By Henry Law
The beauty and the glory of the Church of Christ are here typically represented. Let prayer be fervent for the Church.
1-2. "I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord. Our feet shall stand within your gates, O Jerusalem!"
Joy gladdened the Israelite's heart when invited to proceed in happy company to the appointed worship at Jerusalem. He would rejoice in the hope of seeing the royal city and the Temple of his God. His spirit would exult in prospect of joining in the prayers and praises of the sanctuary. Gladness would largely revel when he exclaimed, Our feet shall stand within your gates, O Jerusalem! Similar is the pious joy with which every true believer hastens to the Church's festivities. It is celestial happiness to join in common prayer, to lift up the voice in common praise, and to hear the proclamation of the glorious truths of Christ's gospel. But what lips can tell the joy of entering the New Jerusalem; and seeing our God face to face, and joining in the everlasting hallelujahs? With this bright prospect gladdening our souls may we go on our way rejoicing!
3. "Jerusalem is built as a city that is compact together."
Nothing could exceed the magnificence of the city of God. It abounded with all that art and wealth could contribute. Thus it stood the admiration of the world. Its perfect arrangements present a faint image of the glory of the New Jerusalem. The Spirit, by the pen of the enraptured John, describes the glorious scene. But splendid images cannot reach the reality. To know what heaven is, heaven must be entered. May we rejoice in the thought that each day brings us nearer to it!
4-5. "Where the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord, to the testimony of Israel, to give thanks unto the name of the Lord. For there are set thrones of judgment, the thrones of the house of David."
Three times each year the males of the house of Israel were enjoined to attend the solemn feasts, to enter the Temple, which contained the testimony of the Lord, and there to bless His holy name. The day approaches when all who have rejoiced in Christ shall meet in the New Jerusalem. They shall come from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south, with joy and gladness, with thanksgiving, and the voice of melody. Let us see to it that we, also, shall have our place in this innumerable multitude. Believers are kings and priests now unto God. Then shall the promise be fulfilled, I say unto you, That you who have followed Me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit on the throne of His glory, you also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.
6-7. "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem; those shall prosper who love you. Peace be within your walls, and prosperity within your palaces."
We are exhorted to be constant in our prayers, that God's choicest blessings may descend upon the Church and make it fit for the inheritance of glory. Prayers for others are true prayers for ourselves. When we seek mercy on the Church in general, mercy will be given to us, as to all the members of it.
8-9. "For my brethren and companions' sakes, I will now say, Peace be within you. Because of the house of the Lord our God I will seek your good."
Two grand motives are assigned for these prayers, the love of our brethren and our delight in the glory of God. May these motives ever swell in our hearts. Asking peace for others, we shall enjoy peace ourselves. If we honor God, He will honor us.