A sermon for the Watford church of Christ
“A song of ascents. 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 134:0–3 NIV11-GK)
A song of ascents. Praise the LORD, all you servants of the LORDPsalm 134
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.
“What happens when you arrive”, Psalm 134
Have you ever had the experience of seeing something that took your breath away or made you cry out loud something like “Wow!”?
End of pilgrimage – from Kedar to Jerusalem – (Psalm 120:5–6 NIV11)
As if pilgrims overwhelmed by very real presence of God as finally arrive at destination
The destination is not the goal – a relationship is the goal
We have ‘arrived’, therefore:
1. We enjoy giving praise to God, vv1b-2
Put aside whatever has been going on during the journey & celebrate!
A. Minister/stand = same word
Accepted, secure; have a place, a role; we are servants of the Lord (Revelation 1:5–6)
Levites on night duty – could be mundane security job
C. Safe and accepted – in God’s presence
In Christ “house”: “Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household,” (Eph 2:19 )
Question: “How do we know we are safe in God?” (Ephesians 1:11–14)
2. How to enjoy receiving blessings from God, v3a
We have arrived, therefore we receive blessings from God…
“Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.”
“bless” in every verse (bless=praise, give thanks, extol) – barakh
A. Blessings go both ways
“When he ‘blesses’ us he reviews our needs and meets them; when we bless him we review his excellencies and worship him.”
Relationship is the point, not arrival, or the distractions of being a tourist in Jerusalem.
e.g. Not “going to heaven”, but getting to know the one we will be with in eternity
B. Enjoy God’s blessings
Do you fundamentally believe God wants to bless you?
Questions: What stimulates you to praise God? What helps you to ‘enjoy’ God?
Maker: Who we were made for.
He is not far off: (Deuteronomy 30:11–14)
Come near through the blood of Jesus: (Hebrews 12:22–24)
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“Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.” (Psalms 100:2 NIV11)
God bless, Malcolm
PS: You might also be interested in my book: “An elephant’s swimming pool”, a devotional look at the Gospel of John