Author Archives: lrbartel

Psalm 134 – Two Important Truths of Worship!

One of the shortest chapters in the Bible – Psalm 134 – but a chapter that teaches two profound and important truths about worship…

Psalm 134 is one of a group of psalms (Psalms 120-134)  that bear the designator “A Song of Ascents” – Psalms that were sung as pilgrims approached Jerusalem and the temple in preparation for worship.

So here’s the deal… We speak of “blessing” the Lord… and we seek the Lord’s blessing… This psalm emphasizes these two important aspects of worship that must be kept in mind for worship to be meaningful and profitable… Here they are along with the supporting message directly from the Psalm…

  1. When we worship, we “bless” the Lord – We proclaim – we acknowledge – His goodness, His grace, His character in our praise! … “Come bless the Lord, all you servants of the Lord … Lift up your hands to the holy place and bless the Lord!” (vss. 1-2)
  2. We, however, must remember and acknowledge, His “blessing” is always prior to ours!  The recognition of His rich “blessings” ought to prompt our blessing! … “May the Lord bless you – He who made heaven and earth!” (vs. 3)

Two important and complementary truths that I always want to acknowledge and keep in focus as I prepare to offer acceptable worship to the Lord!

Peace and Unity in “the Cabin”

A few years ago I recall during my time of “coffee with the Lord” at the cabin, while my wife Sharon was having her devotions upstairs, she called out to me and said, “Honey, you know what?  We need to have Psalm 133 posted as a motto in the cabin!”  At the very time she said that, I was reading the passage for myself… She was right!  Here is what it says…

“Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!  It is like the precious oil on the head, running down on the beard, on the beard of Aaron, running down on the collar of his robes!  It is like the dew of Hermon, which falls on the mountains of Zion! For there the Lord has commanded the blessing, life forevermore!”

Now neither Wes nor I (nor our spouses) anticipate a problem – we are not only brothers, we are the best of friends!  But I am sure there will be differences of opinion sooner-or-later that will arise.  We’ll have to guard ourselves so that those things never become a problem.  We’ll need to defer to one another and practice “give-and-take” for the arrangement to work.  Love for one another must rule!  We want the “goodness and pleasantness” of unity to be felt in our cabin.  We want our summer place of “get-away” to be a place where the “anointing of the Holy Spirit” (i.e. the “oil” spoken of in the passage) can be sensed.  We want our cabin to be a place of “blessing” (perhaps intended by the imagery of “the dew of Hermon” in the psalm).

And you know what?  I really believe the message of Psalm 133 needs to be fulfilled EVERYWHERE!  In every Bible-believing church… In every family… in every home… and in every marriage!  Don’t you?!  Let’s depend on God to help us with that… Let’s cooperate with Him to make it a blessed reality!  Eh?

God… and His Fussy Children

Things are just not right!  For some reason the little one is fussy!  They’re crying over every little thing and no one – dad, the older children, grandparents, friends who happen to be nearby – can quiet them.  Then mom walks into the room, reaches down and picks up the little one who snuggles into her bosom, and presto… a whimper or two and the crisis seems to be over, peace comes, whatever was the problem is now solved… It’s a miracle – the miracle of “Mom”!!

There’s a lesson to be learned here…  The Lord is a lot like “Mom” to His children.  We don’t always know why we’re fussy… but we are.  Don’t know really what the problem is… Don’t know what’s bothering us or even why we’re upset.  Sometimes we do, and we make it all too evident to everyone.  Sometimes we get ourselves involved in things that are not our concern… they’re God’s concern.  At other times we mettle in things we’ve been warned to stay away from… and because of it we’re troubled, we’ve got a crisis, we’re fussy…

Thought about that today as I read the following Psalm…

 “My heart is not proud, Lord, my eyes are not haughty; I do not concern myself with great matters or things too wonderful for me.  But I have calmed and quieted myself, I am like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child I am content… put your hope in the Lord both now and forevermore!  (Psalm 131 NIV)

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