Issue #602 ~ March 9, 2020

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Clean Hands and a Pure Heart
"Who may ascend the hill of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place?"
Psalm 24:3

"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."
Psalm 24:4
hand-washing.jpg

Verse 3: "Who may ascend the hill of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place?"

In verse 3 there are 2 questions: (1) "Who may ascend the hill of the Lord?" and (2) "Who may stand in his holy place?"

Habakkuk 3:19 gives us part of the answer to question 1, "Who may ascend the hill of the Lord?"

Habakkuk 3:19: "The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the holy place?" by looking at a couple of parallel passages.

1 Samuel 6:19 - 20: "But God struck down some of the men of Beth Shemesh, putting seventy of them to death because they had looked into the ark of the Lord. The people mourned because of the heavy blow the Lord had dealt them, and the men of Beth Shemesh asked, 'Who can stand in the presence of the Lord, this holy God? To whom will the ark go up from here?'" (NIV)

2 Samuel 6:9: "David was afraid of the Lord that day and said, 'How can the ark of the Lord ever come to me?'" (NIV)

Ron Allen says: "In the wrong hands it led to devastation, judgment, terrible illness. In curious hands it led to the stilling judgment of God. Even in well-meaning but improper hands, it led to death. Who may stand before Yahweh?"

Allen also says: The basic issues presented by Psalm 15 come to mind. The type of person who may dwell on the holy hill of the sanctuary of Yahweh is one:
  • who has a blameless walk
  • who is faithful in his speech
  • who is honorable with his neighbor
  • who has right values
  • who keeps his word no matter what
  • who never hurts the weak.

John Ortberg says: "THE FIRST TASK IN spiritual life, the one to which we must return over and over, is simply this: to pay attention to God." ( Love Beyond Reason, 41)

Verse 4: "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."

Whereas the Psalmist raises the questions in verse 3, he now gives the answers in verse 4.

There are 4 answers here in verse 4.
  1. "He who has clean hands." 2 Corinthians 7:1: "Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God" (NASB).
  2. "He who has...pure heart." Matthew 5:8: "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God" (NASB).
  3. "He...who does not lift up his soul to an idol." 1 John 5:21: "Little children, guard yourselves from idols" (NASB).
  4. "He who does not...swear by what is false." John 8:32: "and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free" (NASB).
Steven Lawson says: "The phrase 'clean hands' speaks of the purity of a person's outward actions. A 'pure heart' refers to an inner soul that is holy and undefiled, set apart to God without moral defilement."

F. B. Meyer says: "The Almighty is also the All-Holy. We are his: but we cannot approach Him unless we observe certain conditions, which He will secure in us by the power of the Holy Spirit, if we are only willing that He should."

Kent Hughes says: "We are to live with a confidence in what God has already done for us and to trust in him to continue his transforming work until we see him face to face.
Finish then Thy new creation, Pure and spotless let us be;
Let us see Thy great salvation Perfectly restored in Thee.
Changed from glory into glory, Till in heav'n we take our place,
Till we cast our crowns before Thee, Lost in wonder, love, and praise.
-Charles Wesley, 1747 (Set Apart, 21)

Randy Alcorn says: "How sold out are you to the battle for purity? How desperate are you to have victory over sin? How radical are you willing to get for your Lord? How much do you want the joy and peace that can be found only in Him? Purity comes only to those who truly want it." (The Purity Principle, 69)

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Praises & Prayer Requests

1.   Pray:  Since therefore, brethren, we have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which He inaugurated for us through the veil, that is, His flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God. Hebrews 10:19,20,21 (NASB)
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2.   Praise:  For Christ did not enter a holy place made with hands, a mere copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us; Hebrews 9:24 (NASB)
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3.   Pray:  Surely in vain have I kept my heart pure; in vain have I washed my hands in innocence. Psalm 73:13 (NIV)
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4.   Pray:   ...let us draw near with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Hebrews 10:22 (NASB)
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5.  Pray: Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Matthew 5:8 (NASB)
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6.   Pray:  Thank you for the many gifts to provide Bibles and study materials to complete inmates requests. The need is so great.
I remember back in the early 60s that Stewart Hamblen had come to know Christ at the Billy Graham crusade in Los Angeles. He wrote that great song "It Is No Secret." There was another song of his that our youth group used to love to sing. It asks the question, Is He satisfied? Please join me in singing these 2 verses as we worship and let His Spirit search our own hearts.
"Is He Satisfied?"
Do you ever search your heart as you watch the day depart?
Is there something way down deep you try to hide?
If this day should be the end and eternity begin, when the book is opened wide,
would the Lord be satisfied?
(Feeble) is the lamp of fame by which man inscribes his name
on the walls of time for other men to see.

Though he boasts of wealth and pow'r none can help him
that hour when the angels hear his plea; is He satisfied with me?
Is He satisfied, is He satisfied? Is He satisfied with me?
Have I done my best, have I stood the test? Is He satisfied with me?
When my Lord shall come again, when He walks and talks with men,
what if ev'ry friend He had were just like me?
Would He feel a welcome here or would He go away in tears?
Am I all that I should be? Is He satisfied with me?
For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)  

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