“It is to there that the tribes go up, the tribes of God”
Verse 4 of Psalm 122 is a very rich verse; in the next few blog entries, we will have an in-depth look into the various meanings of the verse.
As I wrote in my last blog entry, one of Jerusalem’s main roles is to bring people together. But what is the purpose of them coming together? What does God intend to do among His people when they gather together in His city?
Historically, the people of Israel went up to Jerusalem for a few reasons. After God delivered them from slavery in Egypt, and led them towards the Promised Land, He commanded them to appear before Him three times each year in a City which He would show them:
“Three times a year you shall celebrate a feast to Me. “You shall observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread; for seven days you are to eat unleavened bread, as I commanded you, at the appointed time in the month Abib, for in it you came out of Egypt. And none shall appear before Me empty-handed. “Also you shall observe the Feast of the Harvest of the first fruits of your labors from what you sow in the field; also the Feast of the Ingathering at the end of the year when you gather in the fruit of your labors from the field. “Three times a year all your males shall appear before the Lord GOD.” Exodus 23:14-17
“Three times a year all your males are to appear before the Lord GOD, the God of Israel. “For I will drive out nations before you and enlarge your borders, and no man shall covet your land when you go up three times a year to appear before the LORD your God. ” Exodus 34:23-24
“Three times in a year all your males shall appear before the LORD your God in the place which He chooses, at the Feast of Unleavened Bread and at the Feast of Weeks and at the Feast of Booths, and they shall not appear before the LORD empty-handed. “Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD your God which He has given you. ” Deuteronomy 16:16-17
The first reason that the people came together was to meet with God, as His presence would be made revealed to them.
The second reason they were to gather together was simply to be obedient to God.
The third reason was to remember –remember what God had done for them and how He delivered them from Egypt with a mighty hand.
The fourth was as an act of worship and thanksgiving, giving back to Him a portion of what He had given to each one.
For God’s followers today, because of the sacrifice of His Son for us, we don’t need to wait three times a year to meet with Him! He has given us daily access to Him, through Yeshua, so we can freely and humbly approach Him with all that concerns us. Let us remember what He has done for us, the way He delivered us personally, and be thankful through our daily worship of Him.
In closing, He gave His life for us; let us reflect upon what we can give back to Him out of our love as an act of worship, honor, and thanksgiving.
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