Joy in God’s House

BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY… I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” Psalm 122:1 NLT

For the spiritual pilgrim arriving in Jerusalem was a joyous experience. It not only signaled the end of the long journey, but the anticipation of being in God’s House and the City of the Lord. This is the context of this psalm, for we read, And now here we are, standing inside your gates, O Jerusalem.” (Psalm 122:2 NLT)

Throughout the ages Jerusalem has stood as the visible symbol of God in the midst of His people. It was the seat of the government, the “City of David” it was the center of worship, it was the hub of commerce and political presence in the nation.

The psalm declares, Jerusalem is a well-built city; its seamless walls cannot be breached.” (Psalm 122:3 NLT) Standing within the gates of the city and viewing the Temple in all of its splendor would have been an impressive sight.

Jerusalem was the key to the strength and vitality of the nation. So we read, Pray for peace in Jerusalem. May all who love this city prosper. O Jerusalem, may there be peace within your walls and prosperity in your palaces.” (Psalm 122:6,7 NLT) When there was peace and prosperity within the “holy city” all was well elsewhere. 

It points to the fact that when the heart is right, when the heart is healthy, the body is healthy. But in Jerusalem was the “House of the Lord.” So the psalmist expresses with joy, “I was glad when they said to me, ‘let us go to the House of the Lord.” When I read that verse, I notice that it doesn’t point to just a personal motivation or decision; but one expressed in the context of relationship. This was not a solo “pilgrims” journey. It was God’s people in relationship on a journey together.

In our spiritual lives, we need the encouragement and mutual investment in each other’s lives. Perhaps life is tough and filled with challenges, temptations and struggles. Before you realize and when you almost missed it, you are reminded, “it is festival time.” You then hear the invitation, “let’s go to the House of the Lord.” “Let’s go to Jerusalem..together.”

The next to the last verse of this psalm shows this priority of community. For the sake of my family and friends, I will say, “May you have peace.” (Psalm 122:8 NLT)

It is important to remember, “the world can be dangerous place.” Don’t travel alone. Be connected, be encouraged and be an “encourager.” Being in God’s House restores us to the plumb line of our faith and our focus; and should be a cause for joy.

Prayer for today… Lord, thank You for Your presence. Thank You that in life we don’t have to ” go it alone.” You have made us for relationships and You have ordained that we “travel together” to the heavenly Jerusalem.