Summary: In Psalm 122, David rejoiced to go to the house of the Lord! Why? Because David loved the PEACE of God!
Scott Bayles, pastor
Blooming Grove Christian Church: 2/7/16
• Bumper Video: I Love Sundays (Peace)
Good morning and welcome to church! I found some interesting statistic this week that I thought I’d share with you. It turns out 46% of fatal accidents happen in the home, 33% of fatal accidents happen in a vehicle, 2% of fatal accidents happen at work, 19% of fatal accidents happen somewhere else, but less than one tenth of 1% of all fatal accidents happen at church. I thought it might be comforting to know that you’re in safest place you can be here at church. And if that’s not incentive enough attend church, I don’t know what is!
Strangely enough, though, people—like Bobby—will sometimes do anything to avoid going. By the time Bobby arrived, the football game had already started, so his friend asked him, “Why are you so late?” Bobby replied, “I couldn’t decide between going to church and going to the football game. So I tossed a coin.” The friend said, “But that shouldn’t have taken too long.” Bobby admitted, “Well, I had to toss it 35 times.”
At least Bobby tossed the coin. Many people today won’t even do that. It is so easy to hit the snooze button on Sunday morning when the alarm sounds at seven o’clock, roll over and go back to sleep. Maybe you had every intention of going to church, maybe Sunday School, too...even had your clothes laid out, but your sleepy side wins and you satisfy your conscience with the thought, “Next Sunday.”
Then there are those who wonder why anyone would even bother with church? Why get up early on one of your few off-days? Why go through the hassle of dressing up and the getting the kids ready? Why sit through another boring service—singing the same old, worn out hymns and listening to another dry, dusty sermon?
If you’ve ever felt that way, I have good news for you: Sundays were never meant to be that way. At the risk of repeating myself: Sundays are meant to be the best day of your week! And church ought to be the best hour of your Sunday! When we do church right, Sundays will become the most powerful and peaceful day of our week.
And someone who knows all about that is David.
If there is a Bible in your pew or on your smartphone, I want to invite you one more time to open it up to Psalm 122. The first verse of this psalm has been our anchor verse for this series because, in this Psalm, David writes about a time when somebody invited him to attend church with them and this is how David responded:
I rejoiced with those who said to me,
“Let us go to the house of the Lord.” (Psalm 122:1 NIV)
Another translation says, “I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the Lord’” (Psalm 122:1 NLT). The idea of going to church actually made David happy. He was excited about going to “the house of Lord” and we should be too.
As David continues in Psalm 122, he lays out three reasons why he was glad to go to the house of Lord—first is the praise of God, second is the people of God, and third is the peace of God. These three elements are essential in allowing Sundays to be the best day of your week.
Now, last week and the week before that we talked about the first two elements—the praise of God and the people of God. As we continue reading Psalm 122, David finally touches on that last element—the peace of God. First David describes being invited to the house of the Lord and standing at its door (vs. 1-2). Then he describes all the people gathered there—the families of the Lord (vs. 3-4). Then he tells us what they gathered to do—praise the name of the Lord (vs. 4). Finally, in the closing verses of this psalm, David writes this:
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem:
“May those who love you be secure.
May there be peace within your walls
and security within your citadels.”
For the sake of my family and friends,
I will say, “Peace be within you.” (Psalm 122:6-8 NIV)
David talks an awful lot about peace here in these last verses. He prayed for the peace of his family and friends and all those gathered at the House of the Lord that day in Jerusalem. The tribes of the Lord gathered at the house of the Lord for a day of praise and worship, and as they departed, David says to his family and friends, “Peace be with you.” In fact, the Hebrew word shalom (which is translated “peace be with you”) was a common way to say goodbye to friends and family. It was blessing that meant “may the peace of God go with you.”