The Psalms We Sing - Psalm 127
The Psalms We Sing: Psalm 127
Psalms 127:1–5 - Unless the LORD builds the house, They labor in vain who build it; Unless the LORD guards the city, The watchman keeps awake in vain. 127:2 It is vain for you to rise up early, To retire late, To eat the bread of painful labors; For He gives to His beloved even in his sleep. 127:3 Behold, children are a gift of the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward. 127:4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one’s youth. 127:5 How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them; They will not be ashamed when they speak with their enemies in the gate.
Outline of Psalm 127
A - Building
B - Guarding
A’ - Building in Painful Labors vs the Gift of Children
B’ - Guarding with Children-Arrows with no Shame
1) We must actively depend on the Lord in building our lives. Unless the Lord . . . The first verse of this Psalm addresses the God-condition on which men’s plan fail or succeed. “Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. In first place the constructive efforts of “building” should be guided by a complete dependence on the Lord doing the “building.”
2) We must actively depend on the Lord in protecting our lives. Unless the LORD watches . . .” Secondly, the watching/guarding to protect what has been constructed must also be grounded on the Lord’s complete control. The two activities that we are doing in life are “building” and “guarding” of that which we have built. Whether you intend to or not, you are building and guarding what you have built. In both of the life-actions, we must yield to the Lord accomplishing these activities. Building or protecting apart from the Lord will result in futility or fruitlessness.
3) We must actively depend on the Lord to avoid futility and fruitlessness. The Lord is not doing the building or guarding when: a) We have not invited Him to do so. Have you invited the Lord into your home by worship, family worship, praying regularly with your family, by continually living in dependence on Him? b) When we are not following His blueprint. If we are, in conscious ways, disobeying His clear will, then we are not yielding to Him doing the building and guarding. Can you list clear disobediences in your life which simply contract the claim that “the Lord is building” your house. c) When it is not resulting in the fruitfulness of gratitude, joy and serving others. You may have a tidy home and a rigorous schedule of objectively good activities. But the kingdom of God is “righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit” (Rom. 14:17). The true clothes of the children of God are expressed joy and thankfulness which leads to serving others out of the overflow of grace.
Gregg Strawbridge, Ph.D., is the pastor of All Saints Church in Lancaster, PA. He became a committed follower of Jesus Christ at age 20, discipled in the context of a University Navigator Ministry. As a result of personal discipleship he went on to study at Columbia Biblical Seminary (M.A., Columbia, SC, 1990), as well as a Ph.D. in education and philosophy... read more