1 Who may worship in your sanctuary, LORD? Who may enter your presence on your holy hill?
David seems to be asking God who will go to heaven. Not who specifically, but what kind of person.
I’m reminded of another place in Scripture where this same question was asked. Do you remember the story of the rich, young ruler in Matthew 19?
16 Someone came to Jesus with this question: “Teacher, what good things must I do to have eternal life?” 17 “Why ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “Only God is good. But to answer your question, you can receive eternal life if you keep the commandments.” 18 “Which ones?” the man asked. And Jesus replied: “‘Do not murder. Do not commit adultery. Do not steal. Do not testify falsely. 19 Honor your father and mother. Love your neighbor as yourself.’ ” 20 “I’ve obeyed all these commandments,” the young man replied. “What else must I do?” 21 Jesus told him, “If you want to be perfect, go and sell all you have and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” 22 But when the young man heard this, he went sadly away because he had many possessions. This wealthy young man had too much to give up.
Don’t miss the point of Jesus’ story – He is not saying that by obeying the commandments you will get into heaven. Some people spend their lives doing good, trying to earn heaven, but it can’t be done. We will never live up to that. Jesus’ point is summed up in his last three words to the young man: “Come, follow me.” That’s the kind of person who David is asking about: one who is willing to follow Jesus Christ. By doing so, it involves following His commandments and sacrificing all – your life, your possessions, your will. But – read on in Matthew 19 for the rewards:
27 Then Peter said to him, “We’ve given up everything to follow you. What will we get out of it?” 28 And Jesus replied, “I assure you that when I, the Son of Man, sit upon my glorious throne in the Kingdom, you who have been my followers will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or property, for my sake, will receive a hundred times as much in return and will have eternal life. 30 But many who seem to be important now will be the least important then, and those who are considered least here will be the greatest then.
Yes! There are rewards and paybacks, Jesus makes that very clear – and Peter is not rebuked for asking “What will we get out of it?”
Lord, it’s hard for me to get this right in my mind. I want to serve You, not for the rewards, but because I love You and want to bring glory to You. Yet, my mind is captured by Your words of encouragement. I’ll follow You, Lord – and one day be with You.