"Behold, bless the Lord, all servants of the Lord,
Who serve by night in the house of the Lord!
Lift up your hands to the sanctuary And bless the Lord.
May the Lord bless you from Zion,
who made heaven and earth."
This is it. If you ever wanted to memorize a chapter in the Bible, this is one you might use.
But it is far more useful to us than that. It is one I want to write about after a good day of worship.
Yet, it is specifically for the middle of the night worshippers. There is a kind of worship that calls us to serve or stand in the house of the Lord in the middle of the night.
In the new dispensation brought in by Christ, we are the temple of the Holy Ghost, not a building. Thus it is our hearts we lift up blessing the Lord, our hearts we guard that they may not be robbed of the precious things of God. To the Jews, It meant they were guarding the temple items so that it would not be plundered as well as making sure the lamps of the temple never ran out or the fire on the altar (oh, the symbolism here!). To us, He resides in our hearts. We are admonished to guard our hearts throughout Scripture, to never burn out or let the fire of the Holy Spirit grow cold.
God can protect Himself. He has the armies of heaven. So why were they (us) called to stand in the middle of the night in His sanctuary? Adam Clarke accepts the early translations that says it, "should be taken here in the sense of take heed! Be upon your guard: you serve a jealous God; provoke Him not."
"'Lift up your hands in the sanctuary' in holiness: or..to holiness...in holy things." (Adam Clarke) It is similar to Paul I Timothy 2:8 (KJV) "Lifting up holy hands without wrath or doubting." We are to lift up our hands in holiness without division or doubts. As a child of God, we lift up our hands to our daddy, Abba desiring to be held by Him, not doubting His love for us. That is true worship, even in the middle of the night, or especially in the dark times.
So we stand guard over our hearts, even in the dark times, lifting up clean hands in holiness blessing God who made heaven and earth. Do you have night times like that when doubts and fears try to rob you of peace? What should we do? We should hold up our hands to Him who loves us and bless His name. God never slumbers nor sleeps. He is always ready to hear us.
By proclaiming Him to others, perhaps we can be that nightlight in their lives as the priesthood of believers. Here is the instruction God gave to Moses to give to Aaron as priest in
"Speak to Aaron and to his sons, saying,
'Thus you shall bless the sons of Israel,
You shall say to to them:
The Lord bless you, and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine on you,
And be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up His countenance on you,
And give you peace.'
So they shall invoke My name
on the sons of Israel,
Then there is Luke2:37-38
"She never left the temple,
serving night and day
with fastings and prayers.
At that very moment
(as Joseph and Mary brought
the infant Jesus to the temple)
she came up and began giving thanks to God,
and continued to speak of Him
to all those who were looking for the
redemption of Jerusalem."
(Hint: Advent is coming)
Can we be like Anna?
Can we serve night and day
telling everyone of the
redemption of Israel has come?