Psalm 134: Our Blessing
Psalm 134 is the conclusion of the Songs of Ascents—the benediction of this beautiful portion of the songbook of Israel.
“Behold, bless the Lᴏʀᴅ, all you servants of the Lᴏʀᴅ” (v. 1). The word translated “bless” means to kneel as an act of adoration before something. It also conveys the idea of life and goodness.
When God blesses something, He bestows on it life and goodness. During creation, God only blessed living things; He did not bless the sun, moon, or stars. After He created Adam and Eve, “God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply’” (Gen. 1:28).
He desired that all creation be fruitful and multiply. That was His blessing on His handiwork. We, in turn, bless Him by bending our knees in worship and adoration, thereby creating a cycle of blessing that should go on forever.
Psalm 134 reminded the Jewish priests, “who by night stand in the house of the Lᴏʀᴅ” (Ps. 134:1), that they should bless, honor, revere, and literally kneel—with hands lifted up—before God. These particular priests were like Israel’s rear guard, worshiping and praising God and seeking His protection as the nation slept.
Not only were the priests to bless the Lord, but the people were also: “Bless the Lᴏʀᴅ, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless His holy name!” (Ps. 103:1). Everyone is commanded to bend the knee before the Almighty.
The apostle Paul, in fact, wrote to his spiritual son Timothy, “I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands” (1 Tim. 2:8). Paul encouraged men in the church to emulate the priests and bless the Lord.
Perhaps he took his cue from King Solomon, who knelt before God with his hands lifted high at the dedication of the Temple: “And so it was, when Solomon had ﬁnished praying…that he arose from before the altar of the Lᴏʀᴅ, from kneeling on his knees with his hands spread up to heaven” (1 Ki. 8:54).
The verse that closes this entire collection of psalms declares, “The Lᴏʀᴅ who made heaven and earth bless you from Zion!” (Ps.134:3). When we worship God and humble ourselves before Him, He blesses us. If the Israelites had worshiped as they were instructed, God, in turn, would have blessed the nation, bestowing on it life and goodness.
This concept is still true today. If we love the Lord, we must worship Him “in spirit and truth” (Jn. 4:24). True worship is about humbling ourselves in gratitude before our Creator, Sustainer, and Redeemer. When we do so, He opens the storehouses of heaven. Even during persecution and trouble, He will never leave us. As Paul wrote,
For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Rom. 8:38–39).
Although the world moves farther away from the God of the Bible, He continues to bestow life and goodness on those who love Him. Jesus said, “He who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life” (Jn. 5:24). And that is blessing indeed.