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Blessing God as the Blessed Ones

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  1. Blessing God as the Blessed Ones Songs of Ascent: Practices of the Lifelong Journey Series [15] Psalm 134

  2. REVIEW: “SONGS OF ASCENT” SERIES [PSALMS 120-134] • Psalm 120 Starting with a U-Turn • “Deliver me, O LORD, from lying lips, from a deceitful tongue…” • Psalm 121 Looking to God for Help • “I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come?...” • Psalm 122 Gathering to Worship God • “I was glad when they said to me, ‘Let us go to the house of the LORD!’”

  3. REVIEW: “SONGS OF ASCENT” SERIES [PSALMS 120-134] • Psalm 123 Clinging to God’s Sovereignty and Mercy • “Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, so our eyes look to the LORD our God, till he has mercy upon us…” • Psalm 124 Becoming Confident in God’s Help • “Blessed be the LORD, who has not given us as prey to their teeth! Our help is in the name of the LORD…” • Psalm 125 Finding Unshakable Security in God • “Those who trust in the LORD are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved, but abides forever…”

  4. REVIEW: “SONGS OF ASCENT” SERIES [PSALMS 120-134] • Psalm 126 Sowing in Tears for Shouts of Joy • “Restore our fortunes, O LORD, like streams in the Negeb! Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy!…” • Psalm 127 Becoming a Wise Builder • “Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain....” • Psalm 128 Living the Blessed Life • “Blessed is everyone who fears the LORD, who walks in his ways!...”

  5. REVIEW: “SONGS OF ASCENT” SERIES [PSALMS 120-134] • Psalm 129 Persevering in the Lifelong Journey • “Greatly have they afflicted me from my youth, yet they have not prevailed against me. …” • Psalm 130 Hoping in God • “If you, O LORD, should mark iniquities, O Lord, who could stand? But with you there is forgiveness, that you may be feared....” • Psalm 131 Keeping a Quiet Humble Heart • “But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me…”

  6. REVIEW: “SONGS OF ASCENT” SERIES [PSALMS 120-134] • Psalm 132 Maturing through Obedience • “Behold, we heard of it in Ephrathah; we found it in the fields of Jaar. ‘Let us go to his dwelling place; let us worship at his footstool!’…” • Psalm 133 Dwelling Together in Unity • “Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!...” • ___________________________________________________ • Psalm 134 Blessing GOD as the Blessed Ones [TODAY] • “Come, bless the LORD, all you servants of the LORD, who stand by night in the house of the LORD!...”

  7. Psalm 134 [ESV] A Song of Ascents. 1 Come, bless the LORD, all you servants of the LORD,   who stand by night in the house of the LORD!2 Lift up your hands to the holy place   and bless the LORD!  3 May the LORD bless you from Zion,   he who made heaven and earth!

  8. WHY MAKE “BLESSING GOD” THE ULTIMATE PRIORITY OF LIFE? • Blessing God is an invitation and command in following Christ. 1Come, bless the LORD, all you servants of the LORD, who stand by night in the house of the LORD! 2 Lift up your hands to the holy place and bless the LORD! (vs.1-2)

  9. WHY MAKE “BLESSING GOD” THE ULTIMATE PRIORITY OF LIFE? • Blessing God is an invitation and command in following Christ. • The Hebrews’ pilgrimage started from Kedar [Psalm 120 – repentance] ended in Jerusalem [Psalm 134 – blessing]. • Our pilgrimage in following Christ also starts with repentance which leads us to bless God. • It is an invitation to speak well of God and enjoy God fully. • It is also a command to turn our focus from self and the world to God, our creator, Savior, and LORD in worship.

  10. WHY MAKE “BLESSING GOD” THE ULTIMATE PRIORITY OF LIFE? 2) Blessing God leads us to be blessed by God. May the LORD bless you from Zion, he who made heaven and earth! (v.3) • We bless God because God blesses us. • Why? God’s blessing (grace) evokes our blessing God (gratitude)—it is the cyclical experience in the pilgrimage. • God’s blessing is to be desired in our lives more than anything (Psalm 73:25 – “Whom have I in heaven but you? And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.”) • God’s blessing is threefold—to keep us, to be gracious to us, and to give us peace [Aaronic blessing].

  11.  22The LORD spoke to Moses, saying,  23"Speak to Aaron and his sons, saying, Thus you shall bless the people of Israel: you shall say to them,  24The LORD bless you and keep you;  25the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you;  26the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace. Numbers 6:22-26

  12. WHY MAKE “BLESSING GOD” THE ULTIMATE PRIORITY OF LIFE? 3) Blessing God is the ultimate purpose of our lifelong journey to God. Come, bless the LORD… May the LORD bless you… Psalm 134:1a, 3a So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31

  13. WHY MAKE “BLESSING GOD” THE ULTIMATE PRIORITY OF LIFE? 3) Blessing God is the ultimate purpose of our lifelong journey to God. • In blessing God, we can easily be distracted by the urgency of good things as well as by the lures of bad things. • We are to admonish one another to bless God and pronounce God’s blessing on one another. • Blessing God also involves enjoying God fully as our ultimate joy and pleasure. You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. Psalm 16:11

  14. WHY MAKE “BLESSING GOD” THE ULTIMATE PRIORITY OF LIFE? 3) Blessing God is the ultimate purpose of our lifelong journey to God. • In blessing God, we can easily be distracted by the urgency of good things as well as by the lures of bad things. • We are to admonish one another to bless God and pronounce God’s blessing on one another. • Blessing God also involves enjoying God fully as our ultimate joy and pleasure. • Therefore, blessing God is the main thing that overrides everything else not only in this life but also in the life to come in heavenly Zion.

  15. The Chief End The first question in the Westminster Shorter Catechism is “What is the chief end of man?” What is the final purpose? What is the main thing about us? Where are we going, and what will we do when we get there? The answer is “To glorify God and enjoy him forever.” Glorify. Enjoy. There are other things involved in Christian discipleship. The Songs of Ascents have shown some of them. But it is extremely important to know the one thing that overrides everything else. The main thing is not the work for the Lord; it is not suffering in the name of the Lord; it is not witnessing to the Lord; it is not teaching Sunday school for the Lord; it is not being responsible for the sake of the Lord in community; it is not keeping the Ten Commandments; not loving your neighbor; not observing the golden rule. “The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy him forever.” Or, in the vocabulary of Psalm 134, “Bless God.” - Eugene Peterson

  16. PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS FOR OUR EVERYDAY LIFE • Bless God everyday as your response to BEING BLESSED BY GOD. • Remember God’s grace for you every day. • Check on your heart for gratitude—the lack of it requires repentance. • Let your life in this cyclical rhythm of experiencing God’s grace and gratitude. • Make BLESSING GOD your main thing that overrides everything else in life. • Be vigilant against the tyranny of urgency (felt needs). • Let your whole life bless God—whether you eat or drink or whatever you do. • Encourage one another to KEEP IT as the main thing in life.

  17. Praying the Songs of Ascent #15 — Psalm 134 [MSG] A Pilgrim Song 1-3 Come, bless God, all you servants of God!    You priests of God, posted to the nightwatch       in God's shrine,    Lift your praising hands to the Holy Place,       and bless God.    In turn, may God of Zion bless you—       God who made heaven and earth!