Reflection on Psalm 24

By Maddy Stonehewer on February 19, 2021


I have been thinking about Psalm 24 a lot recently. It starts with ‘The earth is the Lord’s and all
that is in it, the world, and those who live in it;’. My mind keeps returning to this verse during my
government-allotted walks in parks, as I scramble to one side of paths to keep my distance from
others and look on at the birds, the trees, and the often-colourful winter skies.

In fact, the whole of Psalm 24 seems relevant at the moment. It is about the nature of God, and
what it means to worship Him.

Back when it was written, the nation of Israel would have worshipped God by entering the temple
in Jerusalem. The psalm asks the question “Who is worthy to enter the house of God?” and
answers with ‘Those who have clean hands and pure hearts’. The psalm tells us that we do not
have to do anything to enter God’s presence, we have to be something. We need ‘clean hands
and a pure heart’.

The Good News for us is that God in the person of Jesus has given us these attributes – we are
already clean and pure. We can worship God anywhere.

The psalm goes on to say, ‘Lift up your heads, O gates! and be lifted up, O ancient doors! that
the King of glory may come in. ‘. At the moment we are not worshipping God in grand buildings
with ancient doors and towering gates – we are in our own homes. I like to imagine these simple
spaces that we now worship in lifting up to let in the King of glory.

I imagine my bay window shattering, my flimsy wooden door opening and my squeaky office
chair swivelling to welcome God in all His glory.

As entertaining as it is to picture these things, the reality is that God’s glory already fills every
space. We do not need trembling furniture or bright lights to confirm it. The wonder of our faith is
that we can worship God anywhere, because God is everywhere. Everything in the world is the
Lord’s and displays the glory of God.

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