Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Sabbath Blessing

 1Behold, bless ye the LORD, all ye servants of the LORD, which by night stand in the house of the LORD.
 2Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the LORD.
 3The LORD that made heaven and earth bless thee out of Zion. 
(Psalm 134, King James Version)

Sabbath Blessing

We can see the picture the Psalmist is painting in Psalm 134. This is the last of a series of Psalms which were sung throughout the Sabbath day. It is nearing evening and the worshipers are leaving the temple for home. As they look back upon the temple walls they see the servants of the Lord standing guard on the temple walls. In response they offer words of blessing to them: Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the LORD.

The priests respond back with the words: The LORD that made heaven and earth bless thee out of Zion. What can we take away from this short Psalm?

It is good for us to remember to pray that God would bless the dear servants of the Lord who serve us, especially our Pastors, Elders, and Deacons. We need to pray that God would give them faithful hearts of love for Him, and a love for those they serve.

We should also listen carefully when, at the close of our worship services, our Pastors or Ministers offer a benediction of blessing upon the congregation. It is a constant reminder that, when we do well, we do so in response to the good hand of the Lord that guides us and watches over us. We must be careful that we do not rest too heavily upon our own merits. It is God who blesses us and keeps us faithful to Him.

Does that mean that God is at fault if we stray from Him? No! It does mean, however, that when we are faithful to the Lord it is because He has faithfully kept us from the sins which so easily beset us. Left to ourselves, we would surely stumble and fall.

It is a painful lesson which the nation of Israel never really learned. As long as their kings remained faithful to the Lord, He blessed them. Yet, time and again, their kings turned to the idols of the neighboring nations, and began to incorporate the practice of these pagan religions into their own worship of the Lord. Needless to say, God was not happy, and eventually these practices led to their total downfall.

We must be careful that we do not do the same things. We may not bow the knee to a physical idol, yet how quickly we are tempted to fall into the ways of the world, trusting in ourselves, and spending our lives seeking to attain more and more for ourselves, often at the expense of others.

As believers, let us pray that our hearts will remain faithful to the dear God we serve. May we spend our lives living and serving Him, studying His Word, and praying that God will apply that same Word to our hearts and lives. That, as believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, is our true purpose on this earth.

May this Sabbath blessing of Psalm 132 apply to us every day - not just the Sabbath.

God Bless You,

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