The Upright and the Congregation
- The following passage of Scripture, repeated from the
previous dissertation, takes the subject another step forward:
- Praise ye the LORD. I will praise the LORD with my
whole heart, in the assembly of the upright, and in the congregation.
The works of the LORD are great, sought out of all them that have
pleasure therein. His work is honourable and glorious: and his righteousness
endureth for ever. He hath made his wonderful works to be remembered: the
LORD is gracious and full of compassion. He hath given meat unto
them that fear him: he will ever be mindful of his covenant. He hath shewed
his people the power of his works, that he may give them the heritage of
the heathen. The works of his hands are verity and judgment; all
his commandments are sure. They stand fast for ever and ever, and
are done in truth and uprightness. He sent redemption unto his people:
he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his
name. The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom: a good understanding
have all they that do his commandments: his praise endureth for
- (Psalms 111:1-10)
- So, what is the difference between the upright1
and the congregation2 ?
- And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came
unto him a centurion, beseeching him, And saying, Lord, my servant lieth
at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented. And Jesus saith unto him,
I will come and heal him. The centurion answered and said, Lord, I am not
worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only,
and my servant shall be healed. For I am a man under authority, having
soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and
to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth
it. When Jesus heard it, he marvelled, and said to them that
followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not
in Israel. And I say unto you, That many shall come from the east and west,
and shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of
heaven. But the children of the kingdom shall be cast out into outer darkness:
there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. And Jesus said unto the centurion,
Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee.
And his servant was healed in the selfsame hour.
- (Matthew 8:5-13)
- This is a subject repeatedly stressed on this web site3.
One that forms part of this series namely The Yardstick is a case
- God loves you dear reader, whom He created and wishes
you to be in His presence one day. Hopefully this message will reach your
particular awareness so that you can become one of the converted and live
accordingly, realising that your time in this present world system is just
a temporary stopover.
- O Lord, that we may begin to believe, be converted,
to look unto You and the world with new eyes, perceiving the reality of
the everlasting Kingdom against the temporal one which is soon to end.
- In that day shall this song be sung in the land of Judah;
We have a strong city; salvation will God appoint for walls
and bulwarks. Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation which keepeth
the truth may enter in. Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose
mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust
ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting
strength: For he bringeth down them that dwell on high; the lofty city,
he layeth it low; he layeth it low, even to the ground; he bringeth
it even to the dust. The foot shall tread it down, even the
feet of the poor, and the steps of the needy. The way of the just
is uprightness: thou, most upright, dost weigh the path of the just.
Yea, in the way of thy judgments, O LORD, have we waited for thee; the
desire of our soul is to thy name, and to the remembrance
of thee. With my soul have I desired thee in the night; yea, with my spirit
within me will I seek thee early: for when thy judgments are in
the earth, the inhabitants of the world will learn righteousness. Let favour
be shewed to the wicked, yet will he not learn righteousness: in
the land of uprightness will he deal unjustly, and will not behold the
majesty of the LORD. LORD, when thy hand is lifted up, they will
not see: but they shall see, and be ashamed for their envy
at the people; yea, the fire of thine enemies shall devour them.
- (Isaiah 26:1-11)
- The faith that grows as we exercise its power, a sheep that
understands when the Great Shepherd speaks to him or her in love.
- This is far removed from the emptiness of sitting in
church week by week or regularly listening to christian entertainment.
- And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses
and sins; Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this
world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that
now worketh in the children of disobedience: Among whom also we all had
our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the
desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of
wrath, even as others. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love
wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us
together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us
up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places
in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches
of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For
by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it
is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we
are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God
hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
- (Ephesians 2:1-10)
- And, behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy,
lying on a bed: and Jesus seeing their faith said unto the sick of the
palsy; Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee. And, behold, certain
of the scribes said within themselves, This man blasphemeth. And
Jesus knowing their thoughts said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts?
For whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to
say, Arise, and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power
on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise,
take up thy bed, and go unto thine house. And he arose, and departed to
his house. But when the multitudes saw it, they marvelled, and glorified
God, which had given such power unto men.
- (Matthew 9:2-8)
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
- Our attitude determines our altitude:
- Thou, even thou, art LORD alone; thou hast
made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and
all things that are therein, the seas, and all that is
therein, and thou preservest them all; and the host of heaven worshippeth
thee. Thou art the LORD the God, who didst choose Abram, and broughtest
him forth out of Ur of the Chaldees, and gavest him the name of Abraham;
And foundest his heart faithful before thee, and madest a covenant with
him to give the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, and
the Perizzites, and the Jebusites, and the Girgashites, to give it,
I say, to his seed, and hast performed thy words; for thou art
- (Nehemiah 9:6-8)
- Let the Lord's words do the talking:
- In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with
God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All
things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was
made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light
shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
- (John 1:1-5)
- From a daily devotional booklet. Speaking of peace:
- The issue that we must now face is this - although
peace is something given rather than something achieved, its continuance
is guaranteed only as we fulfil certain conditions. If, for example, we
decide to go on an immoral spree, we will soon find that peace will elude
us. Scripture says: "there is no peace . . . for the wicked" (Isaiah 57:21.)
Why? because peace is conditional on obedience to morality - biblical
- . . . in order to enjoy continuous peace, there must
be a conscious centring on God. He must not be the place of occasional
reference, but of continuous reference. Furthermore, He must be the centre
of our trust.
- 1 Upright: Taken from the Greek word
for straight; in the moral sense. See Luke 3:3-5. In Other Words;
the shortest distance between two points - direct, no turning to the one
side or the other. A Yardstick is a straight stick and measures the shortest
distance between two points. Placed vertically it is upright and can still
be used to give a true measurement.
- It means taking God seriously.
- 2 Congregation: The Hebrew people collectively
as a holy community. Every circumcised Hebrew from twenty years old and
upward was a member of the congregation. Strangers resident in the land,
if circumcised, were, with certain exceptions, admitted to the privileges
- Going with the flow, not particularly interested,
listening to what the preacher says, believing that he knows the truth.
- Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and
every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.
- (1 Corinthians 3:8)
- 3 www.hosanna.org.za