Psalm 134, THE WATERS OF DESCENT
So now we all meet to worship God in His Temple - and this is the final step of the ascent... of the fifteen steps. [after this we go back down like a ladder - Here I see a ladder reaching to heaven see : Genesis 28:12 where we go up and down a ladder [this speaks to me as I spent 25 years going up and down ladders]
After we begin to walk to step back down and again "I see the waters flowing down" see : WHO CAN STAND - PSALM 130
And secondly I have a picture of a waterfall that flows down to a great depth and cascades down..
Depth seems to be the picture here and influence around.
The water seems to be significant ...in this picture.
I get that this is about character building and I see joy and then the following sequence is the stepping down - I see an anointnng in which individuals are called to walk these steps and ascend this hill and I see a time when they also descend .
Again there is the waterfall, water flowing down the steps and again I am reminded of WHO SHALL ASCEND THE HILL OF THE ORD]
Now this working of God was over ten years ago and so I am sharing a decade long memory.
Again I see an eagle an eagle ascending and descending [end of my sight and vision]
You see - Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego never saw the fourth person - only King Nebuchadnezzar saw the fourth person [see now that the troubles and persecutions - the deep workings of God - have a meaning and purpose . [you may not see the reason for the season but God knows it]
I ask the same question again "who can ascend the Hill of the Lord ?"
I have been asked why should someone ascend the hill "when Jesus has aleady"
haha , well I might answer "what is the meaning of the fifteen steps ?"
I mean why would you need to go through the fire when Jesus has already [or will do]
What is the meaning of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and the fire ?
Why in some circumstances does God require certain people to ascend the steps and descend and why did Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego have to go through the fire of life - to ascend ? [of course this is old Testament so it does not apply to you now - as Jesus has already ascended and descended.........
However this is not the fact as in your own life you may well be asked and told to ascend this hill.
I mean - why would God prune us and send us through trials - when "He has done it already"...
The fact that Jesus already walked through a fire - does not add up does it ? as you may well walk through the fire yourself...
And so lets begin the final step -come with me ...
Here in Psalm 134, we have the nightly guard being under the captain who frequented these places throughout the night with a flaming torch , if the captain of the guards found [Priest's/Levites/sentinel's] anyone alseep - that person would be beaten with a staff.
In the same sense you have the shepherd watching over the sheep Luke 2:8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby. Here the shepherds had to watch over the sheep and knew them individually and protected them from the attack of wolves/enemies/ and here thr shepherds watched the sheep while Jesus was being born...
Psalm 127:1 A song of ascents. Of Solomon. Unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain.
These are the Priests and the Levites in this context - and it is not my strength but God's strength that guards a city...
Here go to Gethsemane and see : Matthew 26:40 Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. "Couldn't you men keep watch with me for one hour?" and here we have the sovereign Lord [being the Captain/Shepherd/Watcher/
Now lets change it back to you with...
Psalm 130:6 My soul waits for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning
Here the disciples could not guard the city as Jesus was taken from them - and we see the relevant/paradox/argument/ scripture with "My soul waits for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning"
And so Jesus/The Watcher/Shepherd/ was taken from them while they watched...
Again Psalm 134 is a simply three verse Psalm.
Now listen why would we meet to worship God at night ?
In it's context this is about the watchers of the temple - those assigned by devotion , much like our present day "security guards"
But looking out beyond this context it is God who watches at all times and knows exactly what is going on with His sheep.
The shepherds could not always defend the sheep and in the literal world [not a picture or metaphor] sheep did get ripped to pieces by predators, although animals are used more in symbolism to represent certain people as in Genesis 49:27 - Acts 20:29 - Ezekiel 22:27 etc
This can be translated to mean evil or people ripping God's people apart [as God also divides soul from spirit etc - Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart
I cannot help but be drawn to the shepherd and the flock here - who watch their flock by night [in the dark times]
Servant of the Lord here conveys a meaning of someone who is a devout follower and who seeks to protect the sheep [again another mataphor]
Who stand by night in the house of the Lord - what is house here - ? in it's context it is the Levites 1 Chronicles 9:33
Where those people would sing and glorify God - but how does this relate now to our lives ?
I am drawn now to the third watch of the night Luke 12:38 - and here th disciples were rowing frantically against the wind and storm.
The hour was the fourth watch or 3am at a time when they were exhausted and giving up.
Here Jesus the great Shepherd was watching over them [a time of distress and darkness]
Here Jesus walks on the water and calms the storm [to be seen as another metaphor] literal also a picture story .
Then he climbed into the boat with them, and the wind died down. They were completely amazed,
Jesus here is the watchman by night...
He is the One who can walk into darkness and did - to save us when we are exhausted and have given up in our own strength and at the 3am He can save us.
Here He is the Light of the world to His disciples and the creator of the sea and waves - but remember [not always of the troubles] Jesus does provide and notice just before this salvaton from the storm Jesus fed the "Five Thousand"
The feeding of the four thousand is seen as "gentile and the four "jewish" areas /lands - however - again we are entering symbolism here and the five thousand includes 7 baskets here the four thousand are Jews and Gentiles - but this is about "provision"
And so read here that God is the night watcher and that He Provides and saves. and in this we read the entire chapter and not just the verse of Matthew 14:25
Now notice God's scriptures are also prophetic and alive and can speak into our lives now and so He can be "our" provider and the saviour at the 3am .
Here I suppose you descend by seeing that God is really in control
I cannot really see what the descent is but to realise that we cannot anoint ourselves and that it takes Jesus to walk on those waters .
I found a person who once said "you may look at me and think that I am someone to look up to - but you do not realise what I have been through - and you would never want to go through what I have been through"
Here I believe God works inidvidually in unique people which sets them apart - and is quite a scarey thought - here we are alone on our own path - but have Jesus as the Watchman.
Here individuals are separated for a unique path in the ascent - basically they are on their own - rowing the boat, as each individual disciple wss doing just that - until Jesus stepped in.
to finish I want to look at individual disciples [rowing their own boats] /metaphor.
And I think of Stephen and those that gnashed their teeth at him Acts 7:54 When they heard these things, they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed on him with their teeth. here Stephen is stoned to death as he see's the glory of heaven.
The Apostle John sent to patmos as a prisoner / dipped in burning oil /persecuted/left alone/ shares in the book of revelaton of what he had seen.
Paul another individual, on his own walk on the road to damascus/blinded/ so he might see the Light ..
Paul here being imprisoned /under house arrest/ spent his last years in chains and it is said that he died either of fire or beheaded.
We could go on - but the message here is that God is the Watchman - seeing all things.
It is not so much what happened to God's people - but how they went though it with Jesus at their side.
He stands on the waters of their storms of life and it was not so much their end - but God's rescue after that time.
Going to the Old Testament we see how people had to descend before ascending "as in Joseph" and many more like Job and his sufferings - all these are seen as "types" of Christ.
Lord God thankyou in Jesus name that You are the Watchman of all alive, you are the bridge between life and everlasting life,
You know each or Your sheep by name - and as they stand in the House of the eternal Lord "by night" you are the One who gides them through that valley.
Thankyou that they continue to praise You into everlasting eternity in Jesus Nane Amen
Thankyou Lord that these are the blessed [but not seen as such]
Thankyou that the blessing is in the descent before ascending...
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