Parsha “Acharei Mot” – Who Shall Ascend the Hill of the L-RD?

Mark & Judy Torah Study Leave a Comment

“The earth is the L-RD’s and the fullness thereof,
the world and those who dwell therein,
for He has founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers.”
Psalm 24:1-2

The earth and all in it belong to G-d. He founded it upon the seas & established it on the rivers. It’s not until that truthful declaration is made that verse 3 then asks “Who shall ascend the hill of the L-RD?”

Every real relationship must be based & founded on truth. Before you can have trust, you must have truth. Truth is the foundation of trust. Without it, it’s only a matter of time before the trust, and the relationship, will crumble. Just like the foolish man’s house built on the sand was washed away in the storm.

“…for whoever would draw near to G-d must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek him.”
Hebrews 11:6

Psalm 24 starts with a declaration of truth. It acknowledges we and all we see belong to G-d anyway. When we come to Messiah and surrender to Him, all we’re really doing is finally acknowledging the truth: we’re already His. He is our King and we are subservient to Him.

Psalm 24:3-4:

“Who shall ascend the hill of the L-rd?
And who shall stand in his holy place?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart,
who does not lift up his soul to what is false
and does not swear deceitfully.”

Apparently, truth is important to G-d.

“Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being”
Psalm 51:6

David knew his sin. He knew what he had done was wrong and that G-d was just in His judgement of David. If you remember, David had done something wrong. In fact, he had committed several grievous sins. But it all started with one bad decision.

2 Samuel 11:1

David wasn’t doing what he was supposed to do. He wasn’t living up to his duties as King of Israel. He had abandoned his G-d-given post and responsibilities. And then, it happened.

2 Samuel 11:2-3

James 1:12-15

2 Samuel 11:3-5

David is in the midst of learning a very expensive, and thus very valuable, lesson. And he’s not the only one paying the price. It seems like this lesson was actually far more expensive for a couple of innocent people. In fact, those who had done nothing wrong paid the highest price.

2 Samuel 11:6-27

For a while, it looked like David might just get away with it. I imagine for a period of time David was consumed with this issue. He did all that was in his power to cover his sin.  Isn’t it interesting that David tried to cover his own sin? I know that it seems only natural that he would. But he’s really trying to “atone” for his sin in his own way. Remember, that the word for “atone” means “to cover”.

Rather than embracing and confessing the truth and seeking the atonement that comes from G-d Himself, David is attempting to cover up his sin on his own and it’s getting messier and messier.

And all along G-d knew, exactly, all that David had done.

2 Samuel 12:1-6

David gives quite the judgement of this impudent rich man, doesn’t he? And then the prophet brings out his secret weapon – the mirror.

2 Samuel 12:7-23

Psalm 51:1-6

The lesson David learned about G-d delighting in truth in our inward parts – in the parts no one else sees – was a hard learned lesson. It was hard learned and became etched in stone in his heart and mind.

But the lesson didn’t stop at G-d’s standard for truth. David also learned about G-d’s mercy.

Psalm 51:7-17

G-d revealed to David so much more than his standard for truth and purity. G-d showed him His willingness to forgive and to restore.

Psalm 24:3-6

Those who have clean hands and a pure heart, who do not ascribe, give credence or otherwise lend themselves, their soul, to falsehood, and who do not swear deceitfully can ascend the hill of the L-RD. Only those who have truth and purity in their inward parts can approach the presence of G-d.

But what David learned at such an expense, and what we can learn from him, is that G-d doesn’t just have a high standard – He also helps us attain it.

He cleanses us when we’re filthy. He atones for our sin. He makes us righteous when we’re unrighteous. When we’re unfit to draw close to His presence, He makes a way for us to become fit again. He only asks a little thing of complete truth, complete surrender, and unwavering faith in His goodness.

“…for whoever would draw near to G-d must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who seek him.”
Hebrews 11:6

Today, let’s start with the truth. Let’s confess before the Lord anything standing between us, anything we’ve done wrong. Let’s seek His forgiveness & mercy. Let’s ask Him to cleanse us in our inward parts and make us fit to draw near to Him.

What is the reward G-d gives to those who diligently seek Him? What is the end goal of ascending the hill of the L-RD? Of standing in His holy place?

The reward is nothing less than His holy, sweet, perfect presence. The reward is Him.

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