ASCENDING TO THE HOUSE OF GOD
(Our Anticipation - Psalm 122)
Pastor Don Fortner
David sang, "I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord." It is no marvel to me to read those words. There the typical sacrifice of atonement was set forth. There the Word of God was expounded. There the glory of God was revealed. There the people of God met together. And there God met with his people. What a delight it was for David to go into the house of God! What a privilege he enjoyed!
Yet, David's privilege could not be compared with ours. When David went up into the house of the Lord, he had all these things in type and ceremony. But now, in Christ Jesus, the very fulness of the eternal God is revealed to us.
As a believer, I have no greater joy in this world than to go into the house of God. There my family gathers. There my Redeemer reveals himself. There God speaks to my heart. There my soul is fed and refreshed. There I find strength and encouragement, both in the preaching of the gospel and in the fellowship of God's saints. When someone says to me, "Let us go into the house of the Lord," it gives me joy. I am glad to go!
It is beyond, the stretch of my imagination to understand how a redeemed sinner can be satisfied to neglect such a privilege. Indeed, the first sign of an apostate heart appears to be the neglect of public worship (Heb. 10:23-26). Pastor Henry Mahan wrote, "I was glad that I had a desire to go, that I had the strength to go, that I understood the words spoken there, that I loved the people assembled there, that I, the chief of sinners, should be permitted to come into his presence."
"Our feet shall stand within thy gates, O Jerusalem." - What blessedness we find in the assembly of God's saints! Therefore we make it our determination to gather with them in the place of public worship. There we join in common prayer and praise. There we hear the glorious gospel of Christ. As we gather with God's saints below, our hearts are lifted in anticipation of that day when we shall enter the New Jerusalem and, seeing our Savior face to face, join in the everlasting Hallelujahs.
"Whither the tribes go up, the
tribes of the Lord." - All God's elect, all the tribes of the Israel of
God, called the 144,000 in Revelation 7:4-9, are going up to
When we come into the house of
God, believing sinners assemble around "the testimony of
"For there are set thrones of judgment, the thrones of the house of David." - Here the church is called "the house of David" because king David was typical of Christ our King. By the Gospel of God proclaimed in his house and sent forth into all the world from his house, our great King judges the world.
"Pray for the peace of
"They shall prosper that love
thee." - Spurgeon wrote, "Prosperity of soul is enjoyed by those who take
a deep interest in the church and cause of God." We find abundant
recompense for all that we do in promoting the interests of
"Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces." - Let no enemy come near, let alone enter the house of God. Let it be our earnest prayer that every palace of our Savior, every true gospel church, be kept in the blessed prosperity of quietness and tranquil security.
"For my brethren and companions' sakes, I will now say, Peace be within thee. Because of the house of the Lord our God I will seek thy good." - Here are two great motives for such prayers: (1.) God's saints are our brethren. They are our companions in Christ. (2.) God's church is his house. These things ought to swell our hearts. For the good of our brethren, our companions, and for the glory of our God, let us ever seek the good of God's church in this world.