3 Who may ascend into the hill of the LORD?
And who may stand in His holy place?
4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
Who has not lifted up his soul [b]to falsehood
And has not sworn deceitfully.
5 He shall receive a blessing from the LORD
And [c] righteousness from the God of his salvation.
6 This is the generation of those who seek Him,
Who seek Your face—even Jacob. Selah.
In case you don’t know it yet, this chapter is all about Jesus! Psalms deals with an interesting question; who shall ascend to the hill of the Lord? So let’s break this down.
The word who is speaking about a person, the Psalmist is looking for someone.
2. Shall ascend
This person is obviously going up into a place where many people are not. This idea of ascending means that the person is going into a higher place.
3. To the Hill of the Lord?”
The Hill of the Lord is obviously not a literal hill (mountain) because God does not dwell in one place, but it speaks of a place where God is; it speaks of his presence.
When we understand each word in this Psalm, we can realize the meaning of this Psalm. If I could paraphrase the Psalm I would write, “Who can go into the presence of God?” Who can stand before a Holy God with confidence?
My friend, when this was written, only Jesus had clean hands and a pure heart, but He did not just stay on that hill; He came down to bring us up. My friend, because of what Christ has done, YOU can ascend to the hill (presence) of the Lord!
So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. – Hebrews 4:16 (NLT)
Now, thanks to the cross, we can come boldly into the presence of God knowing the price has been paid.
You say, “But only the ones with clean hands and a pure heart can ascend to the hill of the Lord.”
Yes, that man is Jesus, and you are in Jesus! If Jesus can ascend to the hill and you are in Him, then you can ascend! Have you forgotten that you have been cleansed of your sins? 2 Peter goes through a list of things
• Mutual Affection
Then the next verse says,
“But if anyone does not have them (goodness, knowledge, etc.) , he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins.” – 2 Peter
My bible says that we have been CLEANSED of our sins! And, the reason why our young people don’t have self-control, the reason the church body doesn’t have mutual affection, and the reason people quit church and don’t have perseverance is because we have forgotten we have BEEN (past tense) cleansed.
People still think they have dirty hands and a dirty heart, but you have been cleansed of all of your sins! Like I shared earlier with the post Is Our Heart Desperately Wicked, your heart is brand new. You are a new creation, and all old things (sin) have passed away!
It is self-righteousness to say you can ascend to the hill of the Lord on you own strength. People think, “Well if I obey God’s word as much as a can, then I will get clean hands.” The truth is that, you cannot do anything to get a pure heart without the blood of Christ!
Psalm 24 says that we shall ascend into the presence of God because God has cleansed us of our sin, and Jesus has cleaned our hearts and hands! The reason I believe it (Psalm 24) is for us today is because of verse 5.
He shall receive a blessing from the LORD
And righteousness from the God of his salvation. – Psalms 24:5
So, what is a verse about righteousness doing in a chapter about the presence of God? Well, verse 5 says that these people who ascend to the hill “shall receive a blessing.” So, what is that blessing? Righteousness, When someone is righteous that means the person is right with God. This person is YOU! You have been given a blessing, right standing with God.
God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. – 2 Corinthians 5:21
Anytime, anywhere, and any period in time you need God, you can go to Him! You shall ascend to the hill of the Lord; you have clean hands, and you have a pure heart. Doesn’t that make you feel loved?