To lift your hands unto the LORD in worship is to outward expression of an inward experience. The Hebrew word for Sanctuary is qodes meaning, the most holy place, set apart exclusively for the Presence of God. In worship, we set ourselves apart to worship God in the holy place, to lift our hands in the tent of meeting with our God. Within the sanctuary, the place of worship, our hearts yield willingly and openly to worshipping God.
Within Psalm 134 the writer tries to capture, on paper, a picture of worship, just as a painter would paint on a canvass, for the world to see a portrait of breath taking beauty beyond compare. So the Psalmist leads the reader into a place of worship with words. Were also with them, we are led by the hand of the Holy Spirit who helps us worship Jesus in the Sanctuary.
The people of Israel would gather at a time set apart to worship God within the Sanctuary. It was there they lifted up their hands to minister unto the LORD, raised in absolute surrender and worship to God in the Sanctuary.
The Bible says in Psalm 134:1 to 3 (NIV), “Praise the LORD, all you servants of the LORD who minister by night in the house of the LORD. Lift up your hands in the sanctuary and praise the LORD. May the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth, bless you from Zion.” This Psalm is called ‘”A song of ascents”, for as the people of Israel went to worship the LORD within the Sanctuary they would climb the steps up to the Sanctuary. With each step, they would lift their voices in praise and worship to the LORD. As they climbed each step, they worshipped and sang unto the LORD, as a way of preparing themselves before the LORD, in an act of worship.
Oh, to climb those stairs of ascent in worship, to reach new heights in our praise, adoration and worship unto the LORD, with our hands, hearts and voices lifted high unto His glorious name! The Bible says in Isaiah 38:20 (The Message), “God saves and will save me. As fiddles and mandolins strike up the tunes, we’ll sing, oh we’ll sing, sing, for the rest of our lives in the Sanctuary of God.”
Kirk Carr once wrote the song, “In the Sanctuary”, with these joyful lyrics:
We lift our hands in the sanctuary, we lift our hands to give You the glory,
We lift our hands to give You the praise, and we will praise You for the rest of our days,
Yes, we will praise You for the rest of our days.
Hallelujah in the sanctuary, Hallelujah we give You the glory,
Hallelujah, we give You the praise, and we will praise You for the rest of our days,
Yes, we will praise You for the rest of our days, yes, Lord for the rest of our days.
My friend, we don’t have to wait until we reach the Sanctuary to worship God, we can life our hands to the LORD in praise at any given moment. We can worship God in our own private “tent of meeting”, our own devotional time before the Lord. Then, we can gather with the servants of the LORD who minister unto the LORD in the Sanctuary, and join with them to make our solo into a majestic choir, a beautiful symphony of brotherhood with a sea of hands lifted unto the LORD in worship, waving them unto Him and praising His glorious name.
Come, now is the time to worship, to climb those stairs of ascent to new heights of worship, with hands lifted high in the Sanctuary.
God bless you my friend, Matthew