Text: Psalm 15 & Psalm 24
We mentioned in the last devotional my personal quest and desire for more of God and my desire to have permanent residence in His presence in the here and now. Is that unreasonable? Is that biblical? Is that something that can be seen in the biblical reference? If the answers to those questions are yes, then I want it.
It is my convicting that God cannot be boxed up or boxed in. He is God! He is Sovereign! He is Omnipotent, Omniscient, and Omnipresent! People from all walks of life have come into His Presence. Some were seekers as David, and others were contenders with God as Jacob. Yet, each of them was allowed to ‘stand’, although sometimes briefly, in the Presence of God. Therefore, entering His Presence is a reality that is verifiable biblically.
The Psalmist saw the problem and expressed it with a cry from his soul. Entering the presence of God was his passion and pursuit. He asked: “Who shall ASCEND into the hill of the LORD?” The answer: “He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his soul to falsehood, and has not sworn deceitfully.” Therefore, we see that it requires some actions and attitudes on our part. We must be clean in our actions, motives, attitudes, and there must be an inward cleansing through His Grace.
Those appear to be minimum qualifications for a person in a crisis situation to enter into God’s Presence. That person is a candidate to enter into the Presence of the LORD and experience His Glory! That means it is possible!
I believe it is valuable to our consideration to consider a Jewish Ritual something every Jew would have understood. In David’s day the priest had to be cleansed by blood at the Brazen Altar and by water at the laver before he could enter the Holy Place. This is a type of both inward and outward cleansing. The inner cleansing is represented by the blood and was cleansing of the guilt of sin. The outer cleaning was represented by the water for cleansing from their walk and service. He had to be cleansed inwardly and outwardly before he could enter the Holy Place for a veiled encounter with Jehovah God.
Hebrews 10:22 – “let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.”
This speaks to us today. What they did was a picture of Grace at work. The blood was sprinkled for them and the washing of water was done by them. Grace! In Ephesians 2:8-9 we read,” For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; 9 not as a result of works, that no one should boast.”
God’s grace sought us, bought us, and brought us to His Cross were we the defiant, degenerate, and defiled could be cleansed. In 1 Timothy 1:14 we are told, “and the grace of our Lord was more than abundant, with the faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus.” In verse 16 of that chapter, Paul tells of his own experience and God’s infinite grace.
It is well to remember that Saul of Tarsus was a religious zealot bent on destroying this new move of God. But Grace arrested him, and he saw the light and was totally transformed by Grace! When Grace comes and we receive it we become candidates for an encounter with God. We are ready to ASCEND into His Presence.
Therefore, Grace must not only be seen but applied! God cannot and will not have communion and fellowship with the defiled saint, but He can and will cleanse the defiled. That brings us to the obvious question: “Who Can Ascend?” I will pause and attempt to give a limited answer to that question in the next devotional.
Until then may the Grace of God guard you, guide you, and keep you as you enjoy this wonderful day in Him!