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Psalm 24

Jessica Mason

1 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,

whoseek 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

The first few verses establish God's sovereignty, and remind us of Job's conclusions of the Lord through his trials. Take a moment and mediate on verses 1-3 from Job's perspective, in his deepest pain and loss. 

It is only through Jesus's grace and mercy that we are able to have clean hands and a pure heart. We can approach the throne of grace with confidence because we know that by His wounds we are healed. (Hebrews 4:16, Isaiah 53:5). We are able to stand in His holy place because the veil was torn by Jesus's death on the cross. Our righteousness is in God alone, because our righteousness falls short every time. 
"Lift up your heads" in verse 7 is applicable in any season we are in with the Lord. Picture the countenance of someone whose head is downcast. Is there an area of your life that is causing your head to fall and your posture to droop? Why are we called to lift up our head? Why do Peter and John tell a lame man outside of the temple begging "look at us!"? (Acts 3:1-10) What was so important then and now that requires our immediate attention and gaze? This Psalm links the idea of looking up with the King of Glory coming in. We need to look up as to not miss the presence of Jesus! 
 It reminds us that "The Lord mighty in battle" is our God who fights for us (Exodus 14:14). The battles we face are endless: We see our grief, our loneliness, our failures, even our overwhelming to-do lists. In whatever season you are in with the Lord, and whatever battle you are facing, it is easy to fix our gaze on our struggles, so much so that we miss the coming of the King of Glory. As we celebrate the coming of Jesus, may we lift our eyes so that we may welcome Him in. May He be at home in our hearts, our minds, our homes, our workplaces. May your Christmas celebration not be consumed by the presence of activities that steal your focus off of Jesus, but by Holy Spirit filled moments that cause you to lift up your head and stay fixed on Jesus.
Because "Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere" (Psalm 84:10). 
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