David's prayer for protection while enduring mistreatment didn't merely ask God for help; the king's song included a commitment on his part.
Resolved: I will be faithful in public worship.
O LORD, I love the habitation of Your house
And the place where Your glory dwells. (26:8)
As we read this verse, we can see why David was known as "a man after God's own heart." Even while he was under the pile, feeling more like a punching bag than a child of the Lord, he remained faithful to the place where he could sense God's glory—the tabernacle (26:8). You must pause and read three brief statements from three ancient Psalms 27:4, 65:4, and 84:10. To him, worship was no religious habit, no ritualistic, boring process; it was something essential, something vital. When enduring mistreatment, David looked up in worship.
Unfortunately, we live in a day when the value and necessity of public worship is de-emphasized. I realize that some churches may fail to point the worshiper to the living Christ and to teach His marvelous Word. But this does not mean that all churches and all public worship gatherings are to be ignored! Hebrews 10:23-25 leaves us no option; we are to assemble together for the purpose of mutual stimulation toward the expression of love and good deeds . . . if nothing else, for personal encouragement! This is so important when undergoing mistreatment. We need each other. Christian friend, do not neglect this God-ordained, healthy expression of your faith.
Let me add one further thought: show me a believer who consistently neglects the regular services of a church that faithfully preaches and teaches the Word, and I'll show you one whose cutting edge on spiritual things is getting dull—one who is eroding, spiritually speaking. I detect from my reading of the book of Acts that the healthy yet persecuted believers absolutely craved every opportunity to meet and worship together—even in secret. What a healthy example to follow!
From Living the Psalms by Charles R. Swindoll, copyright © 2012. Reprinted by permission of Worthy Inspired, an imprint of Hachette Book Group, Inc.
Used with permission. All rights reserved.
In Embraced by the Spirit, we step away from the heat of theological battle that analyzes and criticizes and move quietly and closely to the One who has been sent alongside to help.