It is generally agreed upon that the occasion of this Psalm was the bringing of the Ark of God to Mount Zion after it had been left at the house of Obededom for three months. The Psalm may also have been sung when the Ark was being brought up to Zion after a time of battle.
The historical account helps us to understand the Psalm’s setting:
1. Tragedy in bringing up the Ark man’s way – I Chronicles 13:7-14
2. Triumph in bringing up the Ark God’s way – I Chron. 15:13-16, 25-28
The Psalm divides into two parts:
I. A Psalm of going up to Zion from below (vs. 1-6).
Vs. 1-2: Chorus of the festive procession about the sovereignty of God
Vs. 3: Voice one poses a question, “who is worthy to enter Zion.”
Vs. 4-5: Voice two answers the question concerning who is worthy.
Vs. 6: Chorus of commitment
II. A Psalm of entering the gates of the citadel of Zion (vs.7-10).
Vs. 7: Chorus as of the festive procession as they approach the gates
Vs. 8a: A voice as it were from the gates poses an important question
Vs. 8b: Voices of the priest respond with a definite answer
Vs. 9: Chorus
Vs. 10: Grand chorus
Conclusion: Have you answered these two questions for yourself:
Who is this King of Glory? Who shall stand in His holy place?