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From the Organ Bench

Psalm 122
Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.
The house of the Lord has a very interesting history. During the early settlement
period, the tribes of Israel chose Shiloh as their religious and administrative center:
“Then the whole congregation of the people of Israel assembled at Shiloh and set
up the tent of meeting there” (Joshua 18:1). Shiloh was located in the hill country
about twenty miles north east of Jerusalem. The tribal distribution of land took
place there (Joshua chapters 18 & 19) “by lot before the Lord, at the door of the
tent of meeting” (Joshua 19:51). Shiloh was the sanctuary for worship (I Sam.
1:3.9.10).
Archeological evidence shows this site to be inhabited by the Israelites from the
early Iron Age I, around 1200 BC in Palestine. Shiloh was also the center of the
priesthood (Josh. 21:1, I Sam. 1:3. 9). After the Philistines captured the Ark at
Ebenezer (I Sam. Chapter 4), Shiloh lost its spiritual and political importance and
almost became a ghost town. Jeremiah alludes to its destruction (Jer. 7:12-14).
Other excavations suggests that the city met destruction in 722 B.C during the
assault on the Northern Kingdom of Israel by the Assyrian king, Sargon II (2 Kings
17). The final curtain call at Shiloh came with the first wave of deportation to
Babylon under Nebuchadnezzar (early 6th century).
The Ark of the LORD, was a sign of God’s Presence among the people. The Ark
was the place where prayers and petitions were said. From the Ark came the
prophetic messages (I Sam. 3). The Ark was the throne of God (I Sam. 4:4). The
Ark contained the Glory of the Lord (I Sam. 4:21). The Ark was the mighty arm of
the Lord in battle. The Israelites actually took it with them to the front line in battles
against their enemies.
Originally, the Jerusalem Sanctuary on Mount Zion was the site of worship for
the Jebusites. Genesis 10:16 identifies them as the “children of Canaan”. These
folks were in control of Jerusalem just prior to David’s capture of it. David waged
war with the Philistines and recaptured Israel’s most sacred object. David bought
land from an absentee Jebusite landlord for the Jerusalem temple. With the Ark in
the city of Jerusalem, the Sanctuary of the Lord is reestablished. Psalm 78 relates
the sacred history of the Lord’s House in both city-sanctuaries.
The Lord forsook his dwelling at Shiloh,
The tent where he dwelt among men,
And delivered his power to captivity (Philistines)
His glory to the hand of the foe…
He gave his people over to the sword…
Their priests fell by the sword…
He rejected the tent of Joseph.
But He chose the tribe of Judah,
Mount Zion which he loves.
He built his sanctuary like the high heavens,
Like the earth , which he has founded forever.
He chose David his servant,

To be the shepherd of Jacob his people, of Israel his inheritance.

Jerusalem became the dwelling place of the Lord’s Ark. Jerusalem became the seat
of royal judgment or court under David’s reign. His son would later build a temple
for the Lord’s Presence. As Psalm 122 describes:
To it the tribes go up, the tribes of the LORD…
To gives thanks to the name of the LORD.

Coming into the Presence of the Lord is a cause for rejoicing. This is as true today
as it was in the Iron Age. Let us come from city homes, apartments, or
subdivisions. Let us come from villages and farmhouses to the House of the Lord.
Let us give thanks to the our Father in song, prayer, praise that Jesus Christ is our
Lord, our Savior, our King and our Brother.
Delma Rouleau
Feast of our Lord Jesus Christ the King
21 November 2010