In Psalm 122, King David bursts with excitement. “I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the Lord.'” He is proud to have his feet inside the gates of Jerusalem. “O Jerusalem…,” he says. Like we might say, “Oh, look! We’re inside Comerica Park.” You can hear and imagine the joy bubbling out of David as he sings.

I was glad when they said to me,
“Let us go to the house of the Lord.”
Our feet are standing
Within your gates, O Jerusalem,
Jerusalem, that is built
As a city that is compact together;
To which the tribes go up, even the tribes of the Lord—
An ordinance for Israel—
To give thanks to the name of the Lord. (v.1-4)

What joy it must have been to be in Jerusalem when King David was celebrating. His excitement is infectious. There was great joy, great celebration, great pride in the city. What’s more, not being a very good Presbyterian, King David even offered up some worship dance moves in his joy before the Lord (2 Samuel 6).

God’s people had gathered in Jerusalem to thank God. They were together as His people. And what a long list of gifts from God’s hand they had for which to show thankfulness. They had not been a people but God miraculously gave Abraham and Sarah a son, Isaac. This small family grew into a large nation while sojourning in Egypt. Then, God delivered the nation from slavery and gave them the land of Canaan. Now, with King David there is a permanent place of worship–the temple (for which he began the planning). Also, there is a permanent place of national power and justice in the throne of King David and his sons after him. No more wandering for Israel. Victory and peace.

Jerusalem, that is built
As a city that is compact together;
To which the tribes go up,
even the tribes of the Lord—
An ordinance for Israel—
To give thanks to the name of the Lord.
For there thrones were set for judgment,
The thrones of the house of David. (v.3-5)

As Christians, we no longer go up to the physical city of Jerusalem. Our “houses of the Lord” look much different from each other. Some are ornate. Some have powerful sound systems. Some have famous preachers. Some have Starbucks coffee. Others do not. In fact, there might be no physical incentive to rejoice when someone says to you, “Let us go to our house of the Lord.” Nevertheless, something tells me that King David would still be excited to go with you.

When we gather for worship in whatever building or location, we still gather as the people of God. We gather as the people redeemed by Jesus Christ. When we gather for worship we are “…coming to [Jesus] as to a living stone which has been rejected by men, but is choice and precious in the sight of God, you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ…But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. ” (1 Peter 2:4-5, 9-10)

We are the redeemed people of God. We were strangers to each other. We were at odds with each other. We were nobodies in the grand scheme of things. We were opposed to God, living in the darkness of sin. We were under the wrath of God for our sin. Now we have received mercy in Jesus Christ and have become the favored people of God.

“Let us go to the house of the Lord,” King David exclaimed in anticipation of the temple.

“We are the house of the Lord. Let us gather to give Him thanks,” we can exclaim today because of the work of Jesus Christ. We have more than physical land, we have the promise of eternity as God’s favored people. Let us be found today rejoicing with even more excitement than King David at the prospect of joining together as God’s temple to praise Him and thank Him.

Tyson Turner

Author Tyson Turner

Tyson is husband to Jen and father to their six children. Tyson is a graduate of the Reformed Evangelical Pastor's College and served for several years as Christ The Word's Assistant Pastor, but followed God's call to be the Senior Pastor at Grace Redeemer Church in Crestview, Florida in September 2017.

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