A Bible Study in EasyEnglish (2800 word vocabulary) on Psalms 120 to 134
EasyEnglish is a system of simple English designed by Wycliffe Associates (UK). This commentary has not yet received Advanced Theological Checking.
A word list at the end explains words with a *star by them.
Last part: Psalm 134
In Psalm 134:2, the people urged the priests to Ďlift their handsí. This is an ancient custom during prayer. Moses did it (Exodus 17:8-13). The first Christians also did it (1 Timothy 2:8). The Book of Psalms mentions it in several other places, too (Psalms 28:2, 63:4 and 141:2).
This action seems to have a special meaning. Of course, God is in heaven and his people are on the earth. By this action, they show that they have a connection with him:
(1) People lift their hands like someone who reaches out for help, or for a gift. So when people lift their hands during prayer, it is to bring their prayers and requests to God.
(2) Or, people reach out, like someone who offers a gift to another person. So, when people lift their hands to God, they offer a gift to him. Godís people offer their own lives to God. It is their desire to praise him; they give honour to him.
(3) The action also seems to express a humble attitude. Godís people reach their hands towards God because they need him (Psalm 143:6). They depend on God. They are weak but God is strong. Of course, they cannot reach God, however high they may lift their hands. So they ask God to reach his hand down to them (Psalm 144:7). And when God does that, he will rescue his people from their troubles.
We can see these same ideas in Psalm 141:2. The writer of Psalm 141 mentions three things that have a connection with this action:
(1) A prayer that the person asks God to accept.
(2) Incense. Incense is a substance with a sweet smell. The priests burned it as they praised God in his house. And the smoke rose towards heaven, like their own words to praise God.
(3) *Sacrifice. People cannot please God by their own efforts, because of the wrong things that are in their lives. Their evil thoughts, words and deeds separate them from God. But God has said that he accepts a *sacrifice on their behalf. When people realise this, they show a humble attitude. They declare that their own efforts are not good enough. They need to offer the *sacrifice that God has provided on their behalf. In Leviticus chapters 1 to 7, God told the people to give animals as *sacrifices. But Christians do not give animals, because the death of Jesus, Godís son, is Godís perfect *sacrifice. By his death, Jesus frees Christians from all the wrong things that used to control their lives.
Next part: The priestsí duty to bless
© 2010, Keith Simons.