I AM EXCITED ABOUT BEING A PART OF A NEW CHURCH PLANT
IN MY LITTLE THUMB OF WISCONSIN.
BUT, OH, THE SPIRITUAL WARFARE HAS BEEN INTENSE!
I CAN BECOME
FRIGHTENED & DISCOURAGED.
THIS LIFE IS CHALLENGING AND I AM CONSTANTLY
BATTLING THE WORLD, MY OWN FLESH, AND THE DEVIL.
I KNOW YOU FEEL IT TOO.
SO WHAT CAN WE DO?
JOHN PIPER SAYS “BEHOLDING IS BECOMING.”
BEHOLDING CHRIST IN THE PSALMS
WILL CHANGE US INTO OVERCOMERS.
WE CAN, IN CHRIST, OVERCOME
THE WORLD, OUR FLESH, AND THE DEVIL.
Recently our own Susan was contemplating how Tim Keller often emphasizes that if we try to follow Jesus, we will be crushed, but if we let His glory melt our hearts, we will be changed. This is what the psalter can do for us when we see Jesus in every psalm. And then our own Jill shared how when she prays the psalms directly it is not as powerful as seeing Christ in it and then praying them.
WE ARE AT A CAPSTONE THIS WEEK IN PSALM 24 WHEN WE READ:
THE PSALMS, AS MIKE REEVE EXPLAINS, HAS A FLOW —
LIKE HANDEL’S MESSIAH. IT’S ALL ABOUT JESUS.
AND JUST AS IN THE MESSIAH, THERE ARE THEMES.
WE HAVE JUST FINISHED ONE THEME WHICH BEGAN
IN PSALM 15 AND IS CAPPED IN PSALM 24.
WHO SHALL DWELL ON YOUR HOLY HILL? (PSALM 15:1)
WHO SHALL ASCEND THE HILL OF THE LORD? (PSALM 24:3)
WHO IS THIS KING OF GLORY?
JESUS, THE LORD OF HOSTS,
HE IS THE KING OF GLORY!
The flowing theme between these two bookends is this Lord of Glory.
He is our Portion in Psalm 16,
our Savior in Psalm 17,
our Fortress in Psalm 18,
our Bridegroom who comes forth like the rising sun in Psalm 19,
our Anointed One in Psalm 20,
our Exalted One in Psalm 21,
our Crucified One in Psalm 22,
our Shepherd in Psalm 23,
and our Ascended One in Psalm 24!
SEEING CHRIST, PRAISING HIM BY USING THE PSALTER, CAN MELT OUR HEARTS OF STONE INTO HEARTS OF FLESH.
This Psalm was sung on Ascension Day and has some fascinating associations to the day David ascended the hill of Zion with the Ark of the Covenant. He danced for joy to know that the presence of God was now going to be in Jerusalem. This foreshadowed the day Christ Himself would ascend to the heavenly Jerusalem. But we have so much more, for when Christ ascended, the Spirit descended to be with us, that we might have the presence of God within us all the time.
1. What stands out to you from the above and why?
2. What are you facing right now which will overwhelm you without your Lord of Glory?
Monday-Thursday Bible Study:
Charles Spurgeon explains: “This sacred hymn was probably written to be sung when the ark of the covenant was taken up from the house of Obed-edom to remain within curtains upon the hill of Zion The words are not unsuitable for the sacred dance of joy in which David led the way upon that joyful occasion. The eye of the Psalmist looked, however, beyond the typical upgoing of the ark to the sublime ascenseion to the King of Glory.”
Psalm 24: LIFT UP YOUR GATES, O ANCIENT DOORS, THAT THE KING OF GLORY MAY COME IN!
This psalm was traditionally sung on Ascension Day, and you may find some great hymns to go with this to share with us. There is great rejoicing that Jesus has ascended. As wonderful as it was to have Him on earth bodily, He told Mary not to cling to Him for He needed to ascend. When He was with them bodily, He couldn’t always be with them, but He told them, when He ascended, He would send the Holy Spirit so that He would always be with them. This was not just true for them, but for every believer. He never leaves us or forsakes us. His Spirit helps us pray, comforts us, and one day will be with us as we cross the river. The ancient doors will open for us as well, for we are washed in HIs blood, and able therefore to enter in and ever be with the Lord.
3. Read 1 Chronicles 15:25-29 as background.
A. Describe the scene.
B. What did bringing the ark up to the hill in Jerusalem represent and why was David so joyful?
C. There is spiritual warfare in his own household. Describe Michal’s response. Why, do you think?
Puritan Arthur Pink writes:
Before it ended, the joyful day of David’s bringing up of the ark to Jerusalem was overcast by a domestic cloud. There was one in his own household who was incapable of entering into the fervor of his heart toward God, who was irritated by his devotion, and who bitterly condemned his zeal: one who was near and dear to him railed upon the king for his earnestness in Jehovah’s cause and service. The enmity of the Serpent was stirred by the honor accorded the holy ark, the procession of the Levites, the jubilation of Israel’s ruler, and the offerings which had been presented before the Lord. The anointed eye has no difficulty in discerning behind Michal him who is the inveterate enemy of God and His people, and in her biting denunciation of David, the Christian of today may learn what to expect from those who are not one with him in the Lord.
D. How does Arthur Pink’s comment help you understand opposition you may be facing?
4. Read Acts 1:4-11
A. What promise did Jesus give them in verse 5?
B. What question did they ask in verse 6 and what misunderstanding did their question reveal?
C. How did Jesus answer in verses 7-8 and then how did He demonstrate that answer in verse 9?
5. Read Psalm 24 aloud.
A. How is the LORD seen as Creator and Sustainer in verses 1-2?
B. See Christ in verses 3-5 and describe what you learn.
C. What do you learn from verse 6? Compare this to Hebrews 9:11-14 and explain how we too may enter in, and why the ancient gates will open for those who have sought Him as well.
D. Patrick Reardon comments on the closing (Psalm 24:7-10) “The King of Glory comes to the entrance of heaven with the blood of conflict still fresh upon Him (cf. Isaiah 63:1-6; Revelation 19:13) and a kind of dialogue takes place as the angels call for the opening of the portcullis at the approach of the returning Warrior.” What call is given in these verses to the ancient gates and why?
E. Using this psalm, write your own prayer of praise to the King of Glory.
Friday: Teaching from Mike Reeves
I posted this a few weeks ago, but because we had technical difficulties on the blog, many of you didn’t get to hear it. It is such a good summary that I’m posting it again.
6. Please share your notes and comments.
7. What is your take-a-way and why?