The King of Glory
Most of us get enthralled by an epic battle scene with a conquering king riding on a white horse with his armies trailing him. We love to see the good guy win. We love to see justice prevail and evil brought to nothing.
One of my favorite movie scenes of this is the scene in the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe where Aslan’s armies are on mountainside and they come ready to meet the White Witch’s armies. It is incredible!
The only problem is that if you watch closely enough, you will see that there are some casualties in the good army. But, friends, let me tell you that on the last day, when Jesus appears riding on a white horse with the armies of heaven, there will be no casualties and none will be lost. In fact, there will not even be a sword drawn, for the sword will come from the mouth of Jesus, the Word of God with the sharp, two-edged sword. He commands and it is so! He has all authority and power and dominion.
He is the King of Glory!
This morning, we are going to be looking at a Psalm that celebrates the King of Glory. Turn in your Bibles to Psalm 24.
While you are turning there, remember that today is Palm Sunday. It is the day that Jesus entered into the city of Jerusalem riding a colt of a donkey. The crowds shouted, “Hosannah! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord,” and they put their coats down on the ground and waved palm branches in their hands.
The Pharisees begged Jesus to stop them, but He said, if they do not praise Him, even the rocks will cry out (Luke 19:39-40)!
But, as Jesus entered the city, some of the people said, “Who is this? (Matt. 21:10). Well, this morning, I want to introduce you! I want to show you the King of Glory!
A Psalm of David. 1 The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein, 2 for he has founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers. 3 Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in his holy place? 4 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. 5 He will receive blessing from the Lord and righteousness from the God of his salvation. 6 Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek the face of the God of Jacob. Selah 7 Lift up your heads, O gates! And be lifted up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. 8 Who is this King of glory? The Lord, strong and mighty, the Lord, mighty in battle! 9 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
1. The Acknowledgement (vv.1-2)
1. The Acknowledgement (vv.1-2)
God is the owner of the earth and everything in it
God is the owner because He is the creator and originator of it all
It’s all his original content
2. The Question (vv.3-4)
2. The Question (vv.3-4)
Mountain climbers are a unique breed of people. They have to have nerves of steel. Have you ever seen that Apple Watch commercial where they are asking why you would need to track your oxygen when you sleep? The camera then zooms out from this tent that is hanging off the side of a mountain.
Only elite athletes can climb mountains. Fat boys like myself will never get up past the tree line. Yet, there are mountain climbers and elite mountain climbers. All are athletic. All have grit. But there is a group that stands out above the rest. These climbers are the ones who have climbed the tallest mountain in the world and lived to tell the tale. These are the ones who have scaled Mount Everest.
Did you know that there are bodies that lie along the way up to the top of Mt. Everest? In fact, these bodies are used as markers along the way. They are the ones that never made it to the top and back down again. You see, the danger is too great to try to recover their bodies, so they just lay there where they froze to death or ran out of oxygen.
I think that imagery could be translated to the metaphor that is used in Psalm 24 to describe the worshiper that is trying to climb the mountain towards God. You see, the temple sat up on a mountain.
Picture of the temple mount
In order to go to the temple to worship, you had to climb the mountain. Now, there were three feasts a year that required all of the males in Israel, usually with their families, to come to Jerusalem and worship. So these worshipers would come from outside the city, and since the city sat on a mountain, they would have to ascend the hill of the Lord.
There is another image that is brought to mind by the Psalmist in v. 3. It is the second refrain of the Hebrew doublet that is often found in Hebrew poetry. Doublets are a way of saying something once and then rephrasing it another way to say the same thing.
The Psalmist asks the question, “Who may stand in his holy place?” What is the holy place that he is speaking of? He is referring to standing before God in the temple. The phrase is not specific enough to be identified solely with the Holy of Holies, the place behind the curtain in the Temple where the Ark of the Covenant and the Mercy Seat is. However the meaning is the same. Who can stand before God, the Holy One of Israel?
The answer is given in v. 4 with three requirements.
He who has clean hands (actions)
He who has a pure heart (thoughts and inward man)
He who has pure worship (has not lifted up his soul to an idol)
Let me ask you this morning, do we think about this when we come up on this little hill in Condor, GA? Do we consider who is worthy to come and appear before God? Praise Jesus that He makes us worthy when we are not on our own! Amen? But may we never take liberties with God’s mercy and grace and think that our holiness doesn’t matter to God. It matters so much that Jesus had to come to rescue us from our sins.
3. The Reward (vv. 5-6)
3. The Reward (vv. 5-6)
So what is the reward
He will receive a blessing from the Lord
He will receive righteousness from the Lord
He will have fellowship with God
To seek and find the face of God - no one could see God’s face and live, but we will in the end (Gen. 32:29-31)
29 Then Jacob asked him, “Please tell me your name.” But he said, “Why is it that you ask my name?” And there he blessed him. 30 So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel, saying, “For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life has been delivered.” 31 The sun rose upon him as he passed Penuel, limping because of his hip.
13 Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, your servants, to whom you swore by your own self, and said to them, ‘I will multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven, and all this land that I have promised I will give to your offspring, and they shall inherit it forever.’ ” 14 And the Lord relented from the disaster that he had spoken of bringing on his people. 15 Then Moses turned and went down from the mountain with the two tablets of the testimony in his hand, tablets that were written on both sides; on the front and on the back they were written. 16 The tablets were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, engraved on the tablets. 17 When Joshua heard the noise of the people as they shouted, he said to Moses, “There is a noise of war in the camp.” 18 But he said, “It is not the sound of shouting for victory, or the sound of the cry of defeat, but the sound of singing that I hear.” 19 And as soon as he came near the camp and saw the calf and the dancing, Moses’ anger burned hot, and he threw the tablets out of his hands and broke them at the foot of the mountain. 20 He took the calf that they had made and burned it with fire and ground it to powder and scattered it on the water and made the people of Israel drink it. 21 And Moses said to Aaron, “What did this people do to you that you have brought such a great sin upon them?” 22 And Aaron said, “Let not the anger of my lord burn hot. You know the people, that they are set on evil. 23 For they said to me, ‘Make us gods who shall go before us. As for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.’
Face to face is an idiom that represents blessing (Num. 6:24-26) and fellowship(1 Cor. 13:12) with God.
24 The Lord bless you and keep you; 25 the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; 26 the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.
12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
1 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2 through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 3 No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. 4 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5 And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.
4. The Response (vv. 7-10)
4. The Response (vv. 7-10)
The Response to the acknowledgement that God is holy and the Owner of the world, that He is worthy of our holiness, and that He is a rewarder of them who seek His face is a call/response type of worship.
I want to demonstrate this this morning with you. I want you to stand up for just a moment. I’m going to read vv. 7-10. When I get to the question, “Who is this King of Glory, I want you to read the rest of the verse out loud with me. It is in bold italics on the screen.
Psalm 24:7–10 (ESV)
7 Lift up your heads, O gates! And be lifted up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in.
8 Who is this King of glory? The Lord, strong and mighty, the Lord, mighty in battle!
9 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!
You can be seated again.
So you get the idea of how this song was used.
This song is a battle cry. It is a song that is a rallying cry of the people of God.
Personification is given to the doors of the city.
“Lift up your heads, O gates!”
Don’t be weary or downcast. Don’t be discouraged. Lift up your head and see! The King of Glory is coming up the street! Open up for Him to come in!
“Who is this King of Glory?”
He is the Lord, strong and mighty. His the one who comes in from the battle, a victor!
Again the call is made to open up the gates for the King to come in.
Because, He is the Lord of hosts (or armies), He is the King of glory!
So who is really worthy to ascend the hill of the Lord? Who really has clean hands and a pure heart and has not lifted up his soul to another? The truth is that none of us can qualify. But, praise God that Jesus can. We come to God through Jesus and only through Him. The King of Glory Himself has to come an open the doors of the city and the doors of our heart to let Himself in.
Friends, let me ask you, will you let Him open up the doors of your heart? Will you let the King of Glory come in? Jesus says, “I stand at the door and knock. If any man hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him…(Rev. 3:20).
Do you hear Him? Will you get up from your slumber and open the door?
If you know him, are you living a life worthy to stand in the presence of Almighty God? Are you lifting up clean hands and a pure heart? Are you one that has not lifted your soul to another?
Come to Him today! The King of Glory has come in!