Devotional: Closely Compacted Together

Jerusalem is built like a city that is closely compacted together.
Psalm 122:3

That phrase closely compacted together gives us a revelation of how God’s people are to be united. In the Hebrew language, almost every word is formed from a root of three consonants. If you want to know the real meaning of the word, therefore, you have to trace it back to its root. The word translated 'closely compacted together' is formed from a root which means a “friend,” a“ comrade,” someone very close to you. It has no special“ religious” associations. Rather, it denotes a basic human relationship, warm and uncomplicated. It still has the same meaning today in modern Hebrew.

Over the centuries the Church has substituted various other religious requirements as the basis for unity: attending a special place of worship; meeting together a certain number of times each week; subscribing to certain statements of doctrine. History has demonstrated, however, that none of these provides a solid or sufficient basis for unity. The psalmist’s description of Jerusalem still offers the only real key.

The strength of the Church rests on personal relationships, not on meetings or doctrines. What makes God’s people truly one is personal commitment: first and foremost, to the Lord Himself; second, to all who are likewise committed to Him. This mortar of personal commitment holds us together even when we disagree on doctrine, or do not meet at the same time or place. It makes us friends and comrades, closely compacted together.

Faith’s Response

Give me grace, Lord, to make an unreserved commitment to You and to my fellow believers.

This devotional is taken from

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