a puritan's blog

O God, stamp eternity on my eyeballs…

Solemn Assembly

The call for the Solemn Assembly

I. Who is to Call for it?   We see the first mention of a Solemn Assembly found in Leviticus 23 and Numbers 29. Both occasions are dealing with the call to assemble in the seventh month. Now the high priests may call for that assembly, but God had already ordained the assembly at such specific times. Is there any call for an assembly by priests or layman today? There is silence among the brethren. We see where false priests of Baal called for a solemn assembly by direction of King Jehu. They took a holy event, designed by God for their own false religion. It was a religious act to them. At such times of national need, the prophet would bring the people together for prayer, fasting and waiting upon the Lord. In other occasions, the prophet would call for an assembly and it would be for God to work in the midst of the people that had gone astray. The church gathered and waited before the Lord at the time of Pentecost. Within the last 500 years of the church practicing a solemn assembly has been called for by men that have been stirred and moved for God’s people to return to their first love. On one such occasion, in the history of the US, President Lincoln signed the senates proclamation for a day of humiliation and prayer for the nation. Although not carrying the name of ‘Solemn Assembly’, it was the same practice intended. So we see the calling for a Solemn Assembly with God mandating it; prophets and kings; church leaders; and government officials. The problem that is the worst, is when no one calls for one.

II. What is to be Done?   The work to be done is devoted to regain what has been lost. In the order of spiritual Christians functioning rightly, they are walking with the Lord. They accomplish this through reading/studying/ memorizing of Scripture. They pray without ceasing unto Him. They are gathered together for the things of the sake of assembling for worship. But when hearts grow cold and complacent, they will begin to let many of these things slip away. Now sin of neglect has entered in. It must be recognized, confessed, repented of and restoration made right.

III. How is it to Be done?  Many approaches and efforts can be used. We see different styles in the Scriptures. We are setting some of the same characteristics before us to recognize and incorporate in a Solemn Assembly. There should be a declared fast for that day of the assembly. There should be designated time set aside for confession and humiliation before the Lord over the sins of the nation and the church. Reading and preaching upon the word should be done. It should be taught and instructed unto the people what this day is and what it is for.  

IV. What will or should be Accomplished?  The desire of this declared Solemn Assembly is to find mercy from God. We have done everything we can to provoke Him to anger and wrath upon this place. His anger is hot against us and we deserve His righteous judgment. ‘In wrath remember mercy’. And if God would be intreated with us, we would seek His face to walk as we should. And in this His Name would be feared and honored among the people. Restoration of our broken relationship with Him is being sought for. Will we get it? Will we find it? We stand in His Presence and lay before Him asking and waiting to see if He will pardon and restore. ‘And who knows if He will return and leave a blessing behind Him.’

V. The Great need for mercy or judgment  What should be considered in the midst of all this is what will happen if we don’t prevail? What happens if sin continues and God’s people continue in their wayward, carnal, unbelieving ways? We will see sorrow, and suffering unlike anything that we have ever seen in this lifetime. With all that has happened to our nation in the last 10 years, you think we would desire to have God’s favor. Yet, we have continued to provoke Him, going deeper and deeper into sin and producing greater wickedness

This excerpt taken from Dan Biser.

This call was issued to the SBC and starts in a few days on July 24th, 2010 and can be seen live streamed here.

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