Come, Bless the Lord
A Song of Ascents.
134 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 Commentary
by Hank Workman
It was a very small group of men who had a very important task. The Levite and priest establishment is found in the book of Exodus. These men had responsibility of overseeing the temple and helping people maintain their relationship with God. A small but incredibly important role. They were the representatives before God and had high requirements of how they were to live and act.
The priests performed daily sacrifices. The Levites were there to help the priests. They did the work of elders, assistants, deacons, musicians, and repairmen. They were also watchmen. These watched the walls and the perimeter of the temple, standing guard day and night.
The challenge found here is from the greatest to the smallest task in serving God, it should be filled with praise. It wasn’t enough for the guards to hold their post, the calling is to do so with joy, responsibly, and with praise. It was about honoring God through the quality of the work and an attitude of service.
Sometimes we get hung up on titles. Sometimes we get stuck on what others are doing that may even seem grander for the kingdom than what our perception is of our own work. The reality is all roles are critical and important when it comes to the Body and functioning as one. Our challenge here is to not consider our task but our attitude as we serve, no matter what it is. Our acts and roles should be filled with praise in what we do bringing honor to our God who has called us to the task we perform.
Psalm 134 Commentary
by Brad Boyles
“As I look back on my ministry I realize my services were too formal. I believe worship today is entirely too formal. I do not believe that there should be fanatical outbreaks during the worship services, but there are some of us who cannot sing to express our thoughts. I have to stand in services just like a dummy. I can’t sing—I can’t carry a tune. My wife doesn’t want me even to try to sing when I am standing with her in a service.
She tells me that everybody turns and looks at me with not very pleasant looks when I try to sing. Sometimes I would just like to say, “Praise the Lord—Hallelujah” or “How wonderful is our God. God is good.” We need some informality in our services and the freedom to express ourselves. Oh, my friend, let’s not be stiff and stilted when we worship our God. Let’s praise Him from our hearts.”J. Vernon McGee
Psalm 134 is the last of the pilgrim psalms. It closes out with a two-fold blessing. The people are urged to lift their hands and bless God and the request is that God would bless His people. Too often, we trudge through worship without taking time to let our hearts sing with freedom. For many of us, the only worship songs we utter are on Sunday mornings. The quote by McGee rings true to my heart. I do think we bow to the structure of formality over freedom in many ways.
Just this week, my wife and I had some friends visit from out of state. We knew they had been having a tough time recently, and wanted to bless them in a tangible way. My initial thought was to have an informal worship service in our basement. I wanted to dim the lights, put on some worship videos, and allow our souls to praise God with total freedom. I quickly dismissed the idea as ridiculous. It seemed awkward, uncomfortable, and silly.
The more I thought about it, the more God pressed in. Even though the idea was completely outside the box, I felt strongly the Lord wanted it to happen. I queued up the videos and we began singing together. Yes, it was a bit awkward at first. But as we sang, freedom came. We worshiped with all our hearts, crying out to God. At the end, we prayed together. It was such a rich time. I shamefully regret ever thinking that social norms should take priority over worshiping our Savior.
The point is that praising our Lord should not be limited to Sundays. If we are allowing the world’s structure to dictate our pursuit of God, our walk with Him will suffer!