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A Season of Psalms - Psalm 127


Psalm 127

Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep. Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies at the gate.

English Standard Version (ESV)

“God first. Family second. Work third.” When asked to rank our priorities in life, this is the common response. But what does it mean to put God first? What does it mean to “love the Lord your God with all you heart and with all your soul and with all your might?” If we were to follow this command to the letter, what would our lives look like?

Psalm 127 says that without the Lord, our plans are in vain. True success depends on the Lord, not on our own efforts. The psalmist says those that work expend themselves to death, “eating the bread of anxious toil” (i.e., career-focused). Compare this with verses 3-5: those who trust in the Lord will be blessed. This doesn’t mean that if God is our number one priority, He’ll instantly bless us with an all-expenses paid trip to Hawaii. But if our whole heart is wrapped up in God, He will provide for us and shower us with good things, most notably Himself. When we have the Father, we have enough. We will lack for nothing, and we’ll soon discover that He should not just be our top priority, but our only priority, the Source from whom all other blessings flow.

One of His great blessings and rewards are children. They are a heritage from the Lord and a supportive advantage in the household. They bring blessing to the man who has a quiver full of them! In fact, the psalm says “the more, the merrier.” God told Adam and Eve to “be fruitful and multiply.” Gideon had 70 sons from many wives; Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines, totaling 88 children. Every good thing we enjoy (food, shelter, family, protection) are gifts from God, not a result of our own energies and expenditures. We can depend on Him because He’s proven Himself faithful over and over. We’ve tasted and seen that He is good. Let’s enjoy His good gifts, but let us never forget about the Giver! God is good!

Further Reading: 2 Samuel 7:1-17; Deuteronomy 6

Pray with me:

O Lord my God, my life, my hope, and my strength are in You. You are the Author of every good and perfect gift, and I give You praise today, for You alone are the desire of my heart. Fill me with Your goodness until I overflow. I pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.

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