Evening, July 4, adapted from Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening
“He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who has not lifted up his soul to falsehood and has not sworn deceitfully.” — Psalm 24:4
Outward practical holiness is a very valuable mark of grace. It is to be feared that many who claim Christ have perverted the doctrine of justification by faith in such a way as to treat good works with contempt; if so, they will receive everlasting contempt at the last great day. If our hands are not clean, let us wash them in Jesus’ precious blood, and so let us lift up pure hands to God. But “clean hands” will not suffice, unless they are connected with “a pure heart.” True spirituality is work done in our heart. We may wash the outside of the cup and the platter as long as we please, but if the inward parts are filthy, we are filthy altogether in the sight of God, for our hearts are more truly ourselves than our hands are; the very life of our being lies in the inner nature, and hence the imperative need of purity within. The pure in heart shall see God, all others are but blind bats.
The man who is born for heaven “has not lifted up his soul to vanity.” All men have their joys, by which their souls are lifted up; the worldly minded exalts his soul in physical delights, which are mere empty vanities; but the believer loves more substantial things; like Jehoshaphat, he is invested in the ways of the Lord. He who is content with cornhusks, will be reckoned with the swine. Does the world satisfy you? Then you have your reward and portion in this life; make much of it, for you will know no other joy.
“Nor sworn deceitfully.” The believers are men of honor still. The Christian man’s word is his only oath; but that is as good as twenty oaths of other men. Speaking falsely will shut any man out of heaven, for a liar shall not enter into God’s house, whatever may be his profession of faith or his works. Reader, does the text before us condemn you, or do you hope to ascend into the hill of the Lord?