The House of the Lord

“Let us go to the house of the Lord!”

This represents an invitation, a joyful summons, as we read in Psalm 122, the third psalm in a series known as “Songs of Ascent.” The children of Israel sang this worship set of 15 songs as they marched to Jerusalem for the three great festivals – Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles. These meetings times were ordained by the Lord in the books of Moses and required all to gather before Him.

“Let us go to the house of the Lord!”

Jesus did this during His time on earth. The gospel stories tell us how the Savior, with Joseph, Mary and the rest of the family, came to Jerusalem at these high times. Luke 2 describes one particular Passover visit for us. Jesus somehow slipped away to the Temple itself, unbeknownst to His “parents.” He was 12 years old and proved a marvel and a mystery to the teachers. His questions and understanding amazed them.

When Jesus was found, His mother asked, “Son why have you treated us so? Behold, your father and I have been searching for you in great distress.” His answer to her: “Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” (Luke 2:29 English Standard Version).

Zeal for the House of God fueled Jesus’ anger at the business operation that the Temple became. He fashioned a whip of small cords and drove out money changers and merchants that cluttered what God intended to be a “house of prayer for all nations.”

The Invitation

“Let us go to the house of the Lord!”

What an invitation this is to us. It is a calling to come to Him, to bring all that we are and experience all that He is. The presence of Lord is where we belong; it is what we were made for. Every one of us is actually “inspired,” from a Greek word that literally means “God-breathed.”

The presence of Lord is where we belong; it is what we were made for. Click To Tweet

The apostle Paul wrote that “All Scripture is inspired (God-breathed)” (1 Timothy 3:16). As the Word of God was breathed, so we were breathed into being. Genesis tell us that God formed man from the dust and breathed His breath into him, and so was made the first living soul. We were created in God’s image to be vessels that carry Him in space and time.

At the start, Adam and Eve enjoyed the presence of the Lord in the Garden made for them. They were given a place and given time with Him. We see in the account of their fall how they recognized the Voice of God that walked with them in the cool of the day. That recognition reveals the intimacy of fellowship they enjoyed with the Lord before their disobedience.

God, in Christ, the Son, made the Way clear for the fullness of this fellowship to be restored in the power of Holy Spirit. Through the book of Acts, we read how the Spirit moved and gathered and expanded the early band of believers into a world-reaching force that spread throughout the Roman Empire and beyond it.

“Let us go the house of the Lord!”

Rest in the Sanctuary

The invitation begins with “let us” – the house of the Lord is the place of congregation, of community, of assembly. Commitment to church life has grown casual among some Christians. They feel as if they can take church or leave it. They claim a spirituality that stands in clear contrast to Bible teaching. The writer of Hebrews instructed believers to “forsake not the assembling of yourselves together as the manner of some is” (Hebrews 10:25). To forsake the house of the Lord is to dismiss the way of gaining wisdom from above.

Psalm 73, a writing attributed to Asaph, describes a man wrestling with the tragic realities of the world and his place in it. The first portion of this psalm is all lamentation. Envy at the prosperity of the wrong and the wicked dominates the conversation. Until he entered the sanctuary, and there he discovered understanding. He grieved for the wicked and looked unto the Lord. His song expressed a new viewpoint:

“… I am continually with thee: thou hast holden me by my right hand. Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory. Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee. My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever” (Psalm 73:23-26).

The house of the Lord, it’s open to us by the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ. Let us enter in and rejoice. Let us hear the words of life from the pulpit and the people. The sanctuary of God speaks to us, as Jesus spoke, “Come, all you who are weak and heavy laden and find rest” (see Matthew 11:28-30). Let us think as Asaph did as he closed Psalm 73 with these words:

 But it is good for me to draw near to God: I have put my trust in the Lord God, that I may declare all thy works” (Psalm 73:28).

Interested in hearing more about the house of the Lord? Please link to “Build Now His House,” a message from Thomas Schaller, Pastor of Greater Grace Church of Baltimore.

Steve Andrulonis
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