As I backed down a driveway one night, I was startled by a loud crash. I had accidentally gone off the driveway and backed the car into a large potted plant leaving a scratch on the rear bumper. If the car had been my own, it would not have been a big deal. However, this particular car was not my own, but a rental. I would have to give an account of my mistake to someone else.
In today’s reading, David reminds us that the world we inhabit and everything in it belong to God. We may sometimes act as if our house, car, possessions, or even our bodies belong to us. The reality is that God created everything and everyone. All creation belongs to Him (vv. 1–2). Israel was reminded of this truth every fiftieth year, when all debts were canceled and all property reverted back to its original tribal allotment (Leviticus 25). They were not the ultimate owners of the land.
In verses 3–4, David reminds Israel that approaching God in worship is not to be done lightly. He outlines two characteristics of an authorized worshiper. We must have “clean hands and a pure heart” (v. 4). That is, we are to be people who have purity in their actions and in their motives. We must also be loyal to the Lord alone. Our trust cannot be in any of the false gods who so easily attract our attention (v. 4). These are the people who can worship the Lord, and receive His blessing (v. 5).
The final portion of the psalm calls for the gates of Jerusalem to be prepared to receive the King of glory. Since the whole earth belongs to the Lord, it is appropriate that the psalm ends by anticipating the future coming of the Messiah-King to take up His throne (Matt. 25:31).
Jesus realized it was easy for us to worry about things like food and clothing (Matt. 6:25). Our anxiety can be eased when we remember the truths from this psalm. Everything we have belongs to God. One day Jesus will return and make all things new. Just one more reason to seek Him with all our hearts.