Awesome presence of God

Psalm 24 and 2 Samuel 6

There is a generation who gained all their knowledge of the ark of the Lord from Indiana Jones and in a sense would have understood a partial truth.  The ark was not to be treated casually, not because blue lasers would be emitted from it, but because it was holy.  The awesome holiness of God has a tendency to be lost in the relaxed ease of modern worship but David and the Israelites had a sharp lesson regarding holiness as they carried the ark to Jerusalem. 2 Samuel 6   The ark embodied the presence of God in all his holiness, from God’s presence comes blessing, 2 Sam 6.11 therefore the entry of the ark into Jerusalem symbolized God’s blessing of David’s kingship and thus the whole nation.  Psalm 24 is closely associated with this event.

The starting point of reverence and worship is understanding and asserting that everything is God’s because he is the source of all. ‘The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof.’ Ps 24.1  This changes our perspective as any ambitious drive to permanently own becomes illusory.

Who then can stand in the presence of such a holy God?  Four criteria are set out; righteous actions, righteous motives, loyalty to God alone and openness in relationships with others without unfair gain.  ‘The one who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully.’ v4  Verses 5 and 6 change the phrasing and blessing from an individual to the collective people of God.  When we seek God’s blessing it is the whole church whose living worship Romans 12.1-2 is called upon to reflect God’s holiness.  This does seem alien in an individualized society but we are called to be in the world but not of the world.

The psalm in verses 7-10 changes to a call and response liturgy as the ark and thus the ‘King of glory’ ascends the mountain, enters Jerusalem and the tabernacle, later the temple, to bring victory.

How then can we enter the presence of such a holy God?  Praise God, only through Jesus.

‘God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are,so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption.’ 1Corinthians 1.28-30

Who is this King of Glory – Chris Tomlin

(Suggest playing through a good speaker to get the bass)

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