Psalm 127 lies in the heart of the Songs of Ascent (Psalms 120–134). It is believed to have been written by Solomon. The psalm deals with two areas that often compete with our time and energy – our work and our family.
Interpretation and Application:
Verses 1 and 2 deal with the concept of God at work in our public lives. Whether we are building our homes, guarding our community or just going to work, we are reminded 3 times that our efforts are in vain unless the Lord is in charge. We are not prohibited from work (indeed, God told Adam that he would have to toil all his days), but rather we should not put our trust in our own efforts “for while they sleep, He provides for those He loves.” (verse 2) We are to put our hope in God alone. Verses 3 – 5 deal with the concept of God in our homes. Verse 3 tells us that children are a gift from the Lord as well as being a reward. I know that as a parent there have been days when I have seen my children as anything but a reward from God! In many ways children are “like arrows in the hands of a warrior.” (verse 4) Arrows must be carefully shaped. They must be guided with skill, aimed and directed and given great care or they won’t fly straight. So it is with our children. I remember once when our oldest daughter came home and was contemplating going out with a young man who was not a believer. We were very direct with her and warned her against doing so. She was angry with us and went to bed while we stayed in our room and prayed. The next morning she told us that she decided that she would tell him that she couldn’t go out with him. He was very disappointed and couldn’t really understand her reasons why, but she stuck to her guns. We were very thankful that the lessons we tried to teach her when she was young took root and she stayed true to the Lord. By the way, she and her husband are still good friends with that young man and his wife. Verse 5 states that children are a blessing, especially if one is able to have many. However, “a quiver may be small and yet full; and then the blessing is obtained. In any case we may be sure that a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of children that he possesseth.” (Spurgeon) The psalm ends with encouragement for the godly parent because those children will now be an assurance for security in old age. ”They will not be ashamed when they speak with their enemies in the gate. (Psalm 127:5)”
So what is the connection between these two sections? The children are a defense for the parents in old age, but the Lord provides the children. The watchman stays awake, but the Lord watches over the city. God is in control! (Tobin Davis)
Heavenly Father, help us to put you in charge of everything…our homes, our work, our community and our children so that we receive the blessings you have in store for us. Amen.
Song: Unless it is the Lord – Marty Goetz
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.