Unless the Lord builds a house
Psalm 127 from the daily reading in the One Year Bible
Unless the Lord builds a house,
They who build it labor in vain;
Unless the Lord guards a city,
The watchman stays awake in vain.
2 It is futile for you to rise up early,
To stay up late,
To eat the bread of painful labor;
This is how He gives to His beloved sleep.
3 Behold, 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 Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them;
They will not be ashamed
When they speak with their enemies in the gate.
The psalmist says: Unless the Lord builds a house, They who build it labor in vain; Unless the Lord guards a city, The watchman stays awake in vain. 1 Corinthians 3:11 says: No one can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. In Matthew 7:24-27 Jesus says: “Therefore, everyone who hears these words of Mine, and acts on them, will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of Mine, and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell—and its collapse was great.”
This nation and most of our political, educational and societal systems were built upon the foundation of Christ and scripture. Over the years though another foundation has been laid which builds on human philosophies and ideologies. Our nation has weathered many storms, but now we are on shaky ground and in danger of a great collapse. As evidenced by the violence in our cities and schools, the Lord cannot watch over the places He has been removed from. Our government’s policies are in vain against, if not responsible for, the many crises our nation is facing. In Isaiah 5:20 God says: Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! In our nation, we are reaping what we have sown. We are experiencing the woe of having turned from God. In Isaiah 55:10-11 God says: As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, And do not return there without watering the earth And making it produce and sprout, And providing seed to the sower and bread to the eater; So will My word be which goes out of My mouth; It will not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, And without succeeding in the purpose for which I sent it. God will do what He said He would do. He has not changed His mind or bent His will or standards to accommodate our culture’s whims or immorality.
That God will do what He said can be a source of great angst if we continue without Him, or a source of great hope if we return and rebuild on the foundation of Christ our rock. In 2 Chronicles 7:13-14 God says: When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people, if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. God will do what He said He would do. We have a choice whether to know His healing or His woe.
- My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.
- When darkness veils His lovely face,
I rest on His unchanging grace;
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.
- His oath, His covenant, His blood
Support me in the whelming flood;
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my hope and stay.
- When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh, may I then in Him be found;
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne. Amen.