The Lord's Blessing (Psalm 134:3) - Radical

The Lord’s Blessing (Psalm 134:3)

“May the Lord bless you from Zion, he who made heaven and earth.”
– Psalm 134:3

So this is a short Psalm, only three verses. And the very end of it is, basically it’s just a prayer of blessing over the people of God. They’ve gathered together at the temple for worship of God and they are now leaving. And so there’s a song of prayer for them. “May the Lord bless you from Zion, he who made heaven and earth.” So from this place, as we scatter, may you experience God’s blessing.

So we know, based on New Testament, new covenant, obviously we don’t gather together in one place where the Spirit of God dwells, and then scatter from there. Yes, we gather together with other believers, but the reality is we all have the Spirit of God dwelling in us. We are the temple of the Holy Spirit, both individually, and 1 Corinthians 3 talks about how the church is the place where God’s glory dwells.

May the Lord Bless You

So as we come together, as temples of the Holy Spirit, as we together are, in a sense, the temple of the Holy Spirit, there is a sense, though, in which we still pray, “As we scatter, may the Lord bless you.” And just think about that word. Like we use that all the time. “I bless you.” We actually say that like when people sneeze. It’s kind of odd. Why do we say that when people sneeze? Anyway, I don’t think that would be the most helpful use of this short podcast episode. But we use that word all the time. I bless. What does that mean?

And when you look throughout scripture, it’s really such a rich word. To be blessed is to be happy. Not talking like a trite, service-level happiness. We’re talking about a full, lasting happiness. It’s actually the first word in the Psalms. “Blessed is the man who walks not in the council of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.” You see how blessing is equated here with delight, like it’s a picture of full, lasting happiness. And all throughout scripture, we see the countless ways God blesses his people. He leads his people, he guides his people, he saves his people, he delivers his people, he helps his people. He does so many different things.

Psalm 134:3 Finds Joy in God’s Blessings

“May the Lord bless you from Zion, He who made heaven and earth!”

So when you say, “May the Lord bless you,” you’re praying for that, over others, that God would lead, guide, direct, bless, save, deliver, help, protect, provide, all of these different things. What a rich word. So when we use it in prayer, when we use it in conversations with others, let’s think about the magnitude of what it means, and let’s indeed use it. Let us encourage one another. Let’s pray this over people. Let’s do that now.

God, we praise you. Even just the thought that you bless us is astounding. We, who deserve eternal judgment, instead are recipients of your blessing. All glory be to your name, oh God. Thank you for blessing us. Thank you for leading us, for guiding us, for saving us from our sins, from delivering us from ourselves, for directing our paths, for providing for our needs, for protecting us from sin and temptation. Lord, all the ways you bless us, all glory be to your name for your blessing.

Psalm 134:3 Prays for God to Bless Those Around Us

And so we praise you for your blessing, and we pray for it, not just in our lives but in the people around us. Even as different people come into our minds right now, whether it’s family, friends, church members, people who right now are apart from you and have not trusted in Jesus, God, we pray for your blessing. We pray that you would save, we pray that you would deliver, we pray that you would protect, that you would provide, that you would lead and guide in all kinds of different people’s lives.

I would encourage us, even after this podcast episode is over, just to spend time like praying for specific ways God might bless this person or that person, this person, or that person. God, we want to faithfully intercede for your blessing on others, knowing that as we pray, that you answer, that as we pray for your blessing, you give it. So may you, the Lord, bless us and people around us, for your glory and for our, for their, good. We pray this in Jesus’ name, amen.

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder and chairman of Radical. He is the author of several books, including Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me, Counter Culture, and Something Needs to Change.

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