Friday, June 3, 2011

Psalm 134

Praise the Lord in the Evening

Psalm 134 is the last of the 15 Songs of Ascent.  This psalm includes a two-fold blessing:
  1. Our blessing of God, v 1-2
  2. God's blessing of us, v 3
Night worship services were held by the Israelites during the fall festivals.  I Chronicles 9 also tells us of Levites whose work in the temple was day and night.

Behold, bless the Lord,
All you servants of the Lord,
Who by night stand in the house of the Lord!
~ Ps. 134:1

"And these are the singers, chief of the fathers of the Levites,
who remaining in the chambers were free,
for they were employed in that work day and night."
I Chron. 9:33

Lift up your hands in the sanctuary,
And bless the Lord.
~ Ps. 134:2

The benediction comes from the City of the Great King, from his appointed ministers, by virtue of His covenant, and so it is said to be "out of Zion." To this day the Lord blesses each one of His people through His church, His gospel, and the ordinances of His house.     
~ Spurgeon

  • God is worthy of my praise, at all times, day & night
  • God blesses His people according to His covenant with them - this is a matter of great praise because it is dependent on who HE is, not on anything I am or have done!
PRAYER: a beautiful prayer by pastor Scotty Smith, and a wonderful, worshipful way to conclude the Songs of Ascent:

     Indeed, our souls find rest in you alone, loving Father, for you have given us everything we need for life and godliness in Jesus, everything. Jesus is the end of our restlessness about a relationship with you; for he is our complete forgiveness and our eternal righteousness. Our salvation and honor depend on what Jesus has done for us, not on what we do for you. Continue to free us from the fear of not doing enough to please you and the arrogance of thinking we could ever do enough to earn your favor.
     And continue to free us from giving the power of salvation to our circumstances. It’s great when people we love make wise choices and it hurts tremendously when they don’t. It’s wonderful when we enjoy good health and minimal suffering, and it’s often incredibly costly and disruptive when we don’t. It’s a really good thing when we have adequate finances to take care of life’s needs, and even a little extra with which to enjoy creature comforts. But Father, help us to really believe that all we need in life is Jesus plus what you choose to give us. That you love us and that you are in control of all things is enough to know theologically; make it enough for us to know experientially. You are our rock, our fortress and our refuge.
     Because the gospel is true, we do trust you, Father. And because the gospel is good, we enjoy incredible freedom to pour out our hearts to you—when we are sad, mad, confused, afraid, or whatever; for our hope comes from you and you alone. There is no other refuge as welcoming, loving or sufficient as you, Father, none. May your Spirit whisper and shout this good news to our hearts all day long. We pray with joy and longing, in Jesus’ name.

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