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Bible Commentaries

Thomas Scott: Explanatory Notes, Practical Observations on the book Psalms
Psalms 24

 

 

Verses 1-10

Psalm 24:1-10.

V:1 , 2. This psalm is supposed to have been written and sung, with some others, when David removed the ark to Jerusalem; and perhaps it might also be used when the ark was carried into Solomon"s temple. But the ascension of Christ into heaven seems to have been sublimely prefigured under those, typical events. The Psalmist introduced his subject by declaring the sovereignty of God over the whole world. ( 1 Corinthians 10:26-28.) He had formed both the earth and its inhabitants, and separated the dry land from the waters; by which it arose out of the Hoods, and seemed to have its foundation upon them.

(Notes Psalm 33:7-8. Psalm 95:4-5. Genesis 1:9-10. Job 38:8-11. Proverbs 8:22-30. Jeremiah 10:11. 2 Peter 3:5-7.) )

The whole belonged to the great Creator, to be disposed of as he pleased: and he might most justly have cut off all the apostate race; or he might have taken another part of it instead of Israel. This introduction, therefore, seems to have been intended to excite the people"s admiring gratitude, for the Lord"s distinguishing kindness to them.

V:3- 6. External privileges were granted to Israel as a nation; but the character of the true Israelite was here enquired after. (Notes and P0. Psalm 15:1-5 :) A holy life, springing from a sanctified heart, free from external and mental idolatry, and all corrupt affections and carnal confidences, united with watchfulness against all hypocrisy and dissimulation; an exact punctuality and fidelity to every vow, profession, or engagement, to God or man; these things distinguished the acceptable worshippers from the rest of the congregation at the sanctuary, as they now do real from nominal Christians. This character originates from regeneration; and is gradually formed by the divine Spirit, through faith : and while others derive no benefit from divine ordinances, persons of this description " receive the blessing from the LORD " continually; even " righteousness from the God of salvation." For " by the " Spirit they wait for the hope of righteousness through " faith." (Marg. Ref. n.) Thus it is very clearly stated, that while separation from sin, and a pious, conscientious

conduct, prepare a man"s heart for receiving divine blessings, and evidence his interest in them; they do not constitute his justifying righteousness, or merit the favour of God; in whom he must trust as the " God of his salva" tion," and from whom he must receive " the gift of " righteousness by faith." (Notes, Isaiah 54: 15- 17. Romans 4:14-22; Romans 10:1-4. Galatians 5:16.) They, who thus trust and serve God, constitute the generation of those who seek him, as Jacob did, and so enjoy his favour, as " the God of Jacob." (Marg.) The clause is rendered in the old translation, " This is Jacob," the true seed of Abraham, the true Israel. To interpret this of Christ exclusively, or at all, except as our example, supposes him to " receive " righteousness from the God of his Salvation," instead of our being " made the righteousness of God in him."

V:7- 10. It is supposed, that the priests who bare the ask, and the Levites who attended them, demanded entrance into the tabernacle from those who kept the gates.

The expression " Lift up your heads, O ye gates," may allude to the form in which the gates were made, the upper part lifting up, to render the entrance more spacious : the gates might be called " everlasting," because the ark was to have an abiding residence on mount Zion, where a durable temple was about to be erected. To this demand, the porters within answered in solemn strains, " Who is this King of glory?" and were again answered, that it was " the LORD strong and mighty, the LORD " mighty in battle; " that Isaiah , Israel"s Protector and Friend, by whose power they were made victorious over all their enemies. The demand being then repeated, and a similar answer returned, the gates, we may suppose, were thrown open, and the symbol of the divine presence was carried into the holy of holies. (Notes, Psalm 68:1-3. 2 Samuel 6:14-15. 1 Chronicles 16:7-34; 1 Chronicles 16:36. 2 Chronicles 5:12-13.) This may represent the Saviour at his ascension, demanding by his attendant angels admission into heaven, as Man and Mediator; yet at the same time as " the King of glory, and " the LORD strong and mighty." In human nature, and even on the cross, he had overcome and triumphed over the powers of darkness; and, ascending up on high, he led them captive at his chariot-wheels. To him the everlasting portals were lifted up, who was at the same time a Prayer of Manasseh , and "the LORD of hosts:" and as our Forerunner he entered heaven amidst the admiring acclamations of the whole angelick choir. And thus the gates of heavenly happiness were opened to every sinner, who receives Christ as liis Lord and Saviour, assured that indeed he is " the " LORD of hosts and the King of glory." (Notes, Ephesians 1:15-23. Philippians 2:1-30 :)

PRACTICAL OBSERVATIONS.

As the earth, with :" fulness and all its inhabitants, belongs to the great Creator, whose glorious Wisdom of Solomon , power, and goodness appear on every side; we should continually remember our obligations to love and serve him with all our powers, to receive all our comforts as his gifts, and to employ all which we possess, according to his will. This must also remind us of our need of his mercy, and lead us to continual humiliation before him : for which of his gifts have we not abused ? which of our powers have we not employed in rebellion ? (Note, Luke 7:40-43.) If we had done all that was commanded us, we ought to say, " We are unprofitable servants." How absurd then for sinners to boast of their scanty and defective services ! It is of the Lord"s mercy, that any of us worship with acceptance, or may hope to enter into heaven. We should be thankful for outward privileges : yet let us be careful not to trust in them; but seriously enquire, whether his word and ordinances have indeed been sanctifying to our hearts, and have taught us to " walk in newness of life;" whether we are weaned from the vanities of the world, and delivered from hypocrisy and deceit in our professions and engagements. The generation of those who seek and serve the God of Jacob, are formed to a peculiar character; the blessings of salvation and the crown of righteousness must be waited for, in the way of conscientious obedience; and they who expect them in any other way will find themselves awfully, deluded.

(Notes, Titus 2:11-14. Hebrews 10:35-39. Jude 1:20-21.) The incarnate Word and Son of God, having completed his obedience and sufferings on earth as our Surety, has, in human nature, ascended up on high as a triumphant conqueror. The everlasting portals have been thrown open to receive him. He alone in human nature ascended thither by the merit of his own righteousness : but it is of infinite value, and merits for us also, if we believe in him. While angels adore, in the man Christ Jesus, " the King of glory and the LORD of " hosts," and welcome him " as Head over all things to " his church : " surely tee cannot refuse him our thankful acclamations, or neglect to honour him, as we ought to honour the Father that sent him ! (Note, John 5:20-23.) Let all remember that he is able to save and to destroy : " the LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in bat" tie." If we refuse now to open our hearts to welcome him, he will at length refuse to open the gates of heaven to us; both at the hour of death, and when after the final judgment, he shall Revelation -enter the heavenly palace with all the millions of his redeemed people. Then all unbelievers shall go " away into everlasting punishment." Lord, open the everlasting doors of our souls by thy grace, that we may most thankfully receive thee as our Lord and Saviour, and be willingly and wholly thine; and that at length we may be " numbered with thy saints in glory everlasting!"

 


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Bibliography Information
Scott, Thomas. "Commentary on Psalms 24:4". Thomas Scott: Explanatory Notes, Practical Observations on the book Psalms. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsp/psalms-24.html. 1804.

Lectionary Calendar
Friday, November 15th, 2019
the Week of Proper 27 / Ordinary 32
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