October 29 - Psalm 134

Monday, October 29, 2012

October 29 - Psalm 134

This is the final Psalm in the collection of the Psalms of Ascents.  The Hebrew word which we've translated as Ascents actually means ‘to go up.’  In other words, these were probably Psalms that were sung as people ascended the steps of the Temple.  They were also sung as people traveled to Jerusalem on pilgrimages to the city for one of the three major festivals that happened each year.

For many of us in this day and age, it is difficult to wrap our understanding around a time when people’s lives revolved around the temple.  It wasn't just the people and priests who worked in the Temple who thought about it all the time, it was an immense part of the life of every Jew.  It was as much a part of their personal and business lives as it was their religious life.  The Lord was ever on their minds.

This Psalm would have been sung in an evening service.  The priest sang out the first two verses and the then the third verse is a blessing upon the people by the priests.

Come praise the Lord, all you who serve the Lord.
Lift up your hands in the holy place and praise the Lord!

With all that you have; with all that you are, praise the Lord!  Throw up your arms as you express your praise, let it sound out around you and fill the hearts of everyone who is near.  The Lord has given you life and all that you have.  Praise Him!

Raise your arms, stretch out your fingers, look up and praise the Lord!