Lord, thank You for servants who attend to the work of the ministry.
Read PSALM 134
1 Praise the Lord, all you servants of the Lord
who minister by night in the house of the Lord.
2 Lift up your hands in the sanctuary
and praise the Lord.
3 May the Lord bless you from Zion,
he who is the Maker of heaven and earth.
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“A royal priesthood… God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light” (1 Pet. 2:9).
These verses remind us that God is waiting to bless us as we travel onward and upward in the community of faith. This “song of ascents” is the last in the series of pilgrim songs (Psa. 120–134), which God’s people would have sung together as they journeyed up to Jerusalem to worship. The psalmist imagines their joyful arrival—perhaps late in the evening (1)—at “the house of the Lord.” As we enter the coming year, let us use the psalmist’s thoughts to reflect, worship and pray.
Verse 1. The temple servants and those who “minister by night” may be priests, Levites or simply those on guard duty. Whatever their role, they have been chosen to stand, ready for action, and serve (The Expositor’s Bible Commentary). For the priests and the Levites, day-and-night praise is their job description (1 Chr. 23:30). The arriving pilgrims encourage them to continue in their calling. As God’s royal priesthood today, how might we encourage one another in the service of God?
Verse 2. The work continues in lifting up prayers to God—prayers of request, confession and intercession—in accordance with King Solomon’s example (1 Kings 8:27–30) and as Paul taught the early Christians (1 Tim. 2:1). For us, too, there is a work of prayer to be done as we contemplate our individual assignment in light of the needs of our world. The final words of the psalm (3) recall the Aaronic blessing: “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you… and give you peace” (Num. 6:24–26).
Whatever the future holds, God’s people remain in the Creator’s loving care. Moreover, as disciples of Jesus we know that we are led by the Light of the World.
The new year awaits! What are you expecting?
Lord, teach us to maintain the proper attitude toward Your heavenly temple as we strive to imitate these godly Hebrew pilgrims.