1 Praise the Lord, all you servants of the Lord
who minister by night in the house of the Lord.
2 Lift up your hands in the sanctuary
and praise the Lord.
3 May the Lord bless you from Zion,
he who is the Maker of heaven and earth.
I just learned that “a song of ascents” means just that. I found a couple of different references for meaning “a song while climbing”; a song for going up to worship”; “a song for pilgrims ascending to Jerusalem”. The Old Testament folks often sing as they go along! Not something we seem to do as much these days.
I’m reminded of being on a hike up a beautiful trail, excited to see what’s at the top, enjoying the beauty around me, always looking up to keep my eyes on where I’m going, and yet watching where I’m stepping so as to plant my feet solidly and try not to stumble. But most importantly, in all this surrounding beauty and anticipation of reaching my destination, this is an opportunity to soak in the Lord. And to bless the Lord with my entire being. Do I really do this? I should.
The first verse of this Psalm speaks of those Old Testament folks whose job it was to continually minister before the Lord. It reminds them what a most excellent calling they have on their lives. It encourages them to perform their tasks with all their heart, being in continual prayer to the Lord. To bless the Lord. It is their main business. Verse 2 shows how we receive blessing back, through uplifted hands. When we bless and lift up our Lord, we are also lifted up. The last verse speaks of the Lord’s blessing on us that take us into the next day and carry us through.
The verses of this Psalm show us how we should be in continual prayer and worship – through every task of every moment. And how fortunate we are to be given this opportunity to bless and praise our God. This is our main business.
A full cycle – day to evening and back to day, a full circle of continually prayer, blessing our Lord as we are lifted up to Him and blessed by Him. This is the communion God would have with us, if we let it happen. Lord, I praise you and thank you. Help us to have a continual heart of worship that we may be in continual communion with you. Thank you Jesus. Amen and Amen.