The Testimony of Israel

“Which is where the tribes go up—the tribes of Israel—

as the testimony of Israel;

to give praise to the name of Yahweh!”

(Psalm 122:4)

Have you ever thought of your church attendance being part of your testimony?  I am not simply referring to a testimony of praise to God, but a testimony before the nations that God is living and active in your life.  It is easy for us to nod some level of agreement to this statement, for the fact that we choose to attend church rather than do other things on Sunday is a constant reminder to unbelievers of our faith, but let us take it one step further…how about the demeanor or attitude that you take about going to church with your non-Christian acquaintances?  Do you make it seem like you would rather be out goofing off with them, but you have to be in church?  Do you fall over yourself apologizing for not being able to do the things that the others are doing?  What message does such a stance send regarding the desires of your heart for the Sabbath day?

Loved ones, what a contrast the Biblical model presents to our more modern practice!  Our joyful attendance upon the Lord’s worship is to be our testimony.  We are not to grumble, but we are to shout to the world that Christ is alive and that he is the only source of salvation for mankind!  We are to proclaim that there is only one name by which mankind can know salvation and that he has given us the great privilege of knowing him in that way.  Beloved, we have been given a wonderful and awesome gift, why be silent about it?  Why grumble and mutter about obligation?  Our worship is the place wherein which we gather with those of the redeemed to enter into the greatest wonder and joy that life can ever bless us with—the presence of Jesus Christ our Lord!  What a wonderful opportunity to testify to the nations by testifying to our neighbors that one can find life and life abundantly in Jesus Christ the Lord!

My prayer for you this day is that you see your worship as part of your testimony and that you become intentional about how you come into the gathering of the faithful.  Do you come in with a shout of joy or do you come in with a groan and a whimper?  How you come in communicates a world of truth about your heart’s state.  Loved ones, do not fall into the traps that the world sets for us—never apologize for your faith, but boldly proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord and that you look forward to the day wherein God’s people gather to make a public testimony of the greatness of our God.

The splendor of the king, clothed in majesty,

Let all the earth rejoice; all the earth rejoice.

He wraps himself in light, and darkness tries to hide,

And trembles at his voice, and trembles at his voice!

How great is our God!

Sing with me—

How great is our God!

And all the world will see,

How great, how great is our God!

-Chris Tomlin

About preacherwin

A pastor, teacher, and a theologian concerned about the confused state of the church in America and elsewhere...Writing because the Christian should think Biblically.

Posted on August 15, 2009, in Expositions and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Very true, our attitude as we go to meet with others for worship, but, sadly, not the meaning of the testimony of Israel I was hoping to find.
    Sabbath is the Hebrew word for Saturday, the seventh day of the week. Yom Rishon is the Hebrew name for Sunday, the first day of the week.

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  2. 👏found the meaning of the tribes going to the Testimony of Israel. It is the Ark. from Gills exposition :- unto the testimony of Israel; the ark of the testimony a symbol of the divine Presence. The law is called a testimony, because it testified the will of God to be done; this was put into an ark, which had its name from thence, and was typical of Christ, the end of the law for righteousness; and over the ark was the divine Presence: hither the tribes came to worship God, and to consult him;

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    • You are right, a large part of the Testimony of Israel has to do both with the Law and with the Sabbath practice held by the people. A clarification, though, while “sabbath” (which means “rest”) is the term that the Hebrew people applied to speak of the seventh day, the Apostles shifted the worship of God’s people to the first day of the week, also called The Lord’s Day. Hence, the Hebrew Sabbath on the seventh day stands as a “type” and the Lord’s Day — the Christian Sabbath — is the “antitype” or the fulfillment of what was foreshadowed. Hence, it is proper to apply the elements of the shadow (namely the 4th commandment) to the fulfillment.

      As to Gill, while I very much have appreciated his writings over the years, I would part with him if his argument is that testimony is fulfilled in the Ark. The Ark is part of it, for it contained the Law and the Manna and the staff, but it does not exhaust the meaning. Covenant is not just about what God has done but it is also about how we respond to that in obedience…which was the thrust of my application from the psalm. Good comment, sorry for my delayed response, blessings in Christ, Win

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