ON OUR SPIRITUAL JOURNEY
Sunday, 1 December 2019
Psalms 133 & 134
“Lift up your hands in the sanctuary, And bless the Lord.” -Psalm 134:2
Today’s psalms, called the Psalms of Ascents are part of the 15 psalms that the people of Israel sang on their journey to the house of God in Jerusalem. As Eugene Peterson says “ …the ascent was not only literal, it was also a metaphor: the trip to Jerusalem acted out a life lived upward toward God, an existence that advanced from one level to another in developing maturity—what Paul described as “the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus” (Phil.3:14).
On their journey uphill to Jerusalem, three times a year to celebrate their festivals, the psalmist is drawn to some unique features displayed among the pilgrims that he begins each of these psalms with the word “Behold” meaning –Isn’t this wonderful to see. What did he see and how does this apply to our lives in this time and age?
Unity in Spirit – [Psalm 133] The group on this journey displays unity – of mission, vision and passion that the psalmist uses 2 similes to describe this ‘Unity’
a) Unity is compared to oil poured on Aaron’s head- Oil in the Bible represents the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of God will reside only when His people dwell in Unity. This is made very evident in Acts 2:1,4 which sates: “while they were in one accord, they were filled with the Holy Spirit” and so could do great exploits for God. Ephesians 2:22 so clearly tells us that as believers irrespective of our backgrounds, in Christ we fellowship with one another and are being built together into a dwelling place of God in the Spirit, [paraphrased] so that as one body, with Christ as the Head we can march forward to win souls for God.
b) Secondly, he compares unity to the dew on Mt Hermon – an imagery that shows how a dry and arid region can become a flourishing, well-watered valley. When believers walk together in unity, they can display the love and forgiveness of Christ to a broken and hurting world. As Paul appeals to the believers in the Corinthian Church 1 Cor. 1:10: ‘that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought’ for as one body we would be able to bring down our common enemy – the devil.
Worshippers at all times - The psalmist first witnesses a people of unity, now he sees them worship God not only during the day but also at night. As Psalm 134:1 says ‘Who by night stand in the house of God.’ In 1 Chronicles 9:33 we read about the priest who were not employed for a 9am-5pm job, but for a lifetime of worship.
You and I are no different. As 2 Peter 2:10 says “we are God’s own special people brought out of darkness to proclaim his praises.” This does not stop with just a few songs that are sung on Sunday, but it becomes a lifestyle – to worship God at all times!
Jesus spent the whole night in prayer and worship to the Father. (Luke 6:12)
Paul & Silas even in the dungeon sang praises to God at night. (Acts 16:23)
Anna the prophetess served the Lord both night and day. (Luke 2:37)
Revelation 7:15 gives us a picture of the redeemed before the throne of God serving Him night and day. Keeping this in mind, may we as the Church of Jesus Christ become a people who in one accord will minister continually before the Lord even now and then for evermore.
Quote for the day:
“O magnify the Lord with me, and let us exalt His name together.”
Listen- ‘Blessed be the name of the Lord'
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