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Bible Verse of the Day

16.2.11

Can You Stand Before a Holy God?

Who may ascend the hill of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to an idol or swear by what is false.
He will receive blessing from the Lord and vindication from God his Savior. ~ Psalm 24:3-5

Who may stand before the Lord - in His holy place? Entering in the presence of God is not something that anyone can just do. Just like not everyone can come close to the King or President of a nation, so it is with God. There is a requirement that a person must meet in order to stand before the Lord.

The next verse answers this question with four must have: clean hands, a pure heart, a soul that does not lift up an idol and does not swear by what is false.  What do these four things mean? They are things we should be aware of in our everyday life to keep ourselves from sin. As the Scripture teaches sin separates us from a holy God (Isaiah 59:2). 

Clean hands must refer to the things we do in general not just with our hands. Do we do what is right before the eyes of God? Even if the world or society approves of it, but God or His Word doesn't, then we should not do it.

A pure heart refers to the emotions and feelings we have towards God and towards others. Do we have hatred and unforgiveness in our hearts? Are we feeling jealous of what others have? Are we so filled with ourselves that we don't care much about others? It's time to purge our hearts of things such as these.

A soul that does not lift up an idol. God says that we should have no other gods or idols before Him. What is an idol? Is it just the physical objects that people bow down to, offer their flowers and adoration and pray to as if they are living?  Not only those but anything (work, sports, possessions) or anyone (spouse, movie celebrity, ourselves) that we lift up higher than God. God is a jealous God and He wants that it is only Him that we worship and serve.

Does not swear by what is false. The King James version uses the phrase "nor sworn deceitfully" for this. This also related to bearing false witness against any man or by cheating him out of his substance through a false oath. Doing this directly disobeys what the Word says that we should love our neighbor.  And as was mentioned by Jesus, out of the heart the mouth speaks. So, if what we say is not true against any man, then our hearts will be filled with lies, and liars will definitely have their place in the lake of fire. 

If we are careful to observe what the Psalmist said in verse 4, the next verse says we will receive the Lord's blessings and vindication (God will defend and save us). Do we like that wonderful promise?

Lord, I thank you that you have provided the way, through you Son Jesus, by which I can enter boldly into your presence. Without Him in my life standing before a Holy God is impossible. But it doesn't mean that I can come without giving due reverence for your holiness. Help me to keep my hands clean, to have a pure heart, to keep idols out of my life and to always be truthful. May your Name alone be honored and praised. Amen.