Lift up your hands to the holy place and bless the LORD!
Psalms 120 – 134 have the inscription “Song of Ascents” written
in the Hebrew text. It is believed these songs were recited or
sung as a processional as the Jewish people journeyed up the
Temple mount for worship.
Psalm 134 is one of the shortest songs in the Psalmist’s
collection. What is notable and obviously differs from a less free
form of worship are the lifting up of hands. The literal use of the
hands occurs approximately 1800 times in the English Bible.
The hands are used in a number of symbolic acts e.g. celebration
(Psa.47:1), silence (Job 21:5), expression of grief (2 Sam.
13:19), and in our text, an act of worship.
Our body, its members, can come into play under the worshipful
joy and blessedness before our Lord, (v.1). For most of us, we
remain fairly immobile in our worship. We are either culturally
stoic or our tradition has informed us against any open display in
worship, apart from standing, sitting, bowing the head or singing
enthusiastically. But truth is not the mechanics. It’s the heart. It’s
in the communion of saints, it’s in the anticipation that we are
come together for joyful worship (v.1), and in the expectation
that we will be blessed because we are present (v.3).
May our inspiration come from our anticipating of gathering
together before the Triune God from whom we have our being
and from whom we are blessed!
Worship is such a thrill, we cannot stand still.
E.C. Malone, Pastor
September 10, 2014