The Saints' Security (Ingathering)
At the risk of sounding redundant, the Lord’s Day is the Lord’s. Stop for a moment to ponder this fact and let it sink into your conscience. Repeatedly (five times to be exact), the psalmist in Psalm 121 evokes the covenant name of God. This is meant to serve as a redirection for the mind, a reestablishment of the heart, a reorientation of the soul. As we ascend the holy hill of Zion this week, as we gather with the people of God, we must recognize that our covenant God is to be our central focus in all of our dealings for the day.
If you are anything like me, you have just come off of a long, hard work week. There have been troubles and concerns, afflictions (both great and small), and everyone from the banker to the beggar struggles with anxieties all their own. As we gather with one another and with the Lord, let us recall whence our help comes. Our help comes from our covenant keeping God. How does this God reveal Himself to us, though?
He is first our covenant God. He is faithful and true, and all His promises in Christ are yes and amen (2Cor. 1:20)! Second, He is the maker of heaven and earth. He is not merely the God of a certain people group or geographical region. He does not merely exercise His dominion within certain specific politically established boundaries. He is the Creator of heaven and earth and enjoys absolute sovereignty over both in full. Lastly, He neither sleeps nor slumbers. Our God is both omnipresent and omniscient, which is to say that He is everywhere present and is all-knowing. There is nothing that is hidden from His sight or which escapes His notice.
When a man goes through basic training with the United States military, he is assigned a battle buddy. This battle buddy goes everywhere with you and does everything with you. If you have a battle buddy that is an underachiever and does not care to pull his weight, your time in Basic Training will prover quite difficult. I had one such battle buddy. One night, when we were doing a field exercise, my battle buddy and I found ourselves in a fighting position out on the perimeter of the camp. The traditional system is that one battle buddy is to watch the line while the other sleeps, and they trade off every hour. My battle buddy had his own system. He was going to sleep through the night regardless of how it affected me or the rest of the platoon.
God is not that way. Our God, who is our protection and eternal security, is ever watchful. He will guard our going out and our coming in, our sojourn and our gathering, from this time and forevermore. We pray as we gather that the Lord will be with us, and we can know without a shadow of a doubt that He is. We pray as well as we depart that He will be with us and bring us back together again safely on the following Lord’s Day. This great and watchful Creator, this faithful and true God, the covenant God of Israel is our protection. Whom shall we fear?