Tradition suggests that Psalm 24 was used at the start of temple services in ancient Jerusalem, possibly commemorating the Ark of the Covenant moving from Obed-edom’s house to Jerusalem, an event recorded in 2 Samuel 6:10-12:
“So David was not willing to take the ark of the LORD into the city of David. But David took it aside to the house of Obed-edom the Gittite. And the ark of the LORD remained in the house of Obed-edom the Gittite three months, and the LORD blessed Obed-edom and all his household. And it was told King David, “The LORD has blessed the household of Obed-edom and all that belongs to him, because of the ark of God.” So David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-edom to the city of David with rejoicing.”
This was the second attempt to move the ark, the first attempt having ended in disaster, in 1 Samuel 6:6-8:
“And when they came to the threshing floor of Nacon, Uzzah put out his hand to the ark of God and took hold of it, for the oxen stumbled. And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzzah, and God struck him down there because of his error, and he died there beside the ark of God. And David was angry because the LORD had broken out against Uzzah. And that place is called Perez-uzzah, to this day.”
God gave detailed instructions for moving the ark in the book of Numbers 4:9-20. It was supposed to be carried on the shoulders of Levites descended from Kohath. Instead, they moved the ark as the Philistines did (1 Sam 6). The judgment of Uzzah reminded Israel that God is not to be taken lightly or for granted.
Today’s post is a flashback to the 1989 song by Christian rock band Petra, “The King of Glory Shall Come In,” which is based on Psalm 24. When Psalm 24:3, referenced in the song’s verse, says “Who shall ascend the hill of the LORD? And who shall stand in his holy place?” David, the author, is asking who is worthy to be in God’s presence. However, the chorus of the song is my favorite part. Some believe verses 7 to 10 of Psalm 24 were a call-and-response between the priests and the people, who cried out for God to be among them. Knowing they are unworthy; they still need and desire His presence among them. The song imagines what that call-and-response might have been like, but in 80’s praise-rock style!
Call for the King of Glory to come into you today! By the sacrifice of Jesus you can “stand in his holy place” with “clean hands and a pure heart.”
For just the lyrics, go here, but for the audio of the full song, click below: