Key Passage: Psalm 122
Key Text: Psalm 122:1 – I was glad when they said to me, Let us go to the house of the Lord!
There are many places that people dread going to for fear that something evil could happen to them there. But then there are certain places you just yearn for and are extremely happy to visit or go to because of the good things that happen there. I’ve personally loved going to France, especially the South of France. I love the food, the weather, the Pyrenees and the beaches. It’s a very beautiful place and my memories of France are always pleasant. But as beautiful as France is and as pleasant as it is to my taste, it pales in comparison to the joy that fills my heart every time I step into Jerusalem. There is something about this city that sets it above all other cities. Is it the limestone walls? Is it the cobble stone streets of the old city? Is it the temple mount? Maybe it’s the historical buildings that are everywhere?
I am sure that all these contribute to the charm and magnetism of Jerusalem, but I am sure that the main reasons are exactly what David says about Jerusalem in this beautiful Psalm. Let’s examine why David was glad to go to Jerusalem. Firstly Jerusalem is a secure city, with walls all around it and twelve gates leading in and out of it. The bible tells us that the walls of Jerusalem are called Salvation and its gates are called Praise. This is the City of the great King and this is the city of salvation. So all who come to Jerusalem are standing in the gates that call for Praise and are within the walls of Salvation. You only need to open your eyes and heart and you would have enough reason to accept the salvation of God and break out in new praise.
Secondly, the Psalm reveals that the tribes of the Lord go up to the Testimony of Israel. Jerusalem is a place of witness and the word of God is everywhere. We sometimes jokingly say that we go to Jerusalem to dry clean our doctrine and renew our commitment to the word of God. The word comes alive in Jerusalem. It is in real vivid, Technicolor. Our hearts get stirred many times as we walk around this great city. It is also not unusual to find someone teaching deep biblical truths on the streets. But even more important is the recognition that God is real and His word is living. You see in Jerusalem what God promised to Israel many years ago, still being upheld by His great power. Your faith is always strengthened when you enter Jerusalem.
Thirdly, the Psalm reveals that the tribes go up to give thanks to the name of the Lord. Jerusalem has a way of making you appreciate what we have as Christians. It has a way of making us appreciate God even more and we become grateful for the great sacrifice of our Lord just outside the walls of the great city. We recognise what an incredible gift we have been given in Christ Jesus and also that through this we are now partakers of the commonwealth of Israel. Thanksgiving is quite natural for us who come from the nations, because we realise how blessed we are to be in the covenant.
Fourthly, we see that thrones are set there for judgement. As we come into Jerusalem, we become conscious that we are in God’s Holy City. We become aware that God is reachable by a local call, like they say in Jerusalem (laughter). So we are drawn to pray and petition God because somehow you know He is listening to you. I would like to say that most of my petitions in Jerusalem get answered speedily. Is this a coincidence?
But this Psalm speaks to all of us who are believers in Jesus today. When we are asked to attend the worship service in our local churches, we should be filled with joy and gladness, because exactly what I have said happens in Jerusalem is available wherever the church is gathered. Wherever believers come together. Jesus said where two or three are gathered together in His name, there He is in the midst of them. Jesus the King of Jerusalem is always present at our small gatherings. So Salvation is freely dispensed. The promises of God are expounded to us in the sermons and teachings and our faith is renewed. More so as the living word is present and he confirms the word with His signs and wonders. We are thankful and each week at our local church we give an extended period of time for testimonies. So people come publicly to share what God has done for them and we all rejoice and thank God with them. Lastly in church God is present and so we can make petitions and prayers and get them answered. This is so amazing, that God is also a local call away in our churches. !!!
So like David, I am always happy, excited and glad, whenever I have the opportunity to be with other believers. You too should, because you are going into the house of the Lord and all of God is available for you in these gatherings.
So let us say this together. “I was glad when they said to me “Let us go into the house of the Lord”.
Let’s Pray: Father thank you for Jerusalem and thank you for the church. Thank you that what you are doing with Jerusalem, you are also doing with the church. Father, please fill us with love and joy for your city and your house. Let our hearts always yearn for your courts. In Jesus name. Amen.