Unless the Lord builds the house...
Psalm 127 from the daily reading in the One year Bible
Prosperity Comes from the Lord.
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.
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.
children are a gift of the Lord,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.
4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,
So are the children of one’s youth.
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.
In Mark 8:34-38 Jesus says: “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?For what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will also be ashamed of him when He comes in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.” And in Matthew 6:19-21 He says: “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” In today’s text the psalmist says: 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. 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. Anything that we do in our own strength, for our own sake is temporary. We can’t take our material possessions with us. Someone else will have all that we have accumulated in this world. On the other hand, what we do with and for God, joining Him in the work of building His house, is eternal. The psalmist says: He gives to His beloved even in his sleep. Jesus says: “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:29-30) When we work with and for the Lord, yoked to Him, doing what He is doing, we rest even as we labor. It is neither difficult nor wearisome to walk and work in God’s will and His calling on our lives. The difficulty, the striving is when we struggle against God’s will, trying to accomplish our own agenda or the plans and programs of man. In Acts 26:14, Paul telling the story of his encounter with the Lord says: And when we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in the Hebrew dialect, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’ It is indeed difficult, even vanity to work against the will of God. But, if we will commit our lives to Him and His will, we will gain both eternally and now. Jesus says: “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10)
The psalmist continues: Behold, children are a gift of the Lord, The fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one’s youth. How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. Genesis 1:27-28 says: God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” To have children is both a gift and reward from God. How far have we fallen when we no longer value the “fruit of the womb?” When we look at the account of creation, everything was to produce after its kind, the plants, every living creature were to reproduce after their own kind, like themselves. That too is the fruitfulness we are supposed to fill the earth with. It is not only in that natural that we are to create many offspring. It is also in the spiritual. We are to reproduce others who would live for God. Jesus says: “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20) He is with us as we reproduce spiritual children, His disciples. In the natural we reproduce after our kind. Jesus says we should reproduce His disciples from all the nations. The word translated nations here does not mean countries. The command and commission is not that we need to travel to other countries. The word nations is translated from the Greek word ethnos, from which we get the English word ethnic. In the natural we reproduce according to our own ethnicity, in the spiritual we reproduce disciples of Christ, children of God from every tribe and race. In the kingdom of God there is no racial or ethnic separation. We are all equal and we are all one in Christ. We are obedient to God and Christ as we reproduce spiritual children. The word Christian means little Christ, that is the kind we are to reproduce.
Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ; precious Holy Spirit, I yield to You. I take Your yoke upon myself, that I might walk and work with You. I choose to lay down my own plans and my own agenda, the vanity of doing my will and choose instead to do all that I do for Your eternal kingdom. May my life truly produce fruit after its kind. May I make disciples, raising up children of God. In the name of Jesus, the name above every name, the only name by which anyone can be saved, I pray. Amen.