Psalms 24: Clean Hands and a Pure Heart
Psalms 24 begins with David’s main premise.
Psa 24:1 A Psalm of David. The earth is the LORD’S, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.
Psa 24:2 For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods.
Basically, God is in control of the world, and He is in that position because He created all of it. The Creator has a right to own His creation.
Then, with this in mind, we move on to the main question at the chapter.
Psa 24:3 Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place?
When you climb that hill, you are going to get closer to God. You are going to end up in a better place than you are right now, but how do you go about climbing that mountain?
Psa 24:4 He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.
Psa 24:5 He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.
Psa 24:6 This is the generation of them that seek him, that seek thy face, O Jacob. Selah.
Here is the answer to that question. Do you see the salvation message here? We need to have clean hands and our hearts need to be right with God. In other words, we need forgiveness and grace. Even though David was writing in the Old Testament, it is kind of interesting that you can see foreshadowing of New Testament events.
It is also significant because think about the Old Testament sacrifice system. It would not remove your sins in the sense that Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice did, but you did perform them often to help cover over your sins. In other words, you did clean your hands. It didn’t change the inside, but it did change the surface.
On top of that, your heart needs to be pure and have good motives just like we need to today. You could perform all the sacrifices in the world in David’s day, but they did not mean much if you did not have that desire to love God. It is kind of like that today. Anybody can say a simple salvation prayer, but your heart really needs to be in the right place where you actually desire a relationship with God rather than some kind of divine insurance policy.
I know that David was writing in the Old Testament, so he was obviously writing about what he knew in the Old Testament system. However, I think that we can take what he wrote and apply it forward to our lives today. Certainly, Jesus was a game changer in how we relate to God, but we still need to accept His salvation for the ultimate cleansing of our hands and do it with a pure heart.