Read: Psalm 24

The day was August 14, 1945. People flooded the street of New York in celebration of the soldiers returning home from war. World War II, which had been the most costly conflict in recorded history, was over. Can you imagine the joy felt by the men and women returning home?

Well, Psalm 24 was written to commemorate a similar occasion. After years of war and civil unrest in Israel, the Ark of the Covenant was finally going to reside in Jerusalem. As David brought the Ark into the city, there was a great celebration to rejoice in the Lord’s faithfulness to Israel. This was more than just a transport of religious artifacts; it was the triumphant return of the symbol of God’s power.

It was clear to the people of Israel that it was in fact God who delivered them from their enemies. The nation of Israel was the underdog in every battle they fought to claim the Promised Land, and yet here they stood. After all, “The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, the world and all who live in it… Who is the King of glory? The Lord strong and mighty, The Lord mighty in battle.” This Psalm illustrates to us poignantly that when we recognize where our salvation comes from, our hearts are prompted to joyful worship.

As Christians, we worship a God who not only is faithful to us, but who also sent his Son to defeat an enemy that we never could. Jesus, the ultimate Savior of Israel, conquered sin and death that we might not be defeated by it. How much more should this lead our hearts to worship? Just as the people gathered in Times Square to commemorate the end of the war, we one day will return home and celebrate the end of all sin, pain and suffering with our God. You see, for those celebrating in Times Square, peace was temporary. For the people of Israel, their time of prosperity would soon come to an end. Yet for those who find themselves in Jesus, our Joy can never be taken away. Jesus gives us this promise in John 16:22: “So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.”

– Harrison Miner

Part of the Advent: The Coming King, Devotional Guide in 2017