• Brad Riley

King of the Hill

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

4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false, and does not swear deceitfully.

Psalm 24:3,4

Did you ever play ‘King of the Hill’ when you were a kid? Our neighbor hood gang played it wherever we could find a sizeable hill. Sometimes the hill was a pile of snow, other times it was a mound of dirt. I remember once it was great pile of coal that was down by the railroad yard at the end of the block. We were covered in back soot after that one.

The object of the game was to ascend the hill and knock off the guy at the top. Frank St. Clair was particularly hard to knock off the top of the hill. He was bigger and tougher than most of us. I can still hear his maniacal laugh and big grin as we tried to climb up and knock him off.

Psalm 24 asks the question, who thinks they’re worthy to climb the hill of the LORD? The question is not a rhetorical one. The hill of the Lord is a metaphor for the Heavenly Mt. Zion, the throne room of God in Heaven. The answer is given in verse four; only he who has clean hands and a pure heart, and is never false. Well, that lets us humans out – or does it?

Jesus Christ is the only one who lived such a pure life. He alone is worthy to ascend the hill of the LORD. However, in His great mercy, He’s left the doors wide open for you and me. We can’t get there on our own. Our hands and hearts aren’t pure enough. But, through His blood shed on Calvary we’re washed clean, whiter than snow, says the Psalmist.

Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. (Ps. 51:7)

When us kids tried to climb the hill, all we heard was Frank laughing, and shouting, “You’re not worthy you weaklings!”. But now if we’ve been washed in the blood of the Lamb, if we’re listening closely, we can hear the angels calling out, as they did when Jesus left the Mount of Olives and ascended the hill of the LORD… “Lift up your heads, O gates! and be lifted up, O ancient doors!” That was the cry of the angels at Jesus’ triumphal entry into Heaven, into the Holy of Holies, for He was, and is, and ever shall be the “King of Glory”!

But, on the day Jesus ascended the hill, He not only took His rightful place as King of Kings and Lord of Lords, He also left the doors of Heaven open for all His children to enter. So, no matter how life beats you up, and no matter how unworthy you feel, know that when you’ve been washed in His blood, you’ve been made worthy.

Now, when you climb the hill of the LORD, it’s not a game. Jesus is at the top and He won’t kick you back down. Instead, He’ll stretch out His hand and say, “Well done, good and faithful servant… Enter into the joy of your master.” (Matt. 25:23)


Pastor Brad

image credit: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/495466396480007191/

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