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"up into a mountain to pray"

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  • #6698
    JPalmer
    Participant

    6. Luke 9
    28 …[Jesus] took Peter and John and James, and went up into a mountain to pray.

    9. Psalm 24
    3 Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in his holy place?
    4 He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully.
    5 He shall receive the blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of his salvation.

    In making sure I am ready to go “up into a mountain to pray,” I have been thinking about my own interpretation of the four parts of Psalm 24:4.

    He that hath clean hands, – I can’t have spent the day trying to build up idols, or attempting to break down the works of God, or even spent time holding my hands up with indifference to the needs of my fellow man.

    and a pure heart; – Only right motives will enable me to find the trail that leads up to the holy place.

    who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, – I can’t seek the summit simply because I might look “righteous” to others.

    nor sworn deceitfully. – And I definitely cannot be saying “I am here to do God’s will” and then fill my day with hate, fear, lies, and other ungodly traits.

    This all reminded me of the following from “Fidelity” in Miscellaneous Writings by Mary Baker Eddy, page 343, which has been mentioned in recent Roundtables:

    Too soon we cannot turn from disease in the body to find disease in the mortal mind, and its cure, in working for God. Thought must be made better, and human life more fruitful, for the divine energy to move it onward and upward.

    I am grateful that these lessons all build upon each other to provide more understanding on how to climb that upward path to “receive the blessing from the Lord.” Thank you!

    #6713
    Susanne
    Participant

    Thank you, Jeremy!

    Regarding Ps. 24: 4, “He that hath clean hands, and a pure heart; who hath not lifted up his soul unto vanity, nor sworn deceitfully”, here are some excerpts from Matthew Henry’s Commentary that I found helpful:

    “We make nothing of our religion if we do not make heart-work of it. It is not enough that our hands be clean before men, but we must also wash our hearts from wickedness, and not allow ourselves in any secret heart-impurities, which are open before the eye of God. …

    That is a pure heart which is sincere and without guile in covenanting with God, which is carefully guarded, that the wicked one, the unclean spirit, touch it not, which is purified by faith, and conformed to the image and will of God; …

    They are such as deal honestly both with God and man. In their covenant with God, and their contracts with men, they have not sworn deceitfully, nor broken their promises, violated their engagements, nor taken any false oath.”

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Love is the liberator.