2007-11-17 - In the Presence of the King
Psalm 24:7-10, "Lift up your heads, O gates, and be lifted up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in! Who is the King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, The Lord mighty in battle. Lift up your heads, O gates, and lift them up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in! Who is this King of glory? The Lord of hosts; He is the King of glory."
I would like to start off with an observation that I suppose we could pursue, but will only do so indirectly. The nicest things in the world are but scraps from God's table. It really is a truth, and to some extent puts a wet towel on many of our worldly aspirations. Those treasures that we treasure on Earth are nothing, compared to those things that the Lord has planned for His children. The trophies of the Earth - that men and women work late to get hold of, deprive themselves of sleep to acquire, and forego family time to obtain - have no eternal significance once obtained. Only that which is done for Christ will last, and the things of the world are often more distractions than helps to our walk with the Lord. And, at the end of the day, those things that the world sets its heart upon are nothing more than the scraps from God's table. The Christian desires the deeper things of the Spirit of God. The Christian longs for communion and fellowship with the living God, and cannot but be disappointed when he/she settles for scraps.
In the world, in the presence of a King, there are those who are close to him, and those who only have infrequent contact with him. Your position in the King's court is indicative of your standing there. How much access you have to the King speaks of your standing. For the Christian, the first wonder is that we are even in the King of Kings' court. It is true that some graces (love hope, and faith) seem to be those which draw us closer to the King of Kings, and we ought to cultivate strength in those graces that draw us closer to the inner court of Christ's pleasure. This is not to play down humility, patience, joy, peace, and the like graces. We should cultivate all of them, but we are told that there is some sort of order in the graces, 1 Corinthians 13:13.
As noted, it is a wonder for anyone to be in the King of Kings' court. All of us were equally under condemnation, but some of us have even more reason to be thankful for God's mercy. Many of us have to admit that we have out-sinned millions. In fact, to put a bolder face upon that, let us say that truthfully many of us have out-sinned millions to whom the favor, grace, and mercy in Christ have been denied. Oh, the amazing nature of the matchless grace of Christ. The Christian, privileged in the court of the King of Kings, must sit down in wonder that millions, maybe billions, who he/she has out-sinned, do not have access to the favor and lovingkindness of God. The Lord has taken us from the dunghill to His inner chamber. How can our hearts consider this? The King has given us all the riches of His righteousness. We have the jewels, which we could not earn, freely given to us. This is condescending love at its height. We are rescued in our sin, granted pardon, and then given all we ever lacked - as if we had never transgressed the King's law. We are given the gemstone of His righteousness - who perfectly fulfilled the law of God. This is so much more than scraps from the table. This is the main course, and, in Christ, we are partakers. In ourselves, we are unworthy partakers, but we become worthy participants in the blessings of Heaven through our Lord. Amazing Grace!
Soli Deo Gloria,