Praise the Lord, all you servants of the Lord who minister by night in the house of the Lord. Lift up your hands in the sanctuary and praise the Lord. May the Lord bless you from Zion, he who is the Maker of heaven and earth.– Psalm 134 (NIV)
“As the pilgrims departed… they departed with words of blessing ringing in their ears: the summons to bless the Lord and the prayer for the Lord to bless them… The blessing is said to come from Zion, the location of the special presence of God… We now look not to any special geographical location but to the person of the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the presence of God incarnate. But since Jesus is in heaven, we look to His Spirit, who dwells within us as the source of abundant life… Since God has the power to create and sustain the universe, he has the power to empower us for life. Since he empowers us, we have all that we need for abundant life now and forever… By blessing the Lord, we open ourselves to receive his power, which comes ‘flooding into our own lives’… And as that power floods into our lives, we heed the call to bless the Lord. And the circle of blessing continues to repeat itself again and again and again.” (M. Futato, CBC)
Bless God until you overflow with blessings from blessing Him, and let those blessings cascade down to others!
Sing “Fullness” over and over again (at least 3x), and be blessed as you bless over and over again! (Click Here)
Oh, praise the Lord, all you servants of the Lord, you who serve at night in the house of the Lord. Lift your hands toward the sanctuary, and praise the Lord. May the Lord, who made heaven and earth, bless you from Jerusalem.– Psalm 134 (NLT)
“The last verse could sound like a request, ‘May the Lord bless you’; a promise, ‘The Lord will bless you’; or a declaration, ‘The Lord bless you’… The way the blessing is formulated seems to regroup all three: the blessing is, all at once, a declaration, promise and request. Request because every blessing depends on the sovereign decision of God; promise because the free will of God is not arbitrary, His goodness and faithfulness create the conditions for solid relationship; declaration because in pronouncing the word of blessing, the psalmist does more than express a vow or recall a promise, he fulfills a ministry (see 1 Pet 3.9, ‘Bless others, because to this you were called so that you may inherit the blessing’).” (Translated from French, E. Nicole, Croquis de randonnées bibliques)
Formulate a blessing in the three ways explained above as request, promise and declaration. For example:
– Request: “May the Lord bless my friend who is uncertain of her future…”
– Promise: “The Lord will bless my neighbor according to Psalm 145 that says the Lord is near to all who call on Him…”
– Declaration: “The Lord bless my campus, let Your light shine in the midst of darkness!”
Incorporate these in a moment of prayer, worship and intercession!
Come, bless God, all you servants of God! You priests of God, posted to the nightwatch in God’s shrine, Lift your praising hands to the Holy Place, and bless God. In turn, may God of Zion bless you— God who made heaven and earth! – Psalm 134 (MSG)
In addition to bowing down and standing in readiness, worship involves lifting our hands. “This further physical activity involves the body in yet another way. Raising the hands is a gesture of appeal, and there are no unequivocal examples of its signifying simply exultation (like the sports enthusiast punching the air)… So it is likely that raising the hands is a gesture of dependence on the Lord that complements direct worship of Him, and in a way constitutes worship because it connotes that dependence… both [bowing down and raising hands] are postures of submission and obeisance.” (J. Goldingay, Psalms, vol 3)
Do you consider “body language” to be important in your everyday situations? (ie., at your work place, school, home, etc.)
Do you ever consider worship as a physical activity? Do you think body language plays a part in genuine worship?
Sometimes we don’t feel like worshiping. But lifting our hands is about declaring the truth that I am dependent upon the Lord despite my feelings. I not going to allow my body language to lie about God… so, in obedient faith, I’ll lift my hands to say I am surrendered to God… Let’s sing in worship…(Click here)
Bless the Lord, all you servants of the Lord who minister by night in the house of the Lord. Lift up your hands in the sanctuary and praise the Lord. May the Lord bless you from Zion, he who is the Maker of heaven and earth.– Psalm 134
“To minister” in the house of the Lord literally means “to stand” before the Lord. “This metaphorical use of this word is common in the Old Testament for a posture of ready service before a king or God (David ‘stood before’ Saul, 1 Sam 16.21-22; angels stand before the Lord while awaiting orders, 1 Kings 22.19-21).” (ZIBBC, vol 5)
I’m reminded of Jesus’ famous line, “Could you not tarry [keep watch] one hour?” in the garden of Gethsemene when his disciples couldn’t stay awake in prayer. The call to worship at the end of this pilgrimage, is a call to readiness, to be vigilant, to be prepared to go, to follow, to carry out God’s command as soon as He gives it.
What do you think is significant about “ministering/standing by night” as opposed to the daytime?
How can this posture of readiness give us a better understanding of what worship is really about?
Let’s get in our ready stance and bless the Lord… “Something always changes when I bless Your name” (Click here)
Come, bless the Lord, all you servants of the Lord,
who stand by night in the house of the Lord!
Lift up your hands to the holy place
and bless the Lord! May the Lord bless you from Zion,
he who made heaven and earth!– Psalm 134 (ESV)
Blessing usually occurs from the greater to the lesser. God (who is greater) blesses us (who are lesser) with grace, power, gifts, etc. Here, at the end of our ascent, we are called upon to bless the Lord. Simply, for us to bless the Lord means: 1) to worship Him on bended knee and 2) to declare the Lord as the source of all blessing.
How has the Lord blessed you in your life recently? Think of specific things the Lord has done in your life, write down at least three and declare that He is the source of your blessings.
At the end of this long pilgrimage accompanied by these Songs of Ascents, we find ourselves on our knees, praising the Lord. It’s probably not often that we worship the Lord on our knees. If you are able to do so at this time, let’s bow our knee before the Lord, worship Him and sing this song of praise,(Click here)