City of the King
Lord God, as I go today to be with God's people in worship, extend my faith and infuse my life with a hunger to know You.
Consider: What Jerusalem was for the Israelites, the Church is to the Christian.
Jerusalem...the city of peace: that was where Jesus and the disciples were heading on their unique Passover journey (Matt. 16:21; 20:17-19). The words of this song--one of the songs of ascents--would have been sung by pilgrims from every corner of Israel as they traveled to Mount Zion for the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Unity, justice and righteousness leading to joyful corporate worship characterized this city of the King, bringing security and peace (7).
King David had brought the Ark containing the tablets of the Law to Jerusalem at the beginning of his reign (2 Sam. 6:12-15). This established the ancient city on a hill as the place of government and right judgment according to God's Law (4-5). The people's unity centered on worship. Peace and prosperity depended on this God-centered oneness (8-9). "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem" (6) speaks not just to old-covenant Israelites but to Christians today as we seek the well-being of the Church and long for God's people to be a powerful influence in our world. The words of King David challenge us to consider the unity of our believing communities, our willingness to be accountable to God our King and our focus on him as the center of our lives together.
When we follow the journey of Jesus, Son of David, as told in the gospels, we see that he is ultimately heading towards Jerusalem. Here, he knows, suffering, death and resurrection await; his life will be given, a ransom for many (Matt. 20:28). At the cross, once and for all (Heb. 10:10), judgment and righteousness will meet in Jesus, our embodied peace (Psa. 85:10), and henceforth God's people will know the presence and peace of God among them. Such sacrifice demands a response of praise and worship, as we join with our family and friends (8) this day to celebrate our kingdom life together.
How can you encourage joy and gratitude to be a dominant attitude in worship at your church (see Psa. 126:3)?
Lord, as I prepare for worship today, I lift up my church to You. Inspire those who lead, and minister by Your Spirit to Your people who gather in Your name.
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