Ascending to the House of God
Whenever we have the privilege of coming up out of this distressing world of darkness and woe to gather with God’s saints, worshipping in his house, at his footstool, before his throne, with his people, we ought to be filled with joyful hope and anticipation.
When we come to the house of God in public worship, we come to a physical place, usually a building, a chapel, designated for worship. What a privilege! What a blessing! We ought to treat the physical building in which we meet as the house of God. — No, the building is not the house of God; but it is where the house of God meets with his people.
If the Lord will allow us this hour to worship him, if we have indeed come into this place in the name of Christ, if we have (just two or three of us) come here in the name of Christ, gathered by his Spirit, trusting him, his blood, his righteousness, his intercession, his grace, his power, and his goodness, seeking his honor, his will, and his glory, to worship him, we have come into the house and temple of God. The Lord Jesus is in our midst (Matthew 18:20). The Holy Spirit is here (1 Timothy 3:15; 1 Corinthians 3:16-17).
Indeed, if we have come here to worship our God, if he grants us the privilege and honor of doing so, coming into this place, we have come to the very throne of God in heaven. Yes, there is a very real sense in which we gather around God’s throne in heaven every time we gather in God’s house to worship him (Hebrews 12:18-25).
These Psalms of Degrees begin (Psalm 120) with the pilgrim in Zion leaving his home, leaving behind him a world of distress and woe, because he dwells among deceitful, self-serving men who are in constant strife with one another. In Psalm 134, as he returns from the house of God, going back to his home, going back to face a world that hates God, his soul is refreshed. He seems to be leaping and dancing in his soul, giving praise to God.
Oh, may that be the case with each of us when we leave this place! As I prepare to preach the gospel, I try to bear in mind that I come here to preach to eternity bound men and women who live in a distressing world of woe. I want to send you away leaping and rejoicing, giving praise to God our Savior, for all his wonderful works of redemption and grace.
That which relieved, comforted, and rejoiced the hearts of God’s saints in those ancient times was what they heard and saw in the house of God. And that which relieves, comforts, and rejoices the hearts of God’s saints today is exactly the same: — that which we hear and see in the house of God.
§ The Word — The Revelation of God
§ The Sacrifice — Christ
§ The Blessing — God’s Goodness and Grace in Christ (Numbers 6:24-27)
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