Thursday, July 16, 2009

Night Watch

“Now praise the Lord, all you servants of the Lord who stand in the Lord’s house at night! Lift up your hands in the holy place, and praise the Lord! May the Lord, Maker of heaven and earth, bless you from Zion.” (Psalm 134)

Imagine the temple of Solomon in all its splendor and ornate detail, then turn off the lights. It’s nighttime in the temple. All the hustle and bustle of the day is now silent because people have gone to their homes. The only light in the temple is that of the menorah in the Holy Place, the embers of the altar fire outside in the courtyard, and the soft flicker of oil lamps on the walls in the court of the men. Soft light and stillness rule, but there is still activity.

The night watch crew is at work. Floors must be swept and other cleaning done. Oil lamps need to be filled. The altar fire must be kept going. Fresh bread has to be baked for the table. Things need to be straightened and arranged.

This is the night watch. These are the servants who work quietly in the house of the Lord during the night, background workers. These are not looking for attention or recognition. They do this simply because they love the Lord. And on occasion, during the watches of the night, they will pause from their duties, overwhelmed by thoughts of the awesome presence of the Almighty and lift their hands in the air to praise Him. Hallelujah.

Lord, In quietness and peace is our strength as we walk with You. Amen.

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