122:1 I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the LORD!”
122:2 Our feet are standing within your gates, O Jerusalem.
122:3 Jerusalem built as a city that is bound firmly together.
122:4 To it the tribes go up, the tribes of the LORD, as was decreed for Israel, to give thanks to the name of the LORD.
122:5 For there the thrones for judgment were set up, the thrones of the house of David.
122:6 Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: “May they prosper who love you.
122:7 Peace be within your walls, and security within your towers.”
122:8 For the sake of my relatives and friends I will say, “Peace be within you.”
122:9 For the sake of the house of the LORD our God, I will seek your good.
The Israelites rejoiced when entering the house of the Lord. They rejoiced even entering the Holy City, Jerusalem. This was a joy for the Lord also, to be with His people in the Temple. However, God does not reside within the walls of a building. He no longer dwells in the temple as He once did. He is with us always now, as He has placed His spirit within us. We do not need to journey to Jerusalem, the temple, or even the local church to meet with the Lord and rejoice. He is with us right now!
We must not treat the church building as the dwelling place of the Lord. We are not going to church to meet with God. If we use this mentality then we are ignoring His presence about 98% of the week and reserving our praise and communion with him for 2% of our time. Therefore, rejoice that the Lord is with us always, in every step we take.
Praising God and worshipping Him was to the first and foremost desire on their hearts. God had prepared a place in which they would be able to go and worship Him and this Psalm depicts an ever growing love for the Lord.
The place in which they were to worship was what would become a representation of a physical church. However, their worship for God was to extend beyond just their place of worship but be an outward feature of their hearts and devotion to God. They were to also live out their lives of worship by obeying Him and honoring Him with their lives. God not only resides in the church but even more so, in our hearts as well.
When we wake up every Sunday morning to go to church, that same excitement and joy should reside in our hearts as well. This is a time when we can meet with other fellow believers and worship God as a community. It is a time in which we can encourage one another to stand firm in our faith and rejoice in our walk with God.
However, the key point that this Psalm is driving hime is that God is with us wherever we go and we are to constantly be praising and worshipping Him through our everyday lives. The Church is a place in which we can feel encouraged and strengthened. From there we are to go out into the rest of the world and spread the joy of Christ that is living in our hearts.
[Featured image from www.childrensbulletins.org]