Righteousness means that we are legally declared not only “not guilty,” but to have a positive righteousness. It means that the righteous deeds and character of Jesus are accounted to us. We don’t become righteous by focusing on ourselves, because Jesus became for us . . . righteousness!
The attitude of a true hero comes from the understanding that they serve and worship the greatest hero!
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS (Psalm 24)
1. What is your most memorable worship experience?
2. What does “worship” mean? What is the difference between personal and corporate worship? Why are both important?
3. What motivates your heart to worship? What are some things that keep us from worshiping God more wholeheartedly?
4. What does David stress about God in verses 1-2?
5. How does God’s ownership of everything (v. 1) relate to David’s question and answer in verses 3-4?
6. What is meant by “clean hands and a pure heart”?
7. What is stressed about God in verses 7-10?
8. Why do you think people often have difficulty giving God the glory He is due?
Since our very lives are gifts from God, how can we effectively give ourselves back to God in an act of worship?
How do you prepare for Sunday worship? What might help you prepare this week?
Everything on earth belongs to the Lord by right of creation (vv. 1-2; see Deut. 10:14). “World” refers to the inhabited world. According to the ancient Israelite conception, the earth rested on the waters (136:6; Ex. 20:4); the seas and rivers are what was seen of this phenomenon. The earth was set on a firm foundation, so it was stable and secure (104:5; Isa. 51:13).
The psalm incorporates the “entrance rite” found in Psalm 15 into a ceremony for a procession entering the gates of the sanctuary (vv. 3-5). The pilgrim worshipers ask who may enter the sacred area to fellowship with the Lord, and the doorkeeper priests respond that only those who have done no wrong and have pure motives may enter. “Clean hands and a pure heart” represent innocence and integrity (73:13) in a similar sense as a person who “lives honestly.” The ceremony was intended to remind worshipers that they needed not only a sacrifice but also a life of sincere obedience to God to enter His courts.
“Seek” (v. 6) means more than looking for something that is lost or hidden. It means turning to someone for advice and help; it is thus synonymous with trust (9:10). This is reinforced with the fact that seeking Yahweh results in life (Amos 5:6).
“Lift up your heads” (v. 7) is a poetic way of saying “extend your height” in reference to the gates. Some think that “ancient doors” refers to the “gate of heaven” (Gen. 28:17). These doors are represented in the earthly gates of the city of Jerusalem. There is certainly a connection between the heavenly throne as the temple of God and the temple existing on earth among His people, so this is a possibility. The triumphal procession made its way through the gates into the sanctuary to offer praise for victory in warfare—as the phrases “mighty in battle” (v. 8) and “the LORD of Hosts” (v. 10) suggest (see Ex. 15:2-3; Deut. 10:17; Isa. 10:21).
The title “Yahweh of Armies” (usually “the Lord of Hosts” in English) was always associated with the presence of the ark of the covenant, which went before the Israelites in the wilderness and also in warfare to occupy the land of Canaan. This, together with the epithet of “King of glory,” suggests that the worshipers were following the ark of the covenant in procession (1 Sam. 4:21-22). Apparently the ark was occasionally removed from the sanctuary and then triumphantly returned to Zion, symbolic of Yahweh’s enthronement as King (Ps. 47:5). The psalmist might be addressing the gates themselves, as if to say the King of glory should not have to stoop to go under the gateway. Or he might be addressing the people in the gates, urging them to rejoice and welcome the victors and not be depressed (see Isa. 14:31)