Psalm 127 Commentary
The first 3 verses are satirical in nature, so it appears. They would fit a direct extract from the Book of Proverbs. But the prophet is saying something important. We need to ponder. What is he talking about, pouring scorn on hard work, diligence, and watchfulness?
Shouldn’t people build houses? Won’t a couple sit down and plan to have children or not to have them? And should being childless become a source of shame?
Because of these thoughts, arising from our own experiences, we quickly unwind and know that the scripture is talking serious business here.
Yes, there is T-bone to be hard but with scripture, even the skin is not thrown away. There is great value in the samples. The thought to build yourself a house; the strength required; the materials used and the time you need are all provided by the Creator God. The saint is encouraged to acknowledge the LORD God who gives good gifts to all.
A good engine is a great asset. The saint knows good brains are also a gift from the LORD.
Check it again. Just about every warfare resulted in the destruction of dwelling structures. Housing is everything. War flattens cities in order to disturb prosperity and orderly existence. Protection is everything. The mention of children reflects on the blessing of increase as mandated by the Creator God in the Garden of peace and tranquility.
We build houses in order to live in them, but we can only live in God. We can only prosper in the presence of God. Anything else is a chase after wind – a pursuit of emptiness by emptiness.
Are we going to invite God to come and join the guards in the night by the gate? No. Even the robber’s heart needs permission from the LORD to beat one more time. The world is tightly under the control of the Creator God.
The only way to seek real protection is by finding your way back to the Garden of peace and tranquility – by way of the LORD Jesus Christ. Any other means simply make us more insecure. The most secure person is not the president of America with his armored cars. A man sleeping in the street under open skies is the most secure of all men. There is a protection that the LORD provides but it’s not exactly what intelligence systems would describe.
Children are a heritage from the LORD. Blessed is the man who is full of them. You immediately know the scripture is talking about the blessedness that you don’t work for; the blessedness that you cannot actually work for. So it’s not the physical house since we have seen many wicked people build and actually live in their mansions. We have seen money provide physical insurance against all sorts of losses. But the scripture is not talking about this kind of blessedness that you can work for.
Children are a heritage; so is blessedness. What a perfect picture! The gift of God is free but it remains a gift. It must be given by the LORD Jesus Christ.
And the ending to this psalm offers more thoughts about the final judgment. The blessed man stands in court but he doesn’t suffer shame because of his ‘children’. It speaks of the advantage, of final salvation, and of final restoration all on account of the gift we cannot work for. Salvation is a free gift. Men and women can receive it.
So, unless the LORD builds the house, the builders build in vain. What a scripture!
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