TODAY’S SCRIPTURE Deuteronomy 31:9-13

Humans like to gather together. We gather to see sports, to enjoy fellowship, to hear concerts, to watch movies, to observe exhibitions of talents and great accomplishments. We gather for other purposes as well. Humans gather in societies and cultures, in nations and war, in politics and social concerns, and in celebrations and tragedies. These “gatherings” simply illustrate a common feature of the social aspect of humanity.

Is it any surprise then that part of our relationship with God, the Creator, is also based upon this concept of gathering together before Him? Too many times people only find their connection to God through their individual service to God and neglect the vital importance of what it means to assemble before Him.

In the Old Testament, the people of God gathered together for various reasons. At times it was connected to defense (Esther 8:11; 9:2, 15-18), at other times for transporting the Ark of the Covenant (1 Kings 8:2; 2 Chronicles 5:3), and still at other times for the gathering of the elders (Deuteronomy 31:28) and the tribes (1 Kings). In all these instances the Hebrew verb qāhal is used for gathering together. Yet, one of the most significant reasons for these gatherings was to hear the words of the Law. “Moses assembled [qāhal] all the congregation of the people of Israel and said to them, ‘These are the things that the Lord has commanded you to do’” (Exodus 35:1).

In Deuteronomy, Moses gathers the people at Horeb to hear the Word of the Lord and its ethical demands for God’s redeemed people (Deuteronomy 4:9-10). “Assemble [qāhal] the people, men, women, and little ones, and the sojourner within your towns, that they may hear and learn to fear the Lord your God, and be careful to do all the words of this law, and that their children, who have not known it, may hear and learn to fear the Lord your God…” (Deuteronomy 31:12-13).

Today, I will…appreciate and elevate the importance of gathering with the assembly of God’s people and develop a habit to assemble with them whenever possible. I will pray and prepare to stand before my God in the assembly to hear His Word and praise His name.