Read Psalm 24
The King of Glory
Perhaps this song was sung by the people when David brought the ark from Obed-Edom back to Jerusalem, but there can be no denying the Messianic implications contained within. Observe that the subject of the first two verses is God, and in the next four verses, the subject is the man who stands before God. It would make little sense for the final four verses to then refer to a human king; David’s inspired psalm is nothing less than a prophetic declaration of the Messiah as the King of glory.
God’s rule over the world is established in the first two verses. “The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein. For He has founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the waters” (Psalm 24:1-2). He “founded” it and “established” it, thus He rules over it!
Who can stand before such a powerful Being? David describes the man who is not worthy (for none truly are worthy of such an honor), but nevertheless is permitted to “stand in His holy place” (Psalm 24:3). “He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his soul to an idol, nor sworn deceitfully” (Psalm 24:4).
“Clean hands” has no reference to the dirt and grime that can be removed with soap. Such things concerned the Pharisees in the first century, but Jesus explained that “to eat unwashed hands does not defile a man” (Matthew 17:20). Rather, it is a reference to one’s behavior and activity. Are you doing sinful things? If so, your hands are not clean.
If your hands are not clean, then you lack the “pure heart” that David mentions. Again, the words of Jesus sheds light on what is meant: “But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies” (Matthew 17:18-19).
The Psalm concludes with the identification of the King of glory. It is not David, who ruled Israel well with God’s blessing. “Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, He is the King of glory” (Psalm 24:10). May we acknowledge Him and show Him reverence as our King!