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Resting in the Assembly of the Dead

“A man who wanders from the way of understanding will rest in the assembly of the dead.” (Proverb 21:16)

The word “assembly” literally means “congregation.”

I did a word search in the King James and it only shows up in English in the New Testament one time (referring to those attending a Jewish synagogue for non-Christian worship).

The other 330 times it shows up are all in the Old Testament all referring to whole units of people - nations.

A few of those refer to pagan nations like the Amorites. Pretty much all the rest refer to the nation of Israel as a “congregation” or whole nation.

(Conspicuously absent is ANY mention of fragments of the whole Body of Christ as “congregations” – the way it is used in Christianity today. There are no subset congregations in the Bible – just the ONE Church.)

Oh, there IS one other use of the word “congregation” in the Bible:

“the assembly (or congregation) of the dead.” (Proverb 21:16)

“A man who wanders from the way of understanding will rest in the assembly of the dead.” (Proverb 21:16)

One meaning of the word “rest” is to “remain.”

The meaning I find chilling is to “settle down.”

A person who “settles down” is meant to be somewhere else but wanders into a place….remains there for a while and then thinks to himself. “I just might settle down here.” Then he makes his home in that place.

This proverb tell us that a person who drifts away from God’s way might later feel at home among spiritually dead people.

How DOES that happen, anyway? How does a person come to drift away from “the way of understanding”?

I was fishing once in the Intercoastal Waterway near New Orleans. We had an anchor set but when a HUGE ocean-going ship came by we found ourselves adrift in its wake. The rope to our anchor was old and dry rotted.

LOTS of things can cause us to go adrift. Anger will do it. Jealousy will do it. One favorite tool of satan for setting believers adrift is discontentment.

Spiritual slumber or stupor (Romans 11:8) also will cause people to go adrift if they trust in an earthly system of religion to handle our spiritual lives. It is a slow motion thing, like the rotting of that anchor rope. They don’t even sense they are going adrift because as they come under the influence of this earthly system they basically stop drawing on the Lord personally, Spirit to spirit.

They fall asleep, so to speak, go adrift, and the next thing they know they feel quite at home in the congregation of the dead.

What can we do to ensure that we will never “wander from the way of understanding”?

Let’s commit to being ACTIVE in our life with Christ.

“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.” (James 4:8a)

Let’s commit to taking ownership of our own spiritual life with Christ, not offloading responsibility to leaders in the Body of Christ.

These are here to direct our focus back to Jesus whenever the enemy distracts us. They are NOT here to interact with God on our behalf.

That’s OUR privilege.

May we practice and enjoy that privilege and may we rest in the assembly of the LIVING!!!

“…you………He has made alive together with Him…” (Colossians 2:13)

Pastor Mike McInerney

Mike McInerney Ministries, Inc.

Decatur, TX

© October 21, 2018

(For use with permission)

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