Calvary Road Baptist Church

“WHO IS THIS KING OF GLORY?”

Psalm 24.10

 

Turn to the 24th Psalm. When you find that portion of God’s Word, stand and read along silently while I read aloud:

 

1      The earth is the LORD’s, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.

2      For he hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods.

3      Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place?

4      He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.

5      He shall receive the blessing from the LORD, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.

6      This is the generation of them that seek him, that seek thy face, O Jacob. Selah.

7      Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.

8      Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle.

9      Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.

10     Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah.

 

My good friend, Charles Spurgeon, has these words concerning this psalm in his classic commentary The Treasury Of David:

 

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 ascension of the King of glory. We will call it The Song of the Ascension.[1]

 

Now let me read from a wonderful little devotional commentary Kenneth Connolly inherited from his father, Peter Connolly, titled The Psalms: Their Spiritual Teaching:

 

This Psalm is a triumphal march. There is no reason to doubt that we know the occasion on which it was composed and sung. It is one of three Psalms which celebrate the bringing of the Ark of God home to the Hill of Zion, after it had blessed the house of Obed-Edom: and when David repentant, obedient, and filled with an ecstatic joy, danced on the highway to the disgust of his wife Michal. It is good for us to place ourselves among that crowd, to stand on Zion when for the first time it has become the Hill of God, to listen in our secret hearts, to these very words first sung there, and to take part for ourselves with the joyful king.

It is also well to remember the application of the Psalm to something much nobler and higher. It is the last of a sacred triad of holy song. The Cross; the Sheepfold; the Ascension of Messiah. For to this also the Psalm lends itself and was meant so to do.

‘The earth is Jehovah’s,’ (the whole earth); the The world, and they that dwell therein: for He hath founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the floods’ (ver. 1). What a burst of adoration, at once declaring that any local place of worship for Jehovah could be no honour to Him, for He was Lord of all. Everything was due to Him; for everything was His. Earth, and sea, and man, and all the glory of the Heavens, were God’s. Only with deepest reverence, only with humblest service, may the king and people come unto this Hill of Zion!

‘Who (then) shall ascend into the Hill of Jehovah?’ It is the same question as in Psalm xv. There it occupied the whole Psalm and was dealt with fully. Here it comes as part of this Psalm, which is chiefly occupied with other matters. But still the worshipper is to be tried, and judged; every man who would set foot there is on trial. And let us carefully observe what David demands in the Name of God. He is making known the Lord’s will. And in these qualifications (just as in Psalm xv.) there is nothing national, nothing merely Judaic, nothing ceremonial. The New Testament requirement is not more clear. ‘God is a spirit: and they that worship Him, must worship in spirit and in truth.’ (John iv.24). So here, so long before. What are the things demanded? (1) ‘Clean hands’ — obviously outward uprightness, which no man could question’; (2) ‘A pure heart,’ behind, and within, something therefore which may be possessed by a worshipper of God, but something which many must have trembled there to hear demanded by Jehovah; (3) A soul not set ‘on vanity,’ not on vain things, the passing show, the earthly good; (4) One who regards the sanctity of an oath and has no dealing with deceit.

These are the four conditions, all spiritual, all remarkable. And what should such a man receive? ‘The blessing,’— that is, the blessing of being Psalm accepted by Jehovah; and ‘Righteousness from the God of his salvation.’ Not salvation by works: there was the Sacrifice behind, the blood of the Passover for that, in token of what was to come. ‘When I see the Blood, I will pass over you’ (Exod. xii.13). It is the righteousness of daily life, that is meant here, ‘the paths of Righteousness’ into which (the xxiii. Psalm tells us) the Shepherd ‘leads’ His sheep. ‘This is the generation of them that seek Him: the generation of Jacob that seek Thy Face’ (ver. 6). So I venture to translate the verse which has rather puzzled the commentators. The seed of Jacob is in question, of fallen, broken Jacob, whom God accepted notwithstanding all his failures; and God will still accept his seed on the Holy Hill. Selah. Think of that: and be thankful when you do!

And then another burst of song! It began with God’s property of all the earth, and of Zion, His own Hill. It paused to ask who might go up and be found there. It goes on to tell of Jehovah Himself going up among His true worshippers. The high hill was there in front; and its walls; and ancient gates. Strong and grim, as, in olden time, it had defied Israel, and guarded the Idol-worship of the past. But now, God was King; now, God was to enter, and to make Zion the centre of his Kingdom here, the place made solemn by His name. What a great occasion in the spiritual History of the world! And so the Psalm breaks forth ‘Lift up your heads O ye gates, even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.’ But who is He? Psalm Who is this King? ‘Jehovah of Hosts! He is the King of glory’! There is no other. ‘No other gods beside Me.’ Sinai and Zion are at one! Again, for a second time, the same call; the same question; the same reply! ‘Jehovah of hosts! He is the King of glory.’ Selah, Think of that! The Ark is at rest. Jehovah dwelleth between the cherubim. The Lord is on Zion, on His holy Hill.

And we, of a later day, who know that now there is no earthly dwelling-place for the Lord of glory, remember thankfully, how to a loftier Zion, the same cry was addressed, after the Cross, and after the Resurrection of the Lord; the everlasting doors were lifted up, the King of glory entered; and there, and thence, He rules, over all the earth! ‘Who shall go up to His holy hill? Who shall dwell in His Tabernacle?’ Still, it is the pure in heart, the clean of hands, the man who has been accepted through the Blood of the offering, made upon the Cross! Lift up your heads, O ye gates: and be lifted up ye everlasting doors, that the ransomed of the Lord may enter in![2]

 

This rather short but marvelous psalm is prophetic in that it records the true history of David’s transportation of the Ark of the Covenant from Obed-Edom’s house to the threshing flood owned by the Jebusite named Ornan, while at the same time projecting the reader into the prophetic future when the Lord Jesus Christ returns to earth in power and great glory to triumphantly enter Jerusalem.

At the end of each of the four gospels we read heart rending accounts of our Lord Jesus Christ being sent forth from Jerusalem condemned to death by crucifixion as a criminal, carrying not only His own cross, but also our sins.[3] His return to the city will be markedly different than His departure from the city.

 

SERMON:

 

I read from Psalm 24.7:

 

7      Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.

8      Who is this King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle.

9      Lift up your heads, O ye gates; even lift them up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in.

10     Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory. Selah.

 

Notice verse 7, where the psalmist poetically personifies the city gates by crying out for them to lift of their heads, to be lift up, ye everlasting doors. Why? So the King of glory can come in. In other words, the city gates need to stretch themselves to make way for the awesome entrance of the Great King.[4] In verse 8 the question is then asked, “Who is this King of glory?” The psalmist answers, “The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle.” Verse 9 is almost identical to verse 7, again crying out for the gates of the city to open so the Great King can enter in. Verse 10 then asks the same question verse 8 asked: “Who is this King of glory?” This time the answer is given as, “The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory,” and then the psalmist closes with the word “Selah,” calling on those who read the psalm and those who sing the psalm to then stop and reflect upon what is written.

To help you reflect on what is written, allow me to formulate a Scriptural answer to the question, “Who is this King of glory?” I think the most helpful answer is in two parts:

 

THE FIRST PART HAS TO DO WITH DAVID

 

Without proving it to you, let me just state that Ornan’s threshing floor was located atop Mount Zion in the city of Jerusalem, a city ancient even in David’s time as the capital and almost impregnable stronghold of the Jebusites. Once he had secured his position as king over all twelve tribes of Israel, David laid siege to the city and captured it, making it his capital. It course, it was only fitting that the Ark of the Covenant be moved to that city, where it would someday occupy the Temple that would eventually be constructed by Solomon, the son of David who succeeded him to the throne of Israel.

Sometimes lost on the pages of the Bible is the history of Mount Zion from the time of Abraham, a thousand years before David, who lived a thousand years before Christ. In Genesis chapter 22, we read of God directing Abraham to take his son Isaac, his only son, to sacrifice him on Mount Moriah. Of course, Abraham obeyed God, God intervened to stay the hand of Abraham and to substitute a ram for the life of Isaac, but the picture of a substitute being sacrificed for another was painted in stark colors. The connection? The place where Abraham offered up Isaac was Mount Moriah, which came to be known as Mount Zion, held by the enemies of David until he conquered them.

Imagine David conquering the city of Jerusalem, taking control of Mount Moriah, now known as Mount Zion, and purchasing the threshing floor of the Jebusite named Ornan, in order to bring the Ark of the Covenant into the city. Imagine also David dancing with delight before the Ark as it was being moved, while his wicked and rebellious wife, Michal, looked on with scorn. Finally, imagine King David being notified that the tent in which the Ark of the Covenant was placed has been erected to surround the it, and him then striding toward that tent, when all of a sudden, Levites guarding the Ark suddenly pull back the opening as wide as they could manage so the king can stride in without lowering his head.

Who would be allowed near Ornan’s threshing floor? Who would be allowed to enter that tent that replaced the Tabernacle that has been used in the wilderness? Who would be allowed to serve in conducting the rituals and fulfilling the ordinances in and around the place where the Ark was placed? No doubt David, the king who arranged the priests and Levites into their twenty-four courses would have something to say about that, and he did. Psalm 24.3-4 is David’s inspired requirements for duty and service on that hill, before that Ark:

 

3      Who shall ascend into the hill of the LORD? or who shall stand in his holy place?

4      He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.

 

However, David was inspired by the Holy Spirit of God to look far beyond his present situation. As well, he would never take upon himself the descriptions he places in this psalm. He knew he was not the King of glory. As well, it would be pure blasphemy for him to refer to himself using the name of God, here translated LORD. David, not only a king but also a prophet, pointed to the far distant future when the King of Kings would come to where he stood.

 

WHICH BRINGS ME TO THE SECOND PART OF THE ANSWER

 

One thousand years after King David penned this psalm the Lord Jesus Christ was expelled from Jerusalem as a criminal condemned to die by crucifixion. Rather than looking upon His sacrifice for sins as a defeat, understand that it was a profound victory in securing the redemption of His followers by means of His shed blood and their faith in Him. Buried, raised from the dead, showing Himself alive with many infallible proofs, the Lord Jesus Christ did not at that time reenter Jerusalem. Instead, He ascended to His Father’s right hand on high to call out to Himself a bride until it was time for Him to return.

We are now awaiting His glorious return from heaven. It is at this time, through the preaching of the gospel, that the Lord Jesus Christ is calling out of this world a people for Himself. Turning from their sins and embracing Him as their Savior by faith, the Lamb of God cleanses those who come to Him and forgives all their sins. Before the time of His visible return, most of His followers will have died and gone to be with Him in heaven, with their hands clean, their hearts pure, their souls not lifted up to vanity, nor swearing deceitfully. Not by works of righteous which they have done, but according to His mercy, by the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Ghost.

Imagine what it will be like when He comes. Revelation 19.11-16 shows us how His great arrival begins:

 

11     And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.

12     His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.

13     And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.

14     And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.

15     And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: and he shall rule them with a rod of iron: and he treadeth the winepress of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.

16     And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.

 

With sanctified imagination, allow me to fill in some blanks to the fulfillment of the prediction of Psalm 24.7-10. At some point, the Lord Jesus Christ in all His regal splendor, as impressive a sight as eyes have ever seen, will have disposed of His enemies and finally come to His city, Jerusalem. He is the King who has conquered His foes and Who now sits atop His great white horse before the gates to the city. He pauses before the gate, our eyes are upon Him and the gates before Him. As He dismounts and steps forward to enter the city, the gates at the walls surrounding Jerusalem shall indeed lift up their heads, and the everlasting doors shall lift up, to the sound of His great host singing and praising Him. “Who is this King of glory? Who is this King of glory?”

The King of glory, the LORD strong and mighty, the LORD who has shown Himself mighty in battle, the LORD who will stand at the head of a mighty host, once again returns to the Temple Mount of the days of His earthly ministry, once again returns to the Mount Zion of the days of King David, once again return to the Mount Moriah of the days of Abraham and Isaac, to establish His earthly rule and usher in His millennial kingdom.

The only question that remains to be addressed is, Who will accompany Him? He is the Lord of hosts. Who will be numbered among His host? Who can follow close behind Him as He strides up that holy hill? Who shall stand at that time in His holy hill? “He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.”

 

Who is the King of glory? There can be no question concerning the identity of the King of glory. It is, and can only be, the Lord Jesus Christ.

The question that remains is who will be with Him on that day. It will only be “He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.”

In other words, it will only be the blood-washed and blood-bought children of God, whose sins have been forgiven and whose service is faithful.

We know who the King of glory is. We just don’t yet know who you are, whether you will be one of those King Jesus comes back with, or whether you will be one King Jesus comes back for, to slay in battle before returning to His city.

Which is the better way to go? My friend, it is always better to be with Him than against Him, to be His friend and not His foe, to be His ally and not His adversary. To that end, He says, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”[5]

Are you concerned about your sins? Are you concerned about your future? Would you care to speak to me about being for Christ rather than against Him?



[1] Charles H. Spurgeon, The Treasury Of David, Volume I, (Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers), page 374.

[2] J. Elder Cumming, The Psalms: Their Spiritual Teaching, Vol I, (London: The Religious Tract Society, 1912), pages 137-140.

[3] 2 Chronicles 3.1

[4] See footnote for Psalm 24.7-9 from John MacArthur, The MacArthur Study Bible, (Nashville: Word Publishing, 1997), page 763.

[5] Matthew 11.28



Would you like to contact Dr. Waldrip about this sermon? Please contact him by clicking on the link below. Please do not change the subject within your email message. Thank you.

pastor@calvaryroadbaptist.org