Sermon preached on Sunday, September 1, 2013 at Garden Valley Chapel during our morning worship service based on Psalm 127:3-5.
Take your Bible if you will and open it to the book of Psalms, Psalms chapter one hundred twenty-seven (127).
We continue our study of this penetrating and eye-opening psalm. One that I trust will impact your hearts for the cause of Christ and His Lordship over all and all things.
Please stand in the reading of God’s Word.
Read Psalm 127:1-5.
As we have said before, the major message of this psalm is that God is central to and sovereign in life! He is Lord of the house.
Here we noted two overarching principles as we consider His Lordship:
He is Sovereign in Everyday Life (vv. 1-2)
He is Sovereign in Family Life (vv. 3-5)
Just as a bit of a review, I want you to note the first principle, once again, arguing from the greater to the lesser...
God is Sovereign in Everyday Life (vv. 1-2) –
1 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.
Here God is the builder, the protector, provider of everyday life.
*Unless life is lived in dependence upon the Lord, everything in life is meaningless.
*Any activity attempted without the Lord is launched in vain.
Man is responsible, but man can never forget that it is the Lord who is the Lord of life. He is sovereign in everyday life.
Consider the topic of wealth/riches as found in the Proverbs 10:4 -
4 Poor is he who works with a negligent hand, But the hand of the diligent makes rich.
The fast track to poverty is literally an “open hand” where one expects to receive rather than work diligently.
But even if one works diligently, this is not an absolute guarantee that one will become rich. This is not a divine promise that God is obliged to fulfill.
The Lord makes rich. The Lord has sovereignly decreed the extent of your riches. Notice Prov 10:22 -
22 It is the blessing of the Lord that makes rich, And He adds no sorrow to it.
Here the NIV84 does well in its translation -
22 The blessing of the Lord brings wealth, and he adds no trouble to it.
Or better yet the Holman Christian Standard Bible -
22 The Lord’s blessing enriches, and struggle adds nothing to it.
While man is responsible, we are reminded that ultimately it is the Lord’s blessing that makes rich/brings wealth/enriches!
Nor struggle or worry will make you any richer than what God has sovereignly decreed.
*All depends on the Lord’s blessing.
There is no contradiction between v. 4 and v. 22 of Proverbs 10. Both are taught in Scripture.
In the same way, human responsibility and God’s sovereignty do not contradict one another. They are both taught in Scripture.
The same is highlighted in Psalm 127. His sovereignty does not mean that there is no need of a builder, a watchman, or a worker.
For we read in Heb 3:4 -
4 For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God.
The reminder here in Psalm 127 from Solomon is that unless the Lord be in it, any activity is done in vain. Without God, all of it is wasted effort.
Not only is God is sovereign in everyday life, but more specifically, and this is where Solomon aims to narrow the focus the attention upon the home; life in the home; family life.
Get ready for this weighty, explicit, eternal truth:
God is Sovereign in Family Life (vv. 3-5) –
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 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.
“Behold” the psalmists says. In Hebrew it is הִנֵּה (hin·nē(h)) and it calls attention to what follows - “children are a gift of the Lord.”
“Listen up, you don’t want to miss this.
You cannot afford to miss this!”
Elsewhere we read this marker of attention:
121:4 - “Behold, He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.”
123:2 - “Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the Lord our God, until He is gracious to us.”
128:4 - “Behold, for thus shall the man be blessed who fears the Lord.”
131:1 - “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity!”
This marker is all throughout the Word of God (Gr. ἰδού) and it is placed there to grab your attention. “And lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matt 28:20).
God is not silent, He speaks and has included for us a small but mighty word that is meant to square us up and speak loudly.
Call me a literalist for when I read our Lord’s words in Matt 4:4 -
4 ...‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.’ ”
Every word and that includes “behold.” It perturbs me to no end that the NIV84 takes this word out in their translation here in Ps 127.
So we are called to listen closely to what follows my beloved.
3 Behold, children are a gift of the Lord...
This is what we cannot afford to miss. We cannot miss this eternal and powerful truth.
“Be still, and know that I am God” (Ps 46:10 - ESV), Cease striving and know that God is God and He is speaking to each one of us.
*Children should be seen as a blessing, not a hardship; as a gift, not a burden.