careful observances to avoid falling under the judgment of God's unwavering righteousness. David, himself, would doubtless have heard the story (perhaps from Samuel's own lips) of the havoc the ark of the Lord's presence had wreaked on the Philistines and, after its' return, on those Israelites who had dared to handle it irreverently 4. Holiness was not a term to be bandied about in Sunday school. It was a matter of life and death.

I have heard people complain about the 'harsh and angry' God of the Old Testament. "I just don't like reading the Old Testament." They say. "I don't want to be associated with a god who would kill all those people and make all those strict rules. I really prefer Jesus and the loving God of the New Testament."

What I always want to tell those people is this: The God of Genesis and the God of Revelation are exactly the same. God didn't magically become kind and approachable between the Old and New Testaments. Really, the only difference is, because of Jesus, you won't immediately be struck dead for saying the things you've just said (unless, of course, your name happens to be Ananias or Sapphira).

For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not die, but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to be its judge, but to be its savior.5

It is impossible to have an accurate picture of God's love without an accurate picture of His holiness. I cannot comprehend the significance of Jesus, the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world 6, becoming sin 7 on my behalf without understanding the immense gulf that separated my unrighteous self from God's unsullied perfection. 

So, next time I boldly approach the throne, crying out 'Abba! Father!' in my hour of need, may I remember with gratitude at what price this familiarity has been bought.

May I never take for granted the incredible privilege that generations before me could never have dreamed possible.

Most of all, may I never become so familiar with and callous to my status as co-heir with Christ that I fail to utilize the privilege that is at my disposal, and instead, attempt to go about life in my own feeble strength.

Holy Father, all-consuming fire, burn away every vestige of ingratitude, self-satisfaction and self-sufficiency from me! Please give me, each day, such a taste of Your splendor and glory that my pride and arrogance will be continually broken and I may live in continual worship of You.
“Show me thy glory,” says Moses. “I will show thee my goodness,” says God. Note, God’s goodness is his glory; and he will have us to know him by the glory of his mercy more than by the glory of his majesty; for we must fear even the Lord and his goodness (Hos. 3:5). 8 And it is only through Christ that we have the knowledge of the glory of God. None can see his glory to their comfort but those who stand upon this rock [Christ], and take shelter in it. 9
1 Hebrews 4:16
2 Romans 8:15
3 Leviticus 10: 1-3
4 1 Samuel 5 & 6
John 3: 16-17; Good News Translation
6 Revelation 13:8
7 Corinthians 5:21
8 & 9 Matthew Henry Commentary on Exodus 33: 12-23


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