Sermon Outline: Psalm 24: "Worshiping the King of Glory"
David the Psalmist
Introduction and Thesis
Title: Psalm 24: Worshiping the King of Glory
Let’s first read the Psalm.
Recently, I viewed a PBS documentary that celebrated the wonders and glory of nature. The cinematography in this program was skillfully produced; I’m sure all of you have seen breathtaking images of snow-capped mountains, lush river valleys, waves crashing on pristine shores, spectacularly-colored hummingbirds hovering over beautiful flowers, and much more.
However, as the narrator (Michael York) spoke of “Mother Nature’s” majesty, balance, and harmony, as well as mankind’s “spiritual” connection with it all, even mentioning the word “creation,” he never acknowledged the Creator. In reference to God, he said once in passing, “. . . however one may perceive of the divine.” York and his co-writer approached the subject of “the creation” from more of an Eastern, pantheistic perspective than from a Western, Judeo-Christian point of view, quoting Chinese mystics and the wise men of what he called “indigenous peoples.” In Eastern religions, such as Buddhism, God is an impersonal force that permeates all nature; God is everything, and everything is God.
York made much of the healing qualities of “Mother Nature.” Although he did not use the term “Gaia” or “Mother Earth,” he did speak often of nature’s spirituality and sacredness. On August 16-17, 1987, millions of New Agers worldwide joined together in Eastern meditation as a symbolic "surrender'' to Mother Earth in order to bring about universal peace.
Christianity, on the other hand, bases its knowledge of God upon the Hebrew-Christian Scriptures. The Bible presents God as a tri-personal Being who is both separate from (holy and transcendent) and intimately involved with His creation (immanent), and as One who continually sustains it by His almighty power. Psalm 24 speaks of just such a God.
Let’s first take a look at the ideas with which we began this message. We will be looking up several Scripture passages this morning, so I invite you to open your copy and follow along. Verses one and two establish the LORD’s proprietorship over this Earth.
Thesis: By virtue of His status as Creator and Owner of all things, He has the absolute authority to establish the moral requirements for His worshipers as well as distribute rewards to those who seek Him.
The Creator (Point 1)
I. His Status as Creator (vv. 1-2).
A. He owns everything (v. 1).
1. The Earth (v. 1a)
a. It is not divine, even though it originated from God’s creative breath (Genesis)
b. God delegated its upkeep to Adam, His image bearer.
2. All its “fullness” (flora, fauna) [v. 1a]
a. "For every beast of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills . . . And the wild beasts of the field are mine" (Psalm 50:10-11).
b. “Praise the LORD . . . fowl” (Psalm 148:7-10).*
c. “To whom . . . missing” (Isa. 40:25-26). *
3. The “world” (note the synonymous parallelism) may indeed refer only to the physical realm (v. 1b).
However, according to Hebrews 1:2, the LORD has not only appointed His Son heir of all things, but through Him has also made the worlds (lit. the ages)—space and time.
The Word is the Agent through Whom God created the space-time universe.
4. Those who dwell therein (people?) [v. 1b].
a. We do not own ourselves. (Turn to Psalm 95:1-7; 100:1-5). Then 1 Corinthians 6:19-20.
b. His ownership extends even over those who deny Him (2 Peter 2:1). “I have a right to do what I wish with my own body.” Oh, really?
B. He established the Earth (waters under the earth support it) [v. 2]
God created the “waters under the heavens” on the second day. Those waters must include the subterranean ones.
After engineering the disaster of the Flood, He continues to maintain control over the proper geological balance.
TS: (As Lord and Creator of all things, the LORD has the perfect right to establish . . .
Spiritual and Moral Qualifications (Point 2)
II. His requirements for acceptable worship (vv. 3-4)
Alva McClain, the author of the insightful book The Greatness of the Kingdom, seems to see the answer to the questions in verse three as exclusively the Messiah. And ultimately, he is right. However, I also believe the LORD through His spokesman King David informs His people about the spiritual and moral qualifications of those who desire to worship Him. In other words, God also graciously allows faithful people to serve Him. Before we look at this passage, let’s read Psalm 15.
A. True worshipers must have “clean hands” (v. 4a)
"Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded." (James 4:8)—Ryrie: “Need for a decisive and urgent break with the old life.”
"A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways." (James 1:8)—“Double-minded”—A man of divided allegiance
B. True worshipers must have pure hearts (v. 4b) [right motives and desires- the “heart” is the center of man's emotions, will and intellect, but primarily his intellect.]
"The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can understand it? I, the LORD, search the heart . . . (Jer. 17:9, 10)
“Create in me a clean heart, O God . . . (Psalm 51:10).
"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God." (Matt. 5:8)
Other pertinent Scripture: 1 Samuel 16:7. Then look up Philippians 4:8; 1 John 3:1-3
C. True worshipers must reject false gods/idols (v. 4c)
Let’s look at Jesus’ words to the Samaritan woman (John 4:20-24) -- What are some current false gods and idols?
D. True worshipers must be faithful to keep their word (v. 4d)
What vows do we make?
What excuses do people make to avoid keeping promises?
". . . He who swears to his own hurt and does not change . . . (Psalm 15:4)
TS: (Besides having the right to establish requirements for acceptable worship, He also has the perfect right to reward those who fulfill those requirements.)
Rewards for Seekers (Point 3)
III. His Rewards upon “Jacob”: Faithful Seekers of His “Face”—Manifestations of His Favor (vv. 5-6)
A. “He” (v. 5) identified as “Jacob”—faithful Israelites (v. 6).
B. He confers “blessing” upon “seekers” (v. 5a)—cf. Ps. 27:4
C. He gives “righteousness” to the faithful (v. 5b)—Both “blessing” and “righteousness” are gifts from the LORD.
TS: (Finally, He calls upon the people to welcome Him as King.)
Scripture tells us in Exodus that this holy Creator revealed Himself to the people of Israel, and then condescended to “dwell enthroned” among them in the Ark of the Covenant.
The last four verses of Psalm 24 (verses 7 through 10) comprise part of a worship service the Israelites used to reenact the processional bearing of the ark to the gates of the city where the people would acclaim the LORD King. These verses recall the time in 2 Samuel 6 when King David joyfully brought the Ark into Jerusalem where it would one day find its place in Solomon's temple.
Now while this psalm had historical significance, it also has a prophetic meaning.
Psalm 24 ultimately refers to the time when another Anointed One, Messiah Jesus, will come to set up His kingdom in Jerusalem, the capital of the millennial Earth.
Victory (Point 4)
IV. His Victorious Entry into the City (vv. 7-10).
A. The psalmist twice commands to "lift up your heads" (vv. 7, 9)
1. He addresses “gates and doors”-- figurative expression (personification) referring to the inhabitants of the city.
a. What do you think “lift up your heads” means? Be strengthened/encouraged in spirit or be lifted up in honor (cf. 27:6).
b. Why do you think Jerusalem needed/will need strength and encouragement? Are we finally saved?
B. The psalmist identifies the “King of glory” (vv. 8, 10)
1. The LORD strong and mighty (v. 8a)
2. The LORD mighty in battle (v. 8b)
3. The LORD of “hosts” (v. 10)
a. Troops of Israel in battle or
b. Heavenly hosts (angels)
Messiah Jesus will return gloriously to the Earth (Revelation 19). Before setting His foot on the Mount of Olives (Zech. 14:4; cf. Acts 1:11-12), He will destroy His enemies, apparently “traveling” through Edom (Isa. 63:1-6). He will enter Jerusalem through the Eastern Gate (Ezekiel 43:1-5)—the place through which His Shekinah glory departed at the time of the Babylonian Captivity--, and begin His reign of a thousand years as the world ruler.
© 2014 glynch1