An outburst of joy, straight from the heart
“Lift up your heads, O you gates: be lifted up, you ancient doors, that the King of Glory may come in. Who is this Kind of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle. Lift up your heads O you gates; lift them up you ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Who is he, this King of glory? The Lord Almighty—he is the King of glory.”—Psalm 24:7-10
My 20-year-old daughter recently sent me a text message about this passage, asking, “Mum, what does this verse mean? It’s so repetitive and seems to just be an outburst.”
Since she doesn’t normally send messages like this, I was intrigued, so I checked some Bible commentaries. This Psalm is believed to have been written about the return of the Ark of the Covenant — or the Ark of the Presence — to the ‘City of David’, Jerusalem. Until that time, it had been in temporary places without a permanent home. Of course, there was much celebration at this event, and the structure and the way this Psalm is written is with that sense of celebration.
And yet it is much more than this. Psalm 24 is a call for people to open their hearts for the King of glory to enter in. It is our heartfelt cry for the lost sons and daughters of our nation to lift up their heads and swing wide open the gates of their hearts.
As Jesus said in Revelation 3:20, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” What is keeping people from opening the door? What would keep a gate from swinging wide open? Why would doors or gates need to be lifted up?
Over time, gates and doors can sink into the ground, and the build-up of dirt and rubbish prevents them from opening. When I think of gates sinking into the ground, I think of disrepair and a sense of hopelessness. How could someone hear the Saviour’s knocking over the noise and distraction of the world? Why would someone open the door of his heart if they were constantly told that there is no King of glory — or no way out of their inner turmoil?
Our Commander, the Lord, is strong and mighty. He is mighty in battle; He is the one who can remove the rubbish so that the doors can be swung open. He is the one who can break down gates of brass and break through bars of iron. This, I explained to my daughter, is the meaning of Psalm 24. Behold, He stands at the door and knocks.
Lord Jesus, You are the King of Glory. There is only one place where every soul finds rest — and that is in You alone. We ask that You break down the gates of brass and break through bars of iron that fortify the unbelieving hearts of our lost sons and daughters. Send forth Your Word and save from destruction the lost sheep in our families, our communities and our nation, so that they are restored and find refuge in You alone and are filled with hope that will never be shaken. We ask this in Jesus’ great name. Amen.
Prayer Points for May 2021
1. Pray for Revival and Transformation for Australia
2. Pray for 1 Billion people worldwide to hear the Gospel
3. Share the Good News of Jesus with 5 people
Cindy McGarvie is National Director of Youth for Christ Australia. She met her husband, Rod, in the Australian Army, and together they went on to serve as missionaries with Wycliffe Bible Translators for twelve years, raising five children on the mission field. Cindy and her husband live in Brisbane, Australia.
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