I am wondering, beloved reader, if my Fourth of July “rant” is still echoing in your mind. I have been trying to think why the writing of it left me “raw”; and only now realized it is because it was so “political.” But having realized that, I am more at peace for having written it.
“The earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it, the world, and those who live in it;
for he has founded it on the seas, and established it on the rivers.” (Psalm 24:1-2)
The opening lines of Psalms 24 sets forth the fact that the earth and all humanity and creation is the Lord’s. In a sense, we do not belong to ourselves but we belong to God. And every person in every nation belongs to God. But as the Psalm continues we are told that existing and belonging does not entitle us to welcomed into the presence of the Lord.
Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in his holy place?
Those who have clean hands and pure hearts, who do not lift up their souls to what is false, and do not swear deceitfully.
They will receive blessing from the Lord, and vindication from the God of their salvation.
Such is the company of those who seek him, who seek the face of the God of Jacob. Selah. “(Verses 3-6)
It occurs to me that one has to want to “ascend the hill of the Lord.” I so focus on being worthy and journeying to ascend that hill that I sometimes forget that others may not want to do that. The psalmist too seems to assume that is a desired thing. And if, as many commentators believe (and I am not to say they are wrong) the psalmist is David, it says a great deal about him that he desires to come into God’s presence.
“Lift up your heads, O gates! and be lifted up, O ancient doors! that the King of glory may come in.
Who is the King of glory?
The Lord, strong and mighty, the Lord, mighty in battle.
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 of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah.” (Verses 7-10)
The psalmist commends and commands that the door be open to that “the King of Glory” may come in. But I tell you beloved reader, it is just as appropriate to believe that it is the doors to our lives, our hearts, and our spirits that must be opened to God. As I said, it is not just enough to live in this world and feel kinship to creation and humanity. We must also look to our God, for that is where our most true and important relationship can be found. Selah!