With individualism rampant, the electronic church stock and trade, iPods, videos, and streaming are pervasive, the public worship of God falls on hard times. With a heavy emphasis on private devotions and, in some circles, on family worship, the corporate worship of the church takes a back seat. Throw in professional athletics and competition with corporate worship in the church is deep and broad.
Psalm 87:2 has a response. “The LORD loves the gates of Zion more than all the dwelling places of Jacob.” God chose to dwell in Zion. He also told the people, “You shall seek the LORD at the place which the LORD your God will choose from all your tribes, to establish His name there for His dwelling” (Deuteronomy 12:5).
When David was driven out of Jerusalem into the wilderness, he was separated from Zion. David cried, “How lovely are your dwelling places, O LORD of hosts! My soul longed and even yearned for the courts of the LORD” (Psalm 84:1-2).
The dwelling places of Jacob were the tents, the homes, of the various families. Families worshipped privately. They also gathered for public worship. So it is today. From God’s perspective, public worship should never be forsaken in favor of private devotions, small group studies, or family worship. “The LORD loves the gates of Zion more than all the dwelling places of Jacob.”
Click here for more on this same topic. Listen to the message, “God’s Preference for Public Worship.”