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  • Writer's picturePastor Mike

February 04 2024


Sunday February 4

We Need the LORD’s Blessings

 

Psalm 127:1-5 

A Song of Ascents. Of Solomon

1 Unless the LORD builds the house, They labor in vain who build it; Unless the LORD guards the city, The watchman stays awake in vain.

2 It is vain for you to rise up early, To sit up late, To eat the bread of sorrows; For so He gives His beloved sleep.

3 Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward.

4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one's youth.

5 Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; They shall not be ashamed, But shall speak with their enemies in the gate.

 

Psalm 127 is the eighth of the “Ascent Songs” or “Pilgrim Psalms”. It has an inscription that attributes it to Solomon as the writer. Some scholars believe that King Hezekiah is the person who organized the “Ascent Songs” for the pilgrimage of the people and for their worship when they arrived in Jerusalem. Others think that it might have been Nehemiah or Ezra who complied these fifteen psalms for the remnant returning from their captivity in Babylon. They were both rebuilding the temple and walls of Jerusalem and having to fight their distractors and enemies at the same time! Remember Nehemiah had the people hold a trowel in one hand and a sword in the other as they worked on the wall.

 

The major message of this psalm is that is no amount of human sacrifice or toil can accomplish much unless God's blessing is upon His people. I’ll never forget an old hymn that says, “Little is much when God is in it”! But the opposite is true also, “A lot is nothing when God is not in it”!  As God’s people, we are builders and more than anything else we need God’s blessings upon us as we “build and guard” in a dangerous and demanding world.

 

Solomon was a great builder, and he must have learned this lesson that if the LORD’s blessings were not there, the builders labored in vain, and the soldiers would watch and guard in vain. God had called us to build—our lives, our homes, our churches, and the kingdom of God around the world. Before commencing His public ministry, Jesus was a carpenter (Mark 6:3), and He is currently building His church in this world (Matt. 16:18). The apostle Paul saw himself as a master builder (1 Cor. 3:10). Whether we are building structures with bricks and mortar and steel, or building lives, families, and churches with truth and love, we cannot succeed without the help of the Lord. Jesus said, "Without Me you can do nothing" (John 15:5).

 

We must also depend on the LORD to guard what is being built! (v. 1b). Strong walls around the city and alert watchmen on those walls are essential if we are to protect what we have built. And how foolish it is to build and not protect! Many a child and many a ministry has been lost to the enemy because the watchmen did not stay awake and warn that the enemy was approaching. If parents, teachers, and church leaders do not courageously depend on the LORD through prayer and His Word to guard against the enemy, our building and battling will be in vain.

 

If verse 1 warns against overconfidence ("We can do it without God's help!"), verse 2 warns against overwork and anxious toil ("I have to do it all right now!"). This verse does not say it is wrong for people to get up early, work hard, and make sacrifices (see 2 Thess. 3:6-15). It only warns us that our work should be a blessing we enjoy and not a burden we endure. Doing God's will is nourishment, not punishment. But the anxious laborer eats "the bread of sorrows", sorrow while working and sorrow while trying to rest at night as he worries about the next day. God gives us "richly all things to enjoy" (1 Tim. 6:17). The last line of verse 2 is translated and interpreted several different ways, but the thrust of it seems clear. We get tired in God's work, but we do not get tired of God's work, because the Lord who gives us the strength to work also gives us the rest we need. "The sleep of a laboring man is sweet" (Eccl. 5:12).

 

In verses 3-5, we are reminded that it does no good to build and guard our houses and cities if there are no future generations to inherit them and keep the family, city, and nation going. Children are precious—a heritage and they make the home a treasury. But they are also useful, like fruit and arrows, and make the home a garden and an armory. If we do not raise our children to know and love the truth, who will plant the seeds of truth and fight the battles against lies and evil in the years to come? It is in the family that we preserve the best of the past and invest it in the future. Every baby born is God's vote for the future of humankind and our opportunity to help make some new beginnings.

 

May the LORD always give us grace to remember that we desperately need His blessings and “Little is much when God is in it!”

 

God bless!

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