“Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labour in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain’” vs. 1
We build our lives upon foundations. Foundations of belief, family, relationships, success, work, to name but a few; the list is long. Often our aim in building these foundations is for a good life: health; happiness; and freedom from pain and suffering. A subtle underlying truth is that we really want to be able to control these matters. The current extraordinary and exceptional circumstances are blowing up our foundations and ripping up our blueprints. Our sense of control is being shattered and we will understandably be fearful and knocked out of kilter to say the least. So where is God in this, what are we supposed to do; what will He do?
Our Psalm today teaches that if we build without His blueprint and do not let Him build the house we build in vain; we build a house of cards that can easily fall. If He is our architect, our creator, the labour is not in vain and He blesses us. This short Psalm goes on to say that in a relationship with Him He gives us rest (vs. 2) and blesses us with children; in other words, gives life (vs. 3-6). We have a role to play under His Lordship to build foundations that will last; for eternity.
In this disturbing time, we can try to solve the situation on our own, building on false foundations that will ultimately fail. Alternatively, we can follow the Lord’s blueprint and discover His amazing love, provision and blessing even in such a challenging situation. Alec Motyer argues that the lesson of Psalm 127 is obedience with faith. Obedience on its own will lead to us thinking we can or can’t manage. Obedience with faith makes us realise that “we can’t, He can – so I will!” God is calling us to trust Him and to love Him, our neighbour and ourselves with all our hearts.
To Ponder: What are your foundations and what foundations are revealed by the circumstances we are facing? How can I trust and obey God?
Prayer: Lord be a refuge for the oppressed and a stronghold in times of trouble. Help us to know your name and trust in you for you have never forsaken those who seek you. Thank you that you will never forget the needy nor will the hope of the afflicted ever perish. Enable us to trust and obey you, be the Rock of our foundations. Amen
(based on Psalm 9: 9, 10, 18).
In 2023, each week's blog is a follow-up reflection written by the preceding Sunday’s preacher to dig deeper into the sermon topic and explore engaging discussion questions.