I was glad. One cannot help but feel the spirit of joy and excitement that permeates this expression of the Psalmist as he contemplates going into the house of Yahweh to worship. We too should rejoice when those of like mind say to us, “Let us go into the house of Yahweh”, and should appreciate the great privilege we have of being able to praise, worship and give thanks to Him together.

The ecclesia is “the house of God, the ecclesia of living God, the pillar and ground of the Truth” (1 Tim 3:15). This gladness of which the Psalmist speaks should be the experience of all brethren and sisters as we gather unitedly before our God. Reflections on the many and varied aspects of our ecclesial worship and service in the “house of God” are the basis of the feature section in this issue of The Lampstand. These articles consider the blessings and responsibilities, both for individual brethren and sisters as well as ecclesially, that fall to us as we fulfil our duty in maintaining the stability of the “house of God” in these last trying days.

I Was Glad

 The psalms, in particular, reveal the inner feeling of one who desires to unite with his fellows and approach unto Yahweh in worship. Do we experience this joyous anticipation as we thoughtfully prepare to attend our ecclesial meetings? Is there an excitement that we will be there with those of like mind to praise and thank Yahweh for His goodness, to worship before Him “in the beauty of holiness” and to be encouraged from His Word to continue steadfast in His ways until His Son returns.

By the physical act of leaving our homes with all their attendant earthly distractions and going into the “house of God” we should be impressed with this unique privilege offered to the saints. By separating ourselves from all that can distract in this world we gather before Yahweh in worship, entering into the Most Holy through our High Priest, the Lord Jesus Christ, who has entered for us within the veil.

Again the Psalmist speaks of this joyful spirit: “Let all those that seek thee rejoice and be glad in thee: and let such as love thy salvation say continually, Let God be magnified” (Psa 70:4). What better way to do this than together! “O magnify Yahweh with me, and let us exalt his name together” (Psa 34:3).

Giving Thanks unto His Name

 The Psalmist expresses the reason for his gladness. They were “to give thanks unto the name of Yahweh” (Psa 122:4). What a multitude of blessings there are for which we can give thanks together. Such thankfulness is the response of a reflective mind that appreciates the goodness and mercy of Yahweh. “Yahweh hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad” (Psa 126:3). As we gather unitedly there should always be the ascension of the sweet incense of prayer arising to the Father from the “house of God”.

 Who among us should not be glad to accept the invitation to “go unto the house of Yahweh” that we might “give thanks unto the name of Yahweh”? Who of us would not make this opportunity of the highest priority that we might collectively unite our minds in praise and worship to our God? Let us then, brethren and sisters, grasp the opportunities for service that are given us in these last days with thankfulness and gladness of heart.

One of the hallmarks of the glorified saints is that they have “every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours”, because in the days of their probation they continually offered praise and prayer to Yahweh. May it be that through our continual worship together we may find ourselves prepared to exclaim with that glorious host of the redeemed: “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power” (Rev 4:11).