Psalm 24 – Who May Stand in His Holy Place?

Psalm 24 picks up where Psalm 23 left off. Psalm 23 ends with the declaration "I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever." This is followed in Psalm 24 by the question, "Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord?"

Do you want to know who is worthy to stand in God's presence? Then Psalm 24 is your answer.


The psalm begins and ends with doxologies of praise that surround the person who ascends to the hill of the Lord.

After a short statement of God's sovereignty, the psalm asks,

Who may ascend the hill of the Lord?
Who may stand in His holy place? Psalm 24:3

The middle section give us four attributes of the person who will be able to "dwell in the house of the Lord forever."

Sovereign Lord

Psalm 24:1-2

The first declaration of praise focuses on the sovereignty of God. Everything in the world is God’s. He made it and everything in it and they are His!

This powerful statement of God’s awesome nature leads naturally to the next question, “Who could possibly come before such an awesome God?”

Who Can Stand in His Holy Place?

Psalm 24:3-6

The psalmist answers this questions with four qualifications of the one who can enter God’s presence:

  1. Pure Actions – He who has clean hands
  2. Pure Attitude – and a pure heart
  3. Pure Worship – who does not lift up his soul to an idol
  4. Pure Integrity – or swear by what is false

This is what a person looks like who seeks God. This is the type of person who will receive a blessing from God.

The King of Glory

Psalm 24:7-10

This last section reminds us that we have a King of Glory who has won the battle. At the cross Jesus made it possible for all of us to enter God presence through His victory. He is the King of Glory, strong and mighty in battle. Through Him we can all come before God with confidence.

Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:16

Living in His Presence

The difficult balance for each of us is striving to live out the lifestyle of those who seek God while resting in the knowledge that Jesus has earned us the right to come into God’s presence even though we are not perfect in our striving. It is so easy to stray one way or the other off the path.

  • The first error is thinking we can earn the right to stand in His holy place. Not one of us is pure enough.
  • The second error is thinking we can just sit back and make no effort to be a person who seeks God in actions not just word. God calls us to be like Him.
  • The balance is finding rest and confidence in Jesus’ victory for us while constantly striving to be found worthy of the gift we have been given.

Let us choose to be of those who seek Him!

Jerry Wyrick

This post is part of a series on the Psalms.

by Jerry Wyrick, President of Worship Arts Conservatory

Posted in General Worship, Personal Worship, Psalms and tagged , .