1. The travelers call on the temple servants to bless God – vs.1-2
What does it mean to bless in reference to God?
2. The temple servants call for God to bless the travelers – vs.3
What does it mean for God to bless us?
Bless – Noah Webster – 1828
1. To pronounce a wish of happiness to one; to express a wish or desire of happiness. “And Isaac called Jacob and blessed him.” Genesis 28:1
2. To make happy; to make successful; to prosper in temporal concerns; as, we are blest with peace and plenty. “The Lord thy God shall bless thee in all thou doest.” Deuteronomy 15:4, 10, 18
3. To make happy in a future life. “Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord.” Revelation 14:13
4. To set apart or consecrate to holy purposes; to make and pronounce holy. “And God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it.” Genesis 2:3
5. To consecrate by prayer; to invoke a blessing upon. “And Jesus took the five loaves and the two fishes, and looking up to heaven he blessed them.” Luke 9:16
6. To praise; to glorify, for benefits received. “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me. Psalm 103.1-2
7. To praise; to magnify; to extol, for excellencies. “Bless the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty.” Psalm 104:1
8. To esteem or account happy; with the reciprocal pronoun. And thou shalt swear, The LORD liveth, in truth, in judgment, and in righteousness; and the nations shall bless themselves in him, and in him shall they glory. Jeremiah 4:2
9. To pronounce a solemn prophetical benediction upon. Genesis 27, Deuteronomy 33:1 “And this is the blessing, wherewith Moses the man of God blessed the children of Israel before his death.
Bless ( barakh): This word is found more frequently in the Old Testament than in the New Testament, and is used in different relations.
(1) It is first met in Gen. 1:22 at the introduction of animal life upon the earth, where it is written, “And God blessed them, saying, Be fruitful, and multiply,” etc. The context furnishes the key to its meaning, which is the bestowal of good, and in this particular place the pleasure and power of increase in kind. Thus it is generally employed in both Testaments, the context always determining the character of the bestowal; for instance (where man is the recipient), whether the good is temporal or spiritual, or both.
Occasionally, however, a different turn is given to it as in Gen. 2:3 the King James Version, where it is written, “And God blessed the seventh day, and hallowed it.” Here the good consists in the setting apart and consecrating of that day for His use.
(2) In the foregoing instances the Creator is regarded as the source of blessing and the creature the recipient, but the order is sometimes reversed, and the creature (man) is the source and the Creator the recipient. In Gen. 24:48, for example, Abraham’s servant says, “I bowed my head, and worshipped Yahweh, and blessed Yahweh, the God of my master Abraham,” where the word evidently means to worship God, to exalt and praise Him.
(3) There is a third use where men only are considered. In Gen. 24:60, her relatives “blessed Rebekah, and said unto her, Our sister, be thou the mother of thousands of ten thousands” (the King James Version “millions”), where the word expresses the wish or hope for the bestowal of the good designated. There are also instances where such a blessing of man by man may be taken in the prophetic sense, as when Isaac blessed Jacob (Gen. 27:4, Gen. 27:27), putting himself as it were in God’s place, and with a sense of the Divine concurrence, pronouncing the good named. Here the word becomes in part a prayer for, and in part a prediction of, the good intended. Balaam’s utterances are simply prophetic of Israel’s destiny (Num. 23:9, Num. 23:10, Num. 23:11, Num.23:23 margin, 24).
Although these illustrations are from the Old Testament the word is used scarcely differently in the New Testament; “The blessing of bread, of which we read in the Gospels, is equivalent to giving thanks for it, the thought being that good received gratefully comes as a blessing”; compare Mat. 14:19 and Mat.15:36 with 1Cor.11:24 (International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, Adeney, HDB, I, 307).
How has God blessed you?
How are you blessing God?
“We have now reached the last of the Gradual Psalms. The Pilgrims are going home, and are singing the last song in their psalter. They leave early in the morning, before the day has fully commenced, for the journey is long for many of them. While yet the night lingers they are on the move. As soon as they are outside the gates they see the guards upon the temple wall, and the lamps shining from the windows of the chambers which surround the sanctuary; therefore, moved by the sight, they chant a farewell to the perpetual attendants upon the holy shrine. Their parting exhortation arouses the priests to pronounce upon them a blessing out of the holy place: this benediction is contained in the third verse. The priests as good as say, ‘You have desired us to bless the Lord, and now we pray the Lord to bless you.’
The Psalm teaches us to pray for those who are continually ministering before the Lord, and it invites all ministers to pronounce benedictions upon their loving and prayerful people.” C. H. Spurgeon