Jehovah’s Place

You sense an anticipation . . . an excitement. It was an invitation that evoked a joyful response. Of all the things he could be asked to do, you kind of think this was one of his favorites. It was less about beholding the place than it was about encountering the Person . . . not so much about what they might get as about the thought of having the privilege to again give . . . less about who they might encounter on the way but all about Who they would worship when they got there. They were going to Jehovah’s place.

I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the LORD!”
                                                                                           (Psalm 122:1 ESV)

The psalmist was glad when he was asked to go to the place where the tabernacle resided . . . as his feet stood within the gates of Jerusalem (v.2), his heart might have raced at the thought of drawing near to the place which housed the holy of holies. Though he could not encounter it by sight, I wonder if he imagined the cherubim overshadowing the ark upon which the presence of God fell. As he drew near, bringing his offering, I imagine he might have rejoiced at once again having the opportunity to worship the God who is worthy of all worship. The psalmist was going to Jehovah’s place . . . and he was pumped!

The house of the Lord . . . don’t hear the term used a lot in my circles . . . not sure of the last time I heard someone say something like, “Last Sunday, I went to the house of the Lord.” Most often we say church . . . whaddya’ doing on Sunday? . . . going to church . . . what time is the first service at church? . . . 8:30 a.m. Not that it’s a really big deal . . . but I think we might do ourselves a bit of disservice by assigning the designation for the people of God, the church, to a building . . . and not talking about the building as a place where we expect to encounter the glory of God.

But what if we were more conscious of that building where we gather on Sunday mornings as being the house of the Lord? Not because the four walls contain a big room where we meet and a pulpit . . . not because there’s a big cross hanging on the outside of the building . . . but because, when the people of God come together, the church, the presence of God is expected.

The body of Christ coming together in that building is what makes it the house of the Lord. Blood bought and redeemed, each member is joined together such that when they come together they comprise a “holy temple in the Lord” . . . “being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit” (Eph. 2:20-21). It’s not the building, it’s the Body . . . it’s not the place, it’s the people . . . it’s not the service, it’s encountering the Savior . . . it’s not just a program, it’s Jehovah’s place!

I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the LORD!”

I have often thought, when gathered together with the church . . . when meeting with brothers and sisters in Christ . . . that there is a dynamic available to us, at that time and in that place, that is only available when we come together. We become the place where His glory dwells . . . as He inhabits the praise of His people . . . as His Spirit is unleashed on hearts and souls set on inviting Him to meet with them . . . as minds are transformed by His God-breathed Word . . . as body members are building up one another, and being built up by each other, as we encourage one another in the Lord.

“Let us go to the house of the LORD!”

Does it bring some excitement to your soul . . . a smile to your face . . . gladness to your spirit? I’m thinkin’ it should . . .

Because of His grace . . . to encounter His glory . . .

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