Joy in Yahweh’s House
"I rejoiced when they said to me, 'Let us go up to the House of the LORD!"
If I talked like this most believers would assume I was talking about the last time I went to our local church with some friends, but this assumption is wrong. We often use the "House of the LORD" as a synonym for our local church buildings, whether it's the gorgeous Notre Dame Cathedral or the aluminum, dirt-floored sheds I taught in last month in Kenya. The House of the LORD pilgrims rejoiced to visit in David's day is not the special place where God has chosen to dwell today.
A pilgrim in David's time (950 B.C.) did ascend to Jerusalem to worship, and the most holy place in the city was the Holy of Holies, the place where God's Shekinah, His visible radiating presence, rested. Pilgrims swelled with joy when they entered the gates of Jerusalem and said, "Our feet are standing in your gates, O Jerusalem." (Psalm 122:2) They knew that soon they would be as physically close to God as possible. But then Nebuchadnezzar besieged Jerusalem and before he penetrated the walls and destroyed the Temple Solomon erected, Ezekiel the Prophet describes the departure of God's Shekinah.
When Jesus, the Son of David, came to this city in 33AD he did not rejoice. He cried. Luke revealed this moment, "When He approached He wept over it, 'If only you knew this day the things that yield peace, but now they are hidden from your eyes.'" - Luke 19:41-42
Because Jerusalem rejected Jesus, later that week He died and then rose again. Before returning to God's heavenly presence, He promised to set up a sacred place on earth; He promised the gift of His Spirit, the Spirit who would turn our hearts into the new Holy Place. Later in the first century the Apostle Peter stated it like this:
"As you come to Him, a living stone rejected by men but in the sight of God chosen and precious, you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house..." - (1 Peter 2:4-5)
It's time for those of us who have trusted Jesus to remember that our inner lives have become the place where God's Spirit lives today. A lot of my Christian brothers and sisters are angry and disappointed over the Supreme Court's decision about gay marriage. Personally, I'm grieving and praying far more about the hearts of believers where God's presence is supposed to live who are not nearly as concerned about the pervasive heterosexual immorality in our local congregations and the increasing divorces that dissolve their male-female marriages-divorces that often use the same arguments the Gay community used in their Supreme Court argument. "It is my right to choose to express what I believe will produce personal peace and happiness for me as an individual."
Today I want to remember that the Spirit of God lives in my heart because of my faith in Jesus Christ. I want to allow His Spirit to give me the power today to love Mary as He loves His Church, His bride, and for her to respectfully submit to me like the Church does to Christ. The Apostle Paul's teaching in Ephesians 5 on what marriage is supposed to mean wouldn't get a hearing at the Supreme Court, it would hardly get a majority vote in the American church, and all our polls on whose views presently lead make little difference to God.
Because of grace, Christ can still use the testimony of our almost 46 years of faithful marriage to give light to our LGBT friends when the euphoria of their so-called present liberation story wears off. Maybe, when they discover that they still have not found heaven, they will turn to the only Savior who can give any of us hope when all that physically lies ahead is death.
LORD, continue to give Mary and me the power to be loving and faithful in our marriage. What a gift You gave me so many years ago, and now it's incredible to see the fruit: four kids, their marriages, and now twelve grandchildren. I pray that the true love and joy you give will attract our unbelieving friends to trust in Jesus-something that will never happen because of Supreme Court rulings whether right or left.
For more from Dave Wyrtzen please visit TruthEncounter.com!
You can also listen to weekly messages from Dave on OnePlace.com.