"A HAPPY OCCASION"
"I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord"-Psalm 122:1
I can not think of a better occasion than the one David has before us. This beautiful expression of his love for the Lord's house is found in one of the short 'Psalms of degrees'. There are fifteen Psalms of degrees and they were thought to have been sung by Israel as they journeyed toward the temple in anxious anticipation of meeting Jehovah in worship. Today, let us imagine that we are walking together, tribe by tribe, singing with one voice and one heart, "I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord."
To be anxious to meet in God's house is an evidence of grace, a mark of spiritual maturity. Some might say, "I don't know if God loves me or if He even knows that I exist." What wonderful evidences we find here! It means that God has done something special for you. The desire to be in God's house comes from the drawing influence of the Holy Spirit. In his love song for the Lord, Solomon wrote, "Draw me, we will run after thee: the king hath brought me in to his chambers: we will be glad and rejoice in thee, we will remember thy love more than wine: the upright love thee"-Song 1:4. Thus we find Solomon, "glad" as well to be ushered into the presence of his Lord. I love Solomon's order. God draws, then we run. God always comes first in the relationship. It is equally an evidence of spiritual life. Dead souls have no need for spiritual manna no more than the dead body for natural meat. As newborn babies cry for their mother's milk, the born again soul is hungry for the "sincere milk of the word." It must also mean that God loves you and he has wrought a change by His grace. Surely, we can also say that we find an evidence here of soul prosperity. Give me that above all things and we shall find peace.
We may discover many reasons that David was glad when his friends and companions said, "Let us go into the house of the Lord". First, he must have been glad to have such spiritual friends. Not only did they want to be in God's house, they were interested in David. They must have loved him. They were interested in the prosperity of his soul. They wanted to share with him the "beauties of holiness". I well remember my invitation to ascend into God's house. We must all follow the disciples example and say to others, "Come and see". Evangelism is expressed here crowned by God's blessings upon the effort. How many have you invited to God's house? As in David's case, we must be faithful to encourage those of like precious faith, but we must also invite the unconverted for the cause to prosper. Our vision must not be inward only, it must be to "every creature". Our Lord's last recorded words were, "and unto the uttermost part of the earth." We may never be invited to sit in the president's cabinet; to meet at Camp David; to have a chair on a prestigious board; or to sit at the meeting of the United Nations. But in God's eyes this simple invitation is of higher origin than them all, to meet with God in "the house of the Lord".
Do we not see anticipation in these words as well? The anticipation of sitting together in heavenly places with brothers and sisters of like precious faith; to see their faces and hear their voices once again; to sing some of the wonderful songs of Zion; to approach God's throne of grace in solemn prayer; to feel the unction of the Holy Ghost. As they approached God's house, they must have wondered what the message would be. Where would the priest open the sacred scroll? What scripture would he expound? We might say, "the closer they got to the dinner table, the more their souls anticipated the meal." Thus we have a heart preparing psalm.
These words must also have served as a simple rebuke. What if they sang the words and were NOT glad when they said, "Let us go into the house of the Lord"? Had they left their first love? Had they become cold? Had Baal and the world taken God's place in their hearts? Soul searching words we find here. As our tornado sirens warn us of impending danger, a negative response to this first stanza should send us running to the shelter of repentance from "dead works" to say, "Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit"-Psalm 51:12.
Many Christian liberties we may enjoy in this world, but let us keep our priorities in order. Let us be glad when our friends and companions say to us, "Let us go into the house of the Lord". Lord, we thank Thee for providing and preserving us this sacred place!
Come and worship with us at Harmony Primitive Baptist Church, in Donaldson, where God is sovereign, and salvation is by His abundant and amazing grace. Visit our web page at www.primitivebaptist.org/donaldson/ Singing begins at 10:30 each Sunday morning followed by preaching at 11:00.
By His mercy and grace,
Neil Phelan, Jr., Pastor