Ascending to the House of God
Our Praise in the Sanctuary
Psalm 134 is the last of the Ascension Psalms, the last Song of Degrees, sung by God’s people as they went up to the house of God. Here we see God’s pilgrims at the house of the Lord, calling upon one another to worship and praise the Lord God, our Savior. Let it be our determined purpose as we gather with God’s saints to give our praise, adoration, and worship to our God and seek his blessing upon all who come with us into his house.
“Behold, bless ye the Lord, all ye servants of the Lord, which by night stand in the house of the Lord.” Again, the psalm begins with the word “behold,” as with the sound of a trumpet, calling the servants of the Lord, the Levites who ministered day and night in the temple, to bless the Lord. Those Levites were responsible to keep the fire on the altar constantly burning (Lev. 6:13; 24:2-4). But the psalmist was distinctly inspired to identify these servants of the Lord as those who “stand by night in the house of the Lord,” as if to suggest that they arose from their beds in the middle of the night to go into the sanctuary of God, watching and praying to prevent profane men from plundering and desecrating it.
Let every gospel preacher follow their example. In this time of great darkness let the servants of God vigilantly watch and pray, holding forth the light of the gospel. But in this gospel age our Lord Jesus has made all his saints priests and kings unto God. He causes all to stand as priests in his house. And we are all commanded to do one thing in his house. “Behold, bless ye the Lord, all ye servants of the Lord!” In the house of God there is no place for anything except the worship and honor of our great God. May God fill us with “the Spirit of judgment and the Spirit of burning,” ever making “the Branch of the Lord beautiful and glorious in our midst” (Isa. 4:2-4).
“Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, and bless the Lord.” As in the typical Old Testament age men lifted up their hands in the sanctuary, let believing souls, who are God’s true sanctuary (Ezek. 37:28), lift up holy hands (1 Tim. 2:8), with holy hearts of faith (Lam. 3:41) to the triune God, “looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life” (Jude 21), and worship, ascribing all blessedness and praise to God alone.
“The Lord that made heaven and earth bless thee out of Zion.” These seem to be words that were chanted by God’s saints to one another. They precisely express that which should be our hearts desire and prayer to God for one another as we gather in his house. Everywhere, in all things, let God be praised by his people. And let us earnestly seek God’s blessing upon our brethren. Let us do so at all times; but especially as God’s people gather in the assemblies of public worship to sing his praise and hear his Word, let it be ours to earnestly pray that he will bless them out of Zion, for Christ’s sake.
Where'er Your people gather, Lord, around the Mercy-Seat,
Be pleased to grant Your grace and power, where'er Your church may meet.