Pastors and People
Psalm 134:1-3
Behold, bless you the LORD, all you servants of the LORD, which by night stand in the house of the LORD.…

It seems unnecessary, and is perhaps impossible, to determine whether this last of the fifteen Songs of Degrees was meant for the pilgrims on their arrival at the temple, or when they appeared within its courts, or on their departure from its sacred threshold. Adapted to particular occasions, yet it was not unfit for repetition anywhere, outside or within Jehovah's dwelling-place, on the road to or from Jerusalem, with the lips or only in the mind. It includes a greeting and a reply. An exhortation to ministerial duty, expressing encouragement and approval, is answered by an affectionate benediction. As the two commandments of our Lord condense the law, this brief dramatic song is a summary of worship.

1. It is to be expected of ministers that with humble gladness they deem themselves, and show that they wish to be considered "servants of the Lord." They are also servants of the Church (2 Corinthians 4:5). But they may no more follow the will of men, as if blind slaves to the congregation, than their own independent will, "as being lords over God's heritage" (1 Peter 5:3). It must be their great concern to ascertain, obey and teach the will of their Supreme Master. Having received Divine instruction, they must, in a becoming spirit and manner, fearless of consequences, speak and act accordingly (1 Corinthians 4:1-4; 2 Timothy 2:3; 1 Peter 4:10). The address in the psalm implies a call upon ministers to speak in their lives what they say with their lips, and be themselves the blessing they pronounce. The margin reads, "Lift up your hands in holiness." "Cast out first the beam out of thine own eye," etc. (Luke 6:42). "Be thou an example of the believers," etc. (1 Timothy 4:12). Merit the title we give you of "servants of the Lord." Deserve, as far as possible, to praise Jehovah for the congregation, and in His name to bless His people.

2. What the people of God require their pastors to be and do they aim at for themselves in prayer and practice. Language like this in the psalm, addressed to the Lord's servants in the place "where prayer is wont to be made," implies the possession of a praying spirit, and an engagement to offer prayer. We cannot turn our wishes and counsels into prayer without also, in our relation and degree, turning them into practice. The psalm implies that all who use it, in the spirit of it, people as well as pastors, are servants of the Lord; and in nearly every respect the duty of ministers of religion exhibits that of their fellow-worshippers. And not only in the worship of the temple and the reading of the sacred volume, but in the cleanness of your hands, in the purity of your hearts, in the holiness of your lives be as consistent as you would have your ministers.

(E. J. Robinson.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: {A Song of degrees.} Behold, bless ye the LORD, all ye servants of the LORD, which by night stand in the house of the LORD.

WEB: Look! Praise Yahweh, all you servants of Yahweh, who stand by night in Yahweh's house!

Man Blessing the Lord and the Lord Blessing Man
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