Tuesday, October 22, 2013

the King of glory

Lift up your heads, O gates! And lift them 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 

Psalm 24:9-10

Have you ever wondered what was going on in the command to open the gates and doors in this Psalm? I know I have thought about it. This psalm was written by David and it seems to be a psalm of liturgy... a specific religious ceremony was associated with it. It was fitted for a specific occasion, perhaps to celebrate the ark of the covenant being brought to Jerusalem by David.

The question and answer format starts in verse three when the ark is being brought to its destination. "The hill of the LORD" is probably in reference to Zion, where ultimately a temple will be built for the worship fo The Lord. The question as to who is worthy to ascend that hill is answered with the outline of the effects of loving and obeying God's Law in Psalm 24:3-6.

Then twice (Psalm 24:7; Psalm 24:9) the priests with the ark call out to the gatekeepers of Jerusalem to open the gates so the procession can carry out the mission of bringing the ark into the city. The gatekeepers respond with the liturgical question "Who is the King of glory?" The priests answer in worshipful reply exalting God as the fighter of Israel's battles and the God of angel hosts. God is the true King of Israel. This is a royal procession.

The ancient liturgy is a piece of solid theology. It also draws the heart to worship the power of God as the glorious king. Imagining the procession going through the crowded city has me worshiping with that crowd this morning!

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