Scriptures

Psalm 134

Introduction

In this psalm, the psalmist speaks of the blessing which was given to the priests as they began their priestly duties within the temple. As many pilgrims came to offer their sacrifices at the temple, the priests would encourage each other to carry out their duties.

Heading

‘A song of ascents.’

Although the headings aren’t inspired by God, they are important because they give us some understanding of the Psalm and they help us to see why it was written. The headings usually tell us four things.

1. Who wrote them, probably wrote them or possibly wrote them.

2. Information about the historical background to the Psalm. Why it was written.

3. They tell us of the tune the Psalm was written to.

4. How it was used.

The heading tells us this is a song of ascents. Psalms 120-134 all have the same heading. This is the last of the fifteen psalms relating to songs of ascents

Coffman, in his commentary, says the following.

‘Several theories of why this group of psalms is so named are available. The Jewish explanation is that there were fifteen steps from the Court of the Women to the Court of the Men in the Temple, and that each of these psalms was sung in succession on those steps. Another view is that these songs were sung in successive phases of the Jews’ return from captivity. Apparently the true explanation is that these psalms were written for the pilgrims journeying to Jerusalem for the great annual feasts, Passover, Pentecost and Tabernacles. ‘It seems most probable that these songs form a collection for the use of pilgrims who came up to Jerusalem at the great feasts.’

‘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 134:1-3

The psalmist begins by encouraging all the priests to praise the LORD, as they minister in the temple by night.

Some translations add the word ‘stand’, Psalm 135:2 / Deuteronomy 10:8, the idea is, that those who stood at night would continue to praise the LORD, while others were sleeping, Exodus 27:21 / Leviticus 8:35 / 1 Samuel 3:3.

We must remember that the priests served God in the temple both day and day, 1 Chronicles 9:33 / Revelation 7:15.

The priest’s work was in the sanctuary, and so, they lifted up their hands as an outward expression of reverence, holiness and praise directed toward God, Psalm 28:2 / Psalm 141:2 / Lamentations 2:19 / 1 Timothy 2:8.

The LORD was called upon to bless those who gave their service at the house of God and since, Zion, that is, Jerusalem, which symbolised the presence of God, it was out of Jerusalem that the blessing of God would go, Isaiah 2:1-4.

The blessing would come from the LORD Himself, who is the Maker of heaven and earth, Genesis 1-2.

Conclusion

The psalmist reminds us of this joyous time when the priests worked day and night in the temple serving the LORD. As Christians, it’s helpful to remember that we weren’t just called to be saved but also called to serve the LORD as His priests, 1 Peter 2:4-5.

1. We are to serve as His priests, 1 Peter 2:9.

2. We are to present our bodies as living sacrifices, Romans 12:1.

3. We are to offer the sacrifice of a living faith, Philippians 2:5-8.

4. We are offering the sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving, Hebrews 13:15.

5. We are the fragrant offering, a sacrifice acceptable to God, 2 Corinthians 2:15.

Go To Psalm 135

DAILY BIBLE VERSE

"And teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

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