Peterson’s translation reads, “Who can climb Mount God? Who can scale the holy north-face?” The response is those with clean hands and pure hearts. God will help them make it.
I fear that sometimes we Evangelicals in our passion to see people “accept Jesus” have cheapened grace by putting the person at the center of the process. God is holy, awesome, above and beyond us. He loves us and wishes to save us, but we must come to him repentant and ready to do his will. I fear that we have been guilty of separating the roles of savior and lord. That is, we offer a savior without telling folk that there are “strings attached”. Jesus demands to be our Lord.
The Psalmist draws a picture here of God as a mountain, a great and dangerous one which we need to climb. God wills for those who come to him be persons whose hands are not stained with blood and filth and whose hearts are righteous and pure.
Unfortunately, the response of some to this statement has been to try to clean themselves up on there own and thereby “earn their salvation”. This too cheapens grace. The reality is that God not only demands obedience and purity and cleanliness of us, but he also provides these for those who put their trust in Jesus. Jesus made the sacrifice. Jesus is the “only” way. Jesus is the one whom we follow, our guide up the mountain of God.
The points are:
(l)grace is costly;
(2)God is in charge;
(3)He places high demands, one that we really cannot achieve;
(4)He provides the way to meet these demands;
(5)repentance and grateful acceptance is the way.