A devotional of Psalm 134.
1 Behold, bless the Lord, all you servants of the Lord, who stand by night in the house of the Lord!
It has been suggested that this was the parting blessing as the pilgrims left the temple. They called this section out to the priests who remained in the temple year-round. The priests were to represent men to God unceasingly. “In the tabernacle of meeting, outside the veil which [is] before the Testimony, Aaron and his sons shall tend it from evening until morning before the LORD. [It shall be] a statute forever to their generations on behalf of the children of Israel,” Exodus 27:21.
“Since this is addressed to servants of the LORD, this psalm shows us that praise should be added to all our work. We can imagine a temple guard asking, “Isn’t it enough that I do my work and stand watch through the night?” The answer is: “No, that isn’t enough. To all your work, add praise – bless the LORD, all you servants of the LORD,”” according to Bible commentator Guzik.
Standing is work. It is frequently easier to sit. Standing at night is even more work, when the souls of men are in suspension. It requires self-denial, discipline, commitment, and a high calling.
Boice adds of the departing pilgrims, “As they leave the city, they are encouraged to know that the priests will be remaining behind to represent them at the temple and so they will be worshiping God there continually.” We are well represented at the temple. The earthly temple is the shadow of God’s Throne Room. We are well represented at the Throne Room.
“Who shall bring any charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us,” Romans 8:33, 34. One of my favorite pieces of scripture is Job 16:19-21: “Even now my witness is in heaven; my advocate is on high. My intercessor is my friend as my eyes pour out tears to God; on behalf of a man, he pleads with God as one pleads for a friend.”
Are you a 24/7 worshipper of God? Are you a 24/7 intercessor? May we, the royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:9) the house of Aaron, take every opportunity, every waking moment to seek God’s presence not only for ourselves but for others.
2 Lift up your hands in the sanctuary and bless the Lord.
In prayer, we lift our hands as a symbol of having received blessings from above and in request of more. We are forever in need. We are forever receiving. We lift hands to plead and to praise.
Not everyone had access to the sanctuary. Only priests and Levites had this privilege. Furthermore, only the High Priest went to the Holy of Holies and that only once a year. It was a formidable and arduous responsibility. As Christians, each of us has full access right to the throne room any time, day or night. Holy Spirit show us how magnificent this privilege is. Quicken us to frequent it in our hearts and minds. May we not be those that neglect to acknowledge God at every turn. May we adopt this posture of constant pleading and praising.
3 May the Lord bless you from Zion, he who made heaven and earth!
God the maker of the universe calls us to bless him but he will not be outdone. He blesses us right back. While Zion was the epicenter of his presence, his blessings did not remain there but poured out lavishly from the temple and to each and every person individually as they departed. God is in the business of blessing – always. His word stands firm forever.
“Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, ‘This is the way you shall bless the children of Israel. Say to them: “The LORD bless you and keep you; The LORD make His face shine upon you, And be gracious to you; The LORD lift up His countenance upon you, And give you peace.” ‘ “So they shall put My name on the children of Israel, and I will bless them.” Num 6:23-27. Lift your hands and receive it, Beloved!