May 28th - Psalm 118

Today’s devotional is penned by Barry.

Read Psalm 118

Sandwiched between the shortest chapter in the Bible and the longest, Ps.118 is the last of the Hallel (Praise) Psalms (that is Psalms 113-118 -from where we get the word Hallelujah - Praise God). Even to this day the Hallel Psalms are recited en bloc on the major Jewish feast days.

Psalm 118 was likely set at the dedication of the 2nd Temple which was built by the returning exiles from Babylon in Jerusalem (~516BC)

Let’s look at vv26-29

It was exciting….It was glorious…..It was worship.

The Psalmist stands at the gates of the new temple with a throng   of priests and Levites behind him… “Open to me the gates of righteousness that I may enter through them and give thanks to the LORD” (19)

The gates open and there is a welcoming party of Levites inside the temple. They erupt spontaneously “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD! We bless you from the house of the LORD” (26)

And the blessing sounds familiar:-

“The LORD is God and He has made his light shine upon us” (27a) Very priestly! (Numbers 6:25)

What do you miss about church? Your friends? Catching up with the folk you don’t normally see during the week? Or you like the singing and the preaching?…..And they are all fine….but do you see that by crossing the threshold into church you are entering into worship. The church is a building, we are temples of the Holy Spirit yet when we come together worship should be the burning reason in our hearts.

Don’t you love it when you get a blessing from the welcome team? I love the “Bless you brother” which often greets me.

But do we purposefully bless one another as we meet? Let’s talk about other stuff afterwards but let’s be intentional and bless one another as we gather together to worship.

The focus then turns onto the sacrifice (27b). Let’s not get so wrapped up in the feel-good experience of song-worship that we forget the reason we are gathering….to remember that at the centre of our worship is sacrifice.

Where are we when we worship? Sitting in a place that used to be a lecture theatre? We enter the very courts of heaven to join with the heavenly host through the shed blood and broken body of THE sacrifice which God has provided…that of Himself in Jesus Christ.

Blessed is he who comes in the Name of the LORD? Fast-forward 545 years. Who did they bless as He entered Jerusalem? (Matt 21:9) - The Messiah, the Son of David for those who had eyes to see it. Yet the great tragedy is that Jerusalem, in the main, were blind to His identity. Unless they acknowledged His Lordship they would never see Him again (Matt 23:39)

Can you say “Blessed is He who comes in the Name of the LORD”?

Will you acknowledge His Lordship?

Will you see Him again?

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