And Samuel said, “Gather all Israel to Mizpah, and I will pray to the Lord for you.” So they gathered together at Mizpah, drew water, and poured it out before the Lord. And they fasted that day, and said there, “We have sinned against the Lord.” And Samuel judged the children of Israel at Mizpah (1 Samuel 7, 5-6).
After the Israelites took away the idols form among them, Samuel instructed them to “gather together” at Mizpah. He asked “all Israel” to gather, not only the Levites or priests or the sons of prophets or the young prophets but all Israel. The whole Israel obeyed and they came together in repentance, humility, prayer and fasting and made offering unto the Lord.
In Hebrew 10, 24-25 “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching”.
People of God, church is not unto any man of God or just an attendance list to mark, that we can decide to skip, because we don’t feel like going or because someone has offended us. But it is an important thing in our Christian journey; church helps us to hold fast the confession of our faith.
Church which is the assembly or community of people of the same faith as you is not the building but a place to profess our love to God, our commitment to His covenant and our faithfulness in seeing His kingdom expand. It is important for us to seek God on our own but also to worship Him in the midst of brethren as the psalmist said: “Let them exalt Him also in the assembly of the people, and praise Him in the company of the elders” (Psalm 107, 32).
We see how the Apostle encouraged brethren to be together as the “day approaching”. Which day? The day of the coming of the Lord. This is not the time to isolate ourselves from the congregation of the saints but getting together and exhorting each other, fellowshipping with one another and making use of our gifts and calling to build the kingdom.
Most of the time, people don’t feel the use of going to church when they are not connected to any department or they haven’t made friends. So they are lost and feel redundant after service is over. The solution to that is to get involve in doing something. Find your gifts and make use of them (Romans 12, 6-8; 1 Corinthians 12, 4-11).
Being part of the fellowship of other Christians make us flourish and bear fruits (Psalm 92, 13-14) and develop a support network that will help us in difficult times. It also help us to grow and find purpose in our Christian walk.
The Israelites came together and made offering unto the Lord. The bible says “they drew water and poured it out before the Lord”. Water was an important commodity those days as a nation of farmers and herdsmen but they poured it out before the Lord.
Sometimes to be part of the assembly of brethren and have true fellowship requires sacrifice, giving up may be our comfort for the sake of the gospel. But that is what the Lord is calling us to this year so that we begin to walk in the victory that He will secure for us. “Therefore I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies [dedicating all of yourselves, set apart] as a living sacrifice, holy and well-pleasing to God, which is your rational (logical, intelligent) act of worship” Romans 12, 1 AMP).
Let’s not forsake the assembly of the saints even if requires us making sacrifices. There is strength in the bond of unity.