Ep.273: Psalm 134: Closing the Conference.

Hello, I’m Daniel Westfall on the channel “Pray with Me”.

Psalm 134 reads, 

  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 (vv. 1-3). 

This is the last of 15 psalms that share the title, “A Song of Ascents”. We don’t know exactly what this title means, but scholars suggest they are road trip songs for pilgrims on a journey up to Jerusalem to worship at the temple. 

Psalm 134 reminds me of a week-long Bible and missionary conference I attended. When it ended, I had a feeling of let-down, of unreality, as I released the intensity of the conference, gathered my notes, and prepared to travel home. Mundane duties awaited. The problems I avoided by attending a conference now needed urgent attention. I think this psalm transitions the Jerusalem pilgrims from their time of worship to the long road back home, from the beauty of the temple back to the homeliness of daily life.. 

Let’s review the conference highlights with the pilgrims, accept the poet’s end-of-conference blessing, then  move on from this collection of psalms. First the highlights:
– Psalm 120: “I call on the Lord in my distress”
– Psalm 121: “I lift up my eyes to the hills, where does my help come from?” 
– Psalm 122: “I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go the house of the Lord’.”
– Psalm 126: Those who go out weeping carrying precious seed
                  will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them.
– Psalm 127: Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain.
– Psalm 130: “Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord” and
              “I wait for the Lord,
                  more than watchmen wait for the morning.
– Ps 133 “How good and pleasant it is when families live together in unity.” 

Psalm 134 concludes this 15-psalm collection with a last invitation to worship, “Praise the Lord, all you servants of the Lord” (v. 1). Then it sends the worshipers home with this blessing:
    May the Lord bless you from Zion,
        he who is maker of heaven and earth (v. 3). 

Let’s pray. 

Our father, our lives are a pilgrimage in search of your presence. When we feel your face smile on us, we are glad. When we feel your absence or disapproval, we are sad. 

Thank you for these psalms that lift our eyes above the hills, to you who gives us help. Thank you that these poems bring our lives and feelings into the light of your presence. Build with us this house we are building, sow with us the seeds we sow in tears, cry with us in the depths from which we cry to you, teach us to live in unity with our family and community. 

Send us back to our daily lives with the blessing of this psalm:
  May the Lord bless you from Zion,
    he who made heaven and earth (v. 3). 


I’m Daniel on the channel “Pray with Me”. 

YouTube channel: Pray with Me – YouTube