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  • Writer's pictureGODVERSITY

A Blessing Upon Daily Life

This Psalm is titled, A Song of Ascents. Of Solomon. Of those who connect Psalm 127 to Solomon, most believe him to be the author. Yet it is possible that the sense may be that the psalm was composed by David for Solomon.

“The strength of the Hebrew people in the past, and all that remains of it today, largely results from the keen sense which they ever cherished of the importance of the home and the family. The house, the city, labour, are all important to the conserving of the strength of the family.” (G. Campbell Morgan)

Blessing upon daily life - Psalm 127:1

1. (1) God’s work of building and guarding. Unless the LORD builds the house, They labor in vain who build it; Unless the LORD guards the city, The watchman stays awake in vain.

a. Unless the LORD builds the house: Solomon understood that the work of man had its place, but was of little ultimate use without the work and blessing of God. Without God’s work and blessing, they labor in vain who build it.

i. “No house-building is successful which leaves God out of account. How have we seen men build them only houses, with care and at great cost, only to see them crumble to pieces because God was forgotten!” (Morgan)

ii. “A Latin motto says, Nisi Dominus Frusta. It comes from the first words of this psalm and means ‘Without the Lord, Frustration.’ It is the motto of the city of Edinburgh, Scotland, appearing on its crest, and is affixed to the city’s official documents. It could be attached to the lives of many who are trying to live their lives without the Almighty.” (Boice)

iii. It is possible that the house built here is actually a family. “It may also signify the raising of a family, especially because this section precedes a unit in which the family is emphasized as a reward from the Lord (vv. 3–5). In the OT it is usual to speak of a family as a ‘house’ even as we speak of a prominent family as a ‘dynasty’ (cf. Gen 16:2; 30:3; Exodus 1:21; Ruth 4:11; 1 Sam 2:35; 2 Sam 7:27).” (VanGemeren)

iv. “It is a fact that ben, a son, and bath, a daughter, and beith, a house, come from the same root banah, to build; because sons and daughters build up a household, or constitute a family, as much and as really as stones and timber constitute a building.” (Clarke)

b. Unless the LORD guards the city: The watchman has his role and should stay awake, but God’s work and blessing is needed to truly guard the city.

c. Builds the house… guards the city: It’s specially meaningful that Solomonwrote Psalm 127, because he knew what it was like to both build a house and guard a city. Wise Solomon understood that though God welcomed and even commanded human effort and participation, His work and blessing was even more important.

i. “These would be splendid words to cut into granite over the entrance to all our homes, and to emblazon in gold in all the meeting places of those in civic authority. But better still let them be written in the heart of those who make homes, and guard and govern cities.” (Morgan)

ii. “Note that the Psalmist does not bid the builder cease from labouring, nor suggest that watchmen should neglect their duty, nor that men should show their trust in God by doing nothing: nay, he supposes that they will do all that they can do, and then he forbids their fixing their trust in what they have done, and assures them that all creature effort will be in vain unless the Creator puts forth his power, to render second causes effectual.” (Spurgeon)

iii. “They, above all men, ought to implore the divine grace and benediction, who are employed either in building or defending the spiritual house and city of God.” (Horne)



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