If you close your eyes, can you picture the door of your childhood home? Maybe you remember unlatching the gate that led to your backyard? If you returned to these same places today, you might pause—before you walked through—to remember the past.
In the ancient near East, a triumphant king or leader entering a walled city or temple would pause and perform what scholars have labeled a “gate liturgy.” The ritual marked the importance of the victory and offered thanks to their god.
In today’s reading, David pauses at the gate to honor and thank God! His words honor the arrival of the Ark in Jerusalem (2 Samuel 6). This was an extraordinary occasion marked by sacrifices, music, dancing, feasting, and worship. In this beautiful Psalm, David declares that the Lord rules over all creation (vv. 1–2). He alone is worthy to be worshiped!
What are the qualifications for worthy worshipers (vv. 3–4)? They must be righteous inside and out, with clean hands (can be seen) and a pure heart (cannot be seen).
The leader of the procession calls dramatically for the city gates to open and receive the Ark, symbolizing the presence of God (vv. 7–10). The expression “Lift up your heads, you gates” implies welcome and submission. The authority of the “King of glory” is being recognized and celebrated!
This month we will look at the doors and gates in Scripture. We will examine the doors and gates in Israel’s history; then, we will consider Christ’s redemption, ending at the gates of the New Jerusalem. By examining these important mentions of gates and doors, we will better understand God’s faithfulness and mercy.
>> As we enter this new study, let’s pause at the gate to honor God, celebrating who He is in our lives, and why He alone is worthy of praise. Open the “door” of your heart for the King of glory and allow Him to enter!