Weds 22nd July - Psalm 127
1 Unless the Lord builds the house,
the builders labour in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city,
the guards stand watch in vain.
2 In vain you rise early
and stay up late,
toiling for food to eat –
for he grants sleep to those he loves.
3 Children are a heritage from the Lord,
offspring a reward from him.
4 Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
are children born in one’s youth.
5 Blessed is the man
whose quiver is full of them.
They will not be put to shame
when they contend with their opponents in court.
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Meditation on Psalm 127
Another of the Song of Ascents but with an additional heading – ‘of Solomon’.
Commentators are divided as to whether this is written by Solomon or to Solomon or even about him.
This Psalm focuses on the LORD in a very practical way.
Spurgeon summarises the Psalm as ‘God's blessing on His people as their one great necessity and privilege. We are here taught that builders of houses and cities, systems and fortunes, empires and churches all labour in vain without the Lord; but under the divine favour they enjoy perfect rest.’
Here the Psalmist is thinking about the practical, everyday situations in which we find ourselves – building houses, building cities and building families.
In each case he encourages us to involve the LORD in those situations.
Think about Noah and his building. He was given instructions to build the Ark and the LORD was with him all the way and when the family and the animals were in the Ark, ‘the LORD shut the door.’
Not only was the LORD involved in the building, He was involved in its protection.
Think of David. He wanted to build the Temple for the LORD but he was told that he wasn’t the one to build it. That responsibility came to his son, Solomon, although David gave him the plans and much of the materials. The LORD was in that project – He was the Master Builder.
Think of those who built the Tower of Babel. “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens so that we may make a name for ourselves…”
And what happened? ‘Unless the LORD builds the house, they labour in vain that build it.’
When the LORD is invited into our lives and into our ministries, we don’t labour in vain or watch in vain.
This also applies to our work. There’s nothing wrong with working hard but when we toil (i.e. to be engaged in physical labour, to proceed with laborious effort) we worry and get anxious and that becomes counter-productive. We love the LORD, so we work hard, knowing that we can rest in Him as those He loves.
This also applies to our families. We are all part of a human family – we were all children once and therefore we are a gift from the LORD; a blessing from Him and blessed by Him.
When all is said and done, this Psalm reminds us that the LORD is in control.
Let’s learn the warnings from Solomon’s life – his building was eventually destroyed, his kingdom was split and his family life was a disaster.
LORD help me to remember that unless you are in my life and in control of all I do, my life is in vain.
Help me to serve you in every situation, bringing glory to you and blessing to others. Amen.
Thursday 23 July - Psalm 128
Friday 24 July - Psalm 129
Saturday 25 July - Psalm 130
Sunday 26 July - Psalm 131
Monday 27 July - Psalm 132
Tuesday 28 July - Psalm 133