The Assembly of the Righteous

“There was no water for the congregation. They assembled themselves together against Moses and Aaron. The people quarreled with Moses, ‘Would that we had perished when our brothers perished before the Lord! Why have you brought the assembly of the Lord into this wilderness, that we should die..? Why have you made us come up out of Egypt to bring us to this evil place? It is no place for grain or figs or vines or pomegranates, and there is no water to drink.’ Then Moses and Aaron went from the presence of the assembly… and fell on their faces. And the glory of the Lord appeared..” Numbers 20:2-6

“Blessed is the man
    who walks not in the counsel of the wicked,
nor stands in the way of sinners,
    nor sits in the seat of scoffers;
but his delight is in the law of the Lord,
    and on his law he meditates day and night…

The wicked will not stand in the judgment,
    nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.” Psalm 1:1-2,5

“If two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” Matthew 18:20

“They went up to the upper room,.. Peter and John and James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot and Judas the son of James. All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers.” Acts 1:13-14

“They devoted themselves to… teaching,.. fellowship,.. and prayers… Day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people.” Acts 2:42,46-47

“He went to the house of Mary,.. where many were gathered together and were praying.” Acts 12:12

In cultures where individualism reigns supreme, and societies where distance and isolation has been the norm, people still have an innate need to belong. The mantra of ‘community’ may have been disrupted of late, but it thrums on in incessant rhythm in the hearts of man. Groups assemble magnetically in common fandom, protests, fellowship, and movements. Some prowl and howl their rancor, some cheer a team or cause, and others worship in holy unison. (Psalm 34:3; 59:6-7)

What motivates us to assemble together? Are we driven by compulsion to talk, gather scurulous information, and gossip, or to build others up, share what God has done, sing His praises together, and pray in mutual support and supplication? How can Christ be central? Pray ahead of meeting to have open ears, eyes, and hearts, to specifically bless and give grace those in need, for God to superintend every interaction and season our conversations with salt. (Ephesians 4:29; Colossians 4:6; 1 Thessalonians 5:11,14-19)

Maybe we are those who prefer to be alone and quiet, and are drained by groups with too much frenetic input and discussion. In this case, we are still called to gather together, and can prepare with similar prayer. The Lord blesses our obedience by using us to build up others and building us up at the same time. (Hebrews 10:24-25)

Father, guide me to do my part in assembling with the righteous, contributing to the growth of Your Body and the praise of Your glory. (Colossians 3:12-16)

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