Psalm 24 is one of my favorite scriptures in my Toolbox of Tips + Tricks. When the issues of life try to multiply like gremlins fed after midnight, this Psalm reminds me of the sovereignty of God. It’s a strong and assertive proclamation that the Father owns it all.
1 The earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness of it, the world and they who dwell in it.
When the IRS came back two years later with an “adjustment”, I said, “That’s yours, God.” When a personality parasite is taking over my daughter- “She’s yours, God.” When her dad is acting the same- “He’s yours, too.” This word realigns my thinking, and helps me put my circumstances in perspective. No problem, no person, no pestilence is bigger than my God.
3 Who shall go up into the mountain of the Lord? Or who shall stand in His Holy Place? 4 He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted himself up to falsehood or to what is false, nor sworn deceitfully. 5 He shall receive blessing from the Lord and righteousness from the God of his salvation. 6 This is the generation [description] of those who seek Him [who inquire of and for Him and of necessity require Him], who seek Your face, [O God of] Jacob. Selah [pause, and think of that]!
Yes, let’s pause.
Jacob? The con artist? The one who schemed with his mother to deceive his father to steal the blessing from his brother? That Jacob? The same Jacob that was blatant in his favoritism for two of his sons, who closed his heart to his first wife? That’s the measure of man that can stand in His Holy Place?
Yes, that Jacob.
Get hold of this- The bible’s resident con artist is considered pure of heart in the eyes of God. That revelation should bless each of us because we’ve all been a con artist at one time or another. We each have either deceived others or worse- deceived ourselves. Think about it. Have a Selah moment. Maybe you lied to get that job. Claimed more on your taxes than you should. Fudged the truth on how you spent the money. Lied about where you were last night. Lied about who you were with last night. Maybe your lies have lies. Maybe, like Jacob, someone is wishing you dead for the hurt you caused. Maybe you’ve been an absent parent or unfaithful to your spouse. Maybe you conned yourself in believing that your lust- oops, I mean attraction is normal, even healthy. Maybe you deceived yourself and her (or him) that being separated isn’t the same as being married. Maybe, just maybe we’re no better than Jacob.
I know I’m not much better. I submit that the biggest lies I’ve ever told were the ones I told to myself. I was my best- or worse- con job. I’m not enough. I don’t really see what my eyes think they see. I can’t do it by myself. My kids won’t forgive me. God knows my heart. No one is hurt if they don’t know, etc.
But God. God gave Jacob a new name, a new story- and from him came the 12 tribes of Israel. God wants to do the same for us. Verses 3-6 is less about how majestic God is, but rather how redemptive His love is. You have not colored so far outside of the line that He can’t forgive, even erase your mess- throwing your sin into the sea of forgetfulness.
Be encouraged. Be redeemed by His love. Let Him change your story. And like Jacob, He will make you the measure of excellence over the very mess you crawled out of.
YOUR TURN! Which is worse in your eyes: Deceiving yourself or deceiving others? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below.