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. – Psalm 24:1-10
God established the world on the waters. This passage hearkens back to the very beginning of my walk with water in the bible and the Spirit of God hovering over the waters (Genesis 1:1-2). The passage then turns quickly to the great philosophical question of who may approach God. The answer provided is that the one who can approach God is the one with clean hands and a pure heart.
The reality is that none of us flawed followers have truly clean hands or hearts. It is comforting that we “will receive blessing from the Lord and vindication from God our Savior”. I find it interesting that the three natures of God are represented in this passage long before Jesus’ arrival on the scene. We have the Holy Spirit hovering over the waters, the Lord (the Father) blessing us, and vindication from God the Son our Savior.
After this prescient vision of the trinity we enter some “funny water” which I find a bit confusing. God instructs the generation of those who seek God’s face, the God of Jacob, presumably he is referring to the Israelites who are faithfully following God. Here is where is gets very strange: “Lift up your heads, you gates; be lifted up, you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in” What an odd turn of phrase.
What is meant here by referring to God’s followers as “gates” and “doors”. I have reflected and prayed about this for most of the day and the only thing I can come up with is that God is alluding to the position of the israelites as God’s chosen people, the gatekeepers if you will. At this point in time the Israelites are the gate and door through which others can approach God. This changes when Jesus comes and becomes the gate and door through which we can find the Father.
As followers of Jesus we can also serve as “gates” and “doors” to God through Jesus. Others can find Him by first following us and we can lead them by faithfully following Jesus ourselves. Unfortunately we sometimes behave more like walls than “gates” or “doors” and prevent people from finding the Way to God through Jesus.
Prayer: God help us to be effective gates and doors to lead people to You.