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Missing Worship

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Missing Worship

King James Version Psalm 122

1  I was glad when they said unto me,

Let us go into the house of the LORD.

2  Our feet shall stand

Within thy gates, O Jerusalem.

3  Jerusalem is builded

As a city that is compact together:

4  Whither the tribes go up, the tribes of the LORD,

Unto the testimony of Israel,

To give thanks unto the name of the LORD.

5  For there are set thrones of judgment,

The thrones of the house of David.

If you lived in Ancient Israel, Jerusalem was the place of worship. It was the location of the Temple of God. In the Temple was the Most Holy Place which was where the presence of God dwelt among me. Of all the locations in the world, this was where God chose to make his presence known.
Jerusalem means “City of Peace”. It is where people came to make their peace offerings with God. It was the city where judgment was made to restore peace between neighbors. Even though the city seldom knew physical peace, peace was its theme.
Even greater than the sacrifices offered in the Temple was the sacrifice on the cross of Calvary that brought peace between man and God. Not a peace that was conditional upon performance, like with the sacrifices, but a peace based on the unconditional love of God. This does not mean that God made peace with all mankind on the cross. While God’s love is unconditional, it can still be rejected by people. However, the opportunity for peace was brought to people in Jerusalem..
So, it is no surprise that David said “I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the LORD.” David wanted to go spend time with God. He wanted to be in his presence. He wanted to be around his people. David wanted to go to the location that was designated for the worship of God. In our modern language, David wanted to go to Church.
I. The Rejoicing Church (v. 1-2)
Glad - can also be translated rejoice.
This indicates more than just a mild feeling of happiness. David was excited.
II. The Relational Church (v. 3)
compacted - joined together, united, allied
It is not enough for a structure to be joined together, the people most be joined together, or the city (or church ) will fall.
III. The Preaching Church (v. 4)
The Testimony of Israel was God’s love for them.
He had called them out of Ur.
He had called them out of Egypt.
He had called them out of the Desert.
He had made a nation from a people that were not a nation before
He had chosen them.
As Christians, God has called us out of sin
God has called us out of the world
God has called us to be a people who were not a people before.
God has chosen us.
IV. The Thankful Church (v. 4)
Because they were chosen, they gave thanks.
Gratitude is a natural response to the goodness of God.
Thankfulness should be a part of every service we hold.
Thankfulness should be a part of every day for a Christian
V. The Discerning Church (v. 5)
“For there are set thrones of judgment, the thrones of the house of David.”
No king rules a nation all by himself, not even God.
Authority is delegated to others under the king.
For Christians, authority to judge matters has been delegated to us from God.
We are to judge matters amongst ourselves.
YES, we are to judge right and wrong behaviors based on the word of God!
We are to exercise the authority given to us by God, to ensure God’s people are conducting themselves according to God’s laws.
If you think that I have taken this completely out of context and that I am applying what David said about the Nation of Israel to the church, look at what Peter wrote:
I Peter 2:9-25 9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: 10  Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. 11  Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; 12  Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation. 13   Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; 14  Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. 15  For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: 16  As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God. 17  Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king. 18  Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward. 19  For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. 20  For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. 21  For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: 22  Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: 23  Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: 24  Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. 25  For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.
Just as David spoke in Psalm 122, Can the church not rejoice because of our position in Christ? While David rejoiced to go to a building, we rejoice to go to a people. David rejoice because the temple was where God dwelt, but now, he dwells in us. When we assemble as a church, we are around others who are filled with the presence of God.
David spoke of the city being united together. As the church, we are to be united together. In verse 17, Peter said “Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.” Also, he said in verse 25, “For ye were as sheep going astray; but are not returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.” When we are returned, we are in his flock, united.
David wanted to hear the testimony of Israel. Peter said, “Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.” As part of our testimony, we are to act like Jesus. Of Jesus he wrote, “21  For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: 22  Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: 23  Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: 24  Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.” Our testimony is wrapped up in Jesus’ testimony!
All of this together gives us reason to rejoice. We are chosen, royal, holy, and peculiar (set apart). We have been called to take part in the ministry of Christ. How do we not rejoice and give thanks for God saying we are special above all his creation. How do we not rejoice in our redemption?
Finally, David spoke of the joy in the thrones of judgment in Jerusalem. Peter told us to, “...abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; 12  Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation. 13   Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; 14  Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. 15  For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: 16  As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God”. You cannot do this without accountability. You exercise discernment, but you also rely on the discernment of others. Peter is writing this, and he was corrected by Paul for his (Peter’s) prejudices against gentiles.
There is one final thing I want us to consider, David said “I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go...”
There was no temple in Jerusalem yet. The Tabernacle, nor the ark were in Jerusalem during David’s reign. He was speaking about future events. He was speaking about a future hope in Jerusalem. It was a hope that was not yet realized, yet he was basing his whole life on it. I think David knew there was more to take place that he could currently see.
David spoke of a physical relocation of his body. He did not say, “I can worship God the same in my home as I can at the Temple.” When we study the story of David (II Samuel), we find the opposite. David said that his house was inadequate. He wanted somewhere set apart and dedicated to God. Going to “church” breaks us from the common. It tells us that we are stopping our usual routine and doing something different. We are coming before the throne of God in worship, praise, and with our petitions.
Where do we stand? What will our response be when the time comes and someone says, “Let us go into the house of the Lord.”?
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