Verse 2. Lift up your hands in the sanctuary. In the holy place they must be busy, full of strength, wide awake, energetic, and moved with holy ardour. Hands, heart, and every other part of their manhood must be upraised, elevated, and consecrated to the adoring service of the Lord. As the angels praise God day without night, so must the angels of the churches be instant in season and out of season.
And bless the LORD. This is their main business. They are to bless men by their teaching, but they must yet more bless Jehovah with their worship. Too often men look at public worship only from the side of its usefulness to the people; but the other matter is of even higher importance: we must see to it that the Lord God is adored, extolled, and had in reverence. For a second time the word "bless" is used, and applied to Jehovah. Bless the Lord, O my soul, and let every other soul bless him. There will be no drowsiness about even midnight devotion if the heart is set upon blessing God in Christ Jesus, which is the gospel translation of God in the sanctuary.
EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS
Verse 2. Lift up your hands, etc. The lifting up of the hands was a gesture in prayer, it was an intimation of their expectation of receiving blessings from the Lord, and it was also an acknowledgment of their having received the same. --Samuel Eyles Pierce.
Verse 2. In the sanctuary. The Hebrew work signifying holiness as well as the holy place may here be taken in the former sense, the latter having been sufficiently expressed ( Psalms 134:1 ) by "the house of the Lord" ... The priests (which are here spoken to) before their officiating, which is here expressed by lifting up their hands, were obliged to wash their hands. --Henry Hammond.
HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 2. Ingredients of worship.
- Uplifted hands. Energy, courage, prayer, aspiration.
- Uplifted hearts. Thank, praise, adore, and love the Lord.
Verse 3. The Divine Benediction.
- From the Creator: ample, new, varied, boundless, enduring -- all illustrated by his making heaven and earth.
- From the Redeemer: blessings most needful, rich, effectual, abiding, -- all illustrated and guaranteed by his dwelling among men, purchasing a church, building an abode, revealing his glory, reigning on his throne.