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January 4, 2020

Please read today’s Scriptures and use the comment section on this page to share your insights from today’s reading. You can also just mention a verse that impacted you or post a question!

Read (and Hear) the Bible in One Year
New American Standard Bible for 2020

Text: Genesis 12-15
Audio: Genesis 12-15

Psalm 24 (ESV)

A Psalm of David.

The earth is the Lord‘s and the fullness thereof,
    the world and those who dwell therein,
for he has founded it upon the seas
    and established it upon the rivers.

Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord?
    And who shall stand in his holy place?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
    who does not lift up his soul to what is false
    and does not swear deceitfully.
He will receive blessing from the Lord
    and righteousness from the God of his salvation.
Such is the generation of those who seek him,
    who seek the face of the God of Jacob. Selah

Lift up your heads, O gates!
    And be lifted up, O 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, O gates!
    And lift them up, O ancient doors,
    that the King of glory may come in.
10 Who is this King of glory?
    The Lord of hosts,
    he is the King of glory! Selah


English Standard Version (ESV)
The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. ESV® Text Edition: 2016. Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.

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Next: Psalm 25

Back: Psalm 23

This Post Has 2 Comments
  1. Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord?
        And who shall stand in his holy place? Psalm 24:3

    Who Shall Ascend? Who Shall Stand?

    In today's psalm, David poses the question, "Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in his holy place?" It's not rhetorical as he answers it in the very next verse:

    "He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
        who does not lift up his soul to what is false
        and does not swear deceitfully.
    5 He will receive blessing from the Lord
        and righteousness from the God of his salvation" (Psalm 24:4-5). 

    At first glance we might think David is saying we are saved by the things we do and not by faith (since he does not mention faith in these verses). Let's take a look at this a little more closely. 

    Clean hands refers to righteous actions while a pure heart means righteous thoughts and motives. John MacArthur calls this the "inward motive and outward manner." It's not sinless perfection but deliberate righteousness that comes from genuine faith.

    Before Christ, Old Testament believers who by faith were followers of God (who pointed to a Messiah who was to come) while we look back at the Messiah in faith and all that He accomplished on the cross for us.

    Here is some helpful information about this from Ligonier Ministries (Ligonier.org):

    "Hebrews 11 gives us many examples of faith as it comments on the lives of several faithful old covenant men and women. Verse 8, for instance, reminds us that Abraham left Ur and journeyed to far-away Canaan 'by faith' (Heb. 11:8). This was no easy feat for the patriarch. He was elderly and well established when he heard the Lord’s call (Gen. 12:4), and he had to leave behind almost everything he knew and many of his comforts to go to a land he had never seen. This was great faith indeed, for who could make such a journey apart from confident trust in our Creator?

    "Abraham not only believed in God; he believed God. He had not the faith of demons, who know God exists, but saving faith that reveals itself through obedience to the Lord (James 2:14–26). We better understand the greatness of the patriarch’s faith when we see that Abraham remained a stranger on the earth even during his time in Canaan (Heb. 11:13). He never owned any part of the Promised Land except his burial plot (Gen. 23), so from a worldly perspective he foolishly left everything behind in Ur. But Abraham was no fool. He bought the plot in confidence that the land would be his, that he would inherit it at the resurrection. Placing his bones there was a kind of deposit that showed his trust that he would finally receive his inheritance (Heb. 11:14–16; see also vv. 17–19, 22)."

    So our obedience does not save us just as it didn't save Old Testament believers. 

    But like OT believers, saving faith reveals itself through obedience to the Lord.


    ~ Puritan Prayer ~

    "The Commander and Hearer of Prayer" by Nathanael Vincent

    "You who commands and hears prayer! You who helps your people to pray! Pour out the spirit of grace and supplication, that your throne of grace may be surrounded by supplicants, that there may be a great flocking to the mercy seat, and grace may be imparted abundantly to your own glory, through Jesus Christ the high priest, who is passed into the heavens, and is at your right hand forever. Amen."

    (Excerpt taken from Piercing Heaven: Prayers of the Puritans)
     

  2. "Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord?
        And who shall stand in his holy place?
    He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
        who does not lift up his soul to what is false
        and does not swear deceitfully.
    He will receive blessing from the Lord
        and righteousness from the God of his salvation."

    Merriam-Webster defines legalism as "strict, literal, or excessive conformity to the law or to a religious or moral code // the institutionalized legalism that restricts free choice." 

    When I was a new believer, I would read scripture like this one in the Bible, and see a prescription for making sure I was a "sheep" when Christ returns (Matthew 25:31-46). I recall even making a list on a whiteboard and trying to think of ways to fulfill "commands" in practical ways, all to ensure my favor with God. 

    But thankfully, I was set free from that dead way and instructed in a “new and living way.”

    I wrote more about that here: A New and Living Way

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