“O Gates, you shall lift up your heads!
And lift up the eternal doors!
The King of Glory shall come in!”
With great excitement and intensity, David continues his refrain with only one minor variation. Here the command is not the passive “be lifted up, you ancient doors,” but “lift them up!” You can almost taste the excitement that must have been felt as these words were being sung! Oh, how David longed to see the temple built to his mighty God and how he longed to see the messianic words of this psalm fulfilled. And though he did not live to see either, the joy that filled his being at the hope and anticipation of this promise bubbles forth like a spring or a well that cannot contain the force of the water that it is meant to hold—it overflows from his life and floods into the words and spirit of this psalm. One can almost imagine David setting down his quill several times during the writing of this psalm simply to sing praise to God.
We have been given the joy of seeing the hope of this psalm fulfilled in the glorification of Christ. For it is Christ who, when he rose from the grave, ascended into the holy place—the inner sanctuary of God—and forever rent the veil that separated God from man. And it is Christ who has seated himself on the throne at the right hand of God the Father. Not only were the ancient doors, once closed because of sin, opened wide for the King of Glory to enter in, but these doors have now remained forever opened that all those who are trusting in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior may enter in with him as his royal and holy bride! Beloved, if you are a born again Christian, that means you! This is something to get excited about; this is something to write hymns of praise about! And oh, how the saints of the past have burst forth in song for the joy of this wondrous hope and promise!
Yet, like David, we await the consummation of this promise. David awaited the coming of the Messiah and we await the return of the Messiah, when he will finally gather his whole church together, united in him, and as his bride, and we will be together for all eternity—no longer separated by sin and death. This is a promise that can make even the most woeful heart sing. We may struggle and hurt and weep for a time in this world, but there is an end to this world and there will be an end to all of the grief that we experience herein. And when that end comes, for those of us who are found in Christ, there will be a glorious beginning, united in his presence for all eternity. Loved ones, how the hope of a reunion with family has kept so many prisoners of war alive through even their darkest days, how much more should this hope of an eternal wedding with the glorious Christ sustain us, through even our most trying times—even into the darkness of the grave. Take hope beloved, our King has gone before us and in going before us he has prepared for us a place—let us remain steadfast in faith as we walk in the muck and the mire of this world, for the way has already been trod by the great King of Glory—even to the grave!
O worship the King all glorious above,
O gratefully sing his power and his love;
Our shield and defender, the Ancient of Days,
Pavilioned in splendor and girded with praise.
O measureless might! Ineffable Love!
While angels delight to hymn you above,
The humbler creation, though feeble their lays,
With true adoration shall lisp to your praise.