Friday, September 16, 2011

Reflecting on the Psalms: Chapters 127-128

Psalm 127

A Song of degrees for Solomon.

1Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.
2It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep.
3Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.
4As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.

5Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.

Psalm 128

A Song of degrees.

1Blessed is every one that feareth the LORD; that walketh in his ways.
2For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee.
3Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house: thy children like olive plants round about thy table.
4Behold, that thus shall the man be blessed that feareth the LORD.
5The LORD shall bless thee out of Zion: and thou shalt see the good of Jerusalem all the days of thy life.

6Yea, thou shalt see thy children's children, and peace upon Israel.

Chapter 127

For clarity, here's Matthew Henry's insight on verse 1: "Let us always look to God's providence. In all the affairs and business of a family we must depend upon his blessing." I don't have a family, but that is a verse to keep in mind in case I ever do have a family. Me and my house, I could imagine us serving Him (Joshua 24:15) and having Him as our foundation. I believe the building the house of the aspect of the verse is not physical, but rather it's saying that a house or family doesn't work out if God's not at the center of it. I figure the reason there's so many divorces is because God isn't at the center of a marriage, which is how the vainty ("they larour in vain that build it") aspect ties in because if one does something that is considered vain to God, he or she will typically get less than satisfactory results and probably a failed marriage or what have you. That's not to say that Christians can't divorce, but that's a topic for another time. It's funny that Solomon wrote that Psalm and used the word "vain" because it reminds me of the Book of Ecclesiastes when he wrote about vain or meaningless things. I'm not sure how I'd relate to verse 2 because I can't say I've had any (vain) experiences regarding what it describes, but it a promise to keep in mind in case I ever do. In regards to verse 3, I don't have any children (or sons), but I do like Henry's thought on the verse, "Children are God's gifts, a heritage, and a reward; and are to be accounted blessings, and not burdens: he who sends mouths, will send meat, if we trust in him." If I ever do have children some day, I will be reminded that they are a gift from God and that it will a good thing to raise them up in a godly way. It kind of goes back to verse 1 where I talked about having God as the foundation for a family. I look forward to raising up my children in a godly way, which I know I will be blessed for in probably for more ways than I can imagine, but I'm not gonna do just to receive the blessings. Rather, I'm gonna do it to make an impact for His kingdom. I don't have a lot to say about verse 4, but what it means to me is that if I have children and they get out into the world and are called by God to do missions in say, India, they are gonna remember the (godly) influence I had on them and use that to stand for God. And if God wants to use my future children to stand up for Him and bring people to Him, I'll be OK with that because I'll trust that God will be with them and protect them. I'm not sure how I'd relate to verse 5 since it seems to relate to the previous verse and since I don't have children.

Chapter 128

I do fear the Lord (v. 1) and one the ways I am blessed as a result of that is by when His spirit touches me an others in church. I do display fear or reverence for Him outside of church, but for the sake of coming up with an example, I'll just talk about what I experience in church. In church, when serving communion time, I have felt the Holy Spirit's presence in the silence that takes place during communion. I'm doing my part by serving the communion trays, which I see as an act of revering because it says to God that He and His people are more important and are to be served first. By doing that and having that attitude, I am blessed by feeling the Holy Spirit's presence. Afterwards, the other worship hosts and I have a communion and prayer time. For clarity, here's Henry's thoughts on verse 2: "They shall not be forced to live upon the labours of other people. It is as much a mercy as a duty, with quietness to work and eat our own bread. They and theirs shall enjoy what they get." I'm not really sure what I'm supposed to get out of that verse, but I think "For thou shalt eat the larour of thine hands" has to do with God's blessing being, I guess, taken as a result of one's labor. I do tend to grasp onto the blessings He provies and I usually thank Him for His blessings in prayer. What "happy shalt thou be" means to me is that one is satisfied when God blesses him or her, which is a good thing. I don't have a wife a kids (v. 3), but I do like the comparisons in the verse and I do look forward to having a wife that is fruitful in terms of spirit, personality, and intelligence. I don't have much to say about the children aspect, but I do look forward to raising up children in a godly way. And I imagine when I have the ideal wife and kids, as I pointed out, that will be the result of fearing Him (v. 4) or putting Him first in my life. To put it biblically, Matthew 6:33 says, "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." In regards to verse 5, I do believe that His blessings come from Zion (or His dwelling place) and that His blessings, such as having a roof over my head, food to eat, being able to live another (undeserved) day, and being able to draw (another) breath are some of the good things that He provides for me every day, which I am thankful for. I don't have much to say about verse 6, but if it's His will for me to live to see my children's children (or grandchildren), I will. What I mean my "His will" is that I could die before ever seeing my children's children since He knows when I'm gonna die and I'd be OK with going before ever meeting my grandchildren since I know that nothing compares to eternity with Him.

                                                  Sources used:

Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Psalms 127". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
on the Whole Bible". <>. 

Henry, Matthew. "Concise Commentary on Psalms 128". "Matthew Henry Concise Commentary
on the Whole Bible". <>.

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