Weds 5th August - Psalm 134
1 Praise the Lord, all you servants of the Lord
who minister by night in the house of the Lord.
2 Lift up your hands in the sanctuary
and praise the Lord.
3 May the Lord bless you from Zion,
he who is the Maker of heaven and earth.
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Meditation on Psalm 134
As we come to this very short Psalm, it is packed with simplicity and yet with a great sense of awe and wonder.
It is the last of the Psalms with the heading ‘Song of Ascents’.
The worshippers have been up to Jerusalem as one of their three pilgrimages each year to celebrate ‘The Festival of unleavened bread’ … ‘The Festival of Harvest’ … and ‘The Festival of Ingathering’.
(cf to Exodus 23:14-17; Deuteronomy 16:13-17; Zechariah 14:16)
Now the worshippers are leaving after the evening service to go back to their homes.
The Levites will remain, in order to keep the Temple watch through the night.
This last of the ‘Song of Ascents’ is full of praise.
Some translations start the Psalm with ‘Bless the LORD …’ The NIV starts with ‘Praise the LORD…’
The two phrases are linked. In many of the Psalms we are called upon to ‘Bless the LORD…’
Normally, to bless someone is for the greater to bless the lesser – so how can we bless God?
To bless God is to meditate on all His attributes – His power, His creation, His holiness, His justice, His mercy, His grace, His love – this leads to praise and worship that you and I can come into His presence; we can call Him ‘Our Father’.
We give Him the honour that is due to His holy Name. We exalt Him.
We should never stop blessing / praising the LORD.
WHO IS TO PRAISE HIM?
‘all you servants of the Lord.’
In the context of this Psalm the servants would be the Levites who will remain behind in the temple in Jerusalem – they are those ‘who minister day and night in the house of the LORD.’ Deuteronomy 9:33 gives us a clue – ‘the gatekeepers and their descendants were in charge of guarding the gates of the house of the LORD.’
Broaden this concept to today - we are all ‘servants of the LORD’.
What a privilege. See how Paul describes us in 1 Corinthians 3:9… ‘For we are co-workers in God’s service…’
Or again in 2 Corinthians 6:1 … ‘As God’s co-workers …’ Or again in 1 Thessalonians 3:2 Paul refers to Timothy as ‘our brother and co-worker in God’s service in spreading the gospel of Christ to strengthen and encourage you in your faith …’
You and I are in The King’s service – we are in royal service. No ‘Upstairs, Downstairs’ as in some of the period dramas we see on TV. No – He has saved us – ‘we are created in Christ Jesus to do good works which God prepared in advance for us to do.’ Ephesians 2:10. This relationship is a partnership!
As we ‘lift up our hands’ we come to the LORD in praise and prayer. We give Him His rightful place and we wait upon Him as we are in His presence and we bring our requests to the throne of grace.
And as the worshippers were leaving the temple in Jerusalem, they didn’t go home empty-handed.
They were ‘blessed’ by the LORD.
We, too, are ‘blessed’ by the LORD ‘who is the Maker of heaven and earth’. This takes us back to the priestly blessing in Numbers 6:24-26 ‘The LORD bless you and keep you…’
The blessing of God doesn’t remain in Jerusalem – it goes with each of the pilgrims as they make their way home.
May the blessing of God go with us wherever we are and wherever we go. Do you want to be reminded as to how blessed you are? Read Ephesians 1:1-14
Thursday 6 August - Psalm 135
Friday 7 August - Psalm 136
Saturday 8 August - Psalm 137
Sunday 9 August - Psalm 138
Monday 10 August - Psalm 139
Tuesday 11 August - Psalm 140