Genesis 5:24 (ESV)—24 Enoch walked with God, and he was not, for God took him.
Enoch agreed with God on:
- Destination / Route / Speed
- But mostly REWARD —
- Hebrews 11:6 (ESV)—6 And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.
God had invited this man into His blessing cycle. Enoch believed in God and entered into it.
The cross shows us God as a blesser, who will bless, so we want to bless.
Theme:The disciple has been blessed by God. Now God invites the disciple into a cycle of continual blessing.
Psalm 134 is an interchange of blessing. The pilgrims tell the night priests to keep on blessing God (for He is a blessing). But the expectation is that God will keep on blessing them.
The Invitation — What it means to bless God (134:1-2)
1 Come, bless the Lord…
Bless the Lord — to praise and speak words of excellence about God.
- Our best purpose — This joy and celebration and delight over God is our greatest purpose.
- Our response — To bless God can only be done after receiving blessings from God. The cross shows us God as a blessing God (and the source of His blessing nature).
- Our decision.
Accept the invitation to bless God (134:1-2)
1 Come, bless the Lord, all you servants of the Lord…
Priesthood of all believers —
- 1 Peter 2:5 (ESV)—5 you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.
- 1 Peter 2:9 (ESV)—9 …that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
The idea — You represent and have access to God! Act like it! BE who you ARE!
- Continual invitation.
- For all people at all times.
Ephesians 4:1 (ESV)—1 I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called…
Bless Him when it is difficult to do so (134:1-2)
1 …who stand by night in the house of the Lord! 2 Lift up your hands to the holy place and bless the Lord!
The situation: The visiting pilgrims, whilst departing from their worship in the temple, sing to the night-shift priests, exhorting them to bless God in the night (1 Chronicles 9:33 — day and night).
Danger lurked — long day, low energy, little emotion. Our priests were in danger of becoming listless: without desire, indifferent to God.
We must learn to bless God when it is difficult to do so.
- Jesus’ example of feelings vs. submission — Matthew 26:39 (ESV)—39 “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.”
- We all have longings, desires, and feelings, but they cannot be the source of our identity.
Avoid or engage!
- I don’t like that person: so I will avoid them vs. so I will engage them.
- I don’t understand the Bible: so I will avoid it vs. so I will engage it.
- I don’t feel like church: so I will avoid it vs. so I will engage it.
- I don’t feel strong in prayer: so I will avoid it vs. so I will engage it.
Ways to bless God — a practicum (134:1-2)
2 Lift up your hands to the holy place and bless the Lord!
All this worship was done in the manner God had prescribed:
- Hands lifted.
- Holy house.
These weren’t the inventions of the believers, but the avenues God had prescribed.
Sampling of 10 spiritual disciplines God has given us today:
- 1 Prayer
- 2 Study
- 3 Worship in song
- 4 Fellowship with believers
- 5 Fasting
- 6 Secrecy in good deeds
- 7 Generosity
- 8 Solitude
- 9 Silence
- 10 Confession
Do not confuse this for a gospel-less religion, that you must somehow manipulate God to bless you.
- The Spirit is like the wind, these disciplines like the sails on the ship. It is the breath of the Spirit we want to catch.
- “Practicing spiritual disciplines is like sailing.” — Dave Kraft, Leaders Who Last
Let Him continue to bless you (134:3)
3 May the Lord bless you from Zion, he who made heaven and earth!
Our pilgrim climbs this mountain and finds a God who blesses! So many of our mountains lack a blessing at the top, but instead give an emptiness.
God is blessed already; nothing is lacking in Him.
- When I am blessed by Him, I am added to. But I cannot add to God.
- He’s already blessed — 2 Corinthians 11:31 (ESV)—31 …he who is blessed forever…
- We call this the independence of God.
- Acts 17:25 (ESV)—25 nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything…
Bless: God stoops to bless.
- He enters into our need and gets into our skin.
- John 1:14 (ESV)—14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
So He bestows His massive blessing on us in this cycle of blessing.
Ephesians 1:3 (ESV)—3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,
Who made: The blessings He gives are Creator-blessings.
- He knows our design.
- He designed us with a capability for Him.
The first word of our pilgrim’s song — Distress. Psalm 120:1 (ESV)—1 In my distress I called to the Lord, and he answered me.
The final word of our pilgrim’s song — Blessing.
- To go from distressed to blessed enter the disciple’s journey.
- Choose to walk with God. Allow these principles to drive your life. Go from distressed to blessed.
Themes: 120 Prerequisites to your decision 121 Know God will help you climb 122 Have a vision for the gathering 123 Develop and eye of hope 124 Remember all your previous rescues 125 Be at peace due to your position in God 126 Recognize where true joy is found 127 Embrace God’s vision for your work and home 128 To wonder at God leads to everywhere-blessing 129 Become steeled for pilgrimage 130 Learn to cry — then wait — for God 131 Obtain a calm and quiet soul 132 Get a Davidic heart 133 War for unity 134 Enter God’s blessing cycle