Gather Together to Give Thanks
Jerusalem is built like a city that is closely compacted together; to which the tribes go up, even the tribes of the Lord – a testimony for Israel – to give thanks to the name of the Lord. NIV, NASB
That’s the way that God intends His people shall give testimony to the rest of the world that they are His people. It says they go up together to give thanks to the name of the Lord.
Under the Old Covenant, God ordained one place in Israel, the city of Jerusalem, where He placed His name and He ordained that at least three times each year every male Israelite above a certain age should go up to that place, meet together with all his fellow Israelites from every tribe, from every area of the country, and that collectively they should worship and give thanks to the name of the Lord. And that was their testimony to all the surrounding nations, that they all belonged to one nation, that they all worshiped the same God, that they all went up to the same place.
Now, in the new covenant, Jesus is the one who bears the name of the Lord and God’s people give testimony to the world that they are the people of God, redeemed through faith in Jesus Christ when they meet together to give thanks to the name of the Lord. The Scripture warns us not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together. It’s important that we let the world know that we are brothers, that we are members of the same nation, because we come together to give thanks and to worship the name of our Lord. We gather together as God’s people in the name of Jesus, the place that God has ordained.