Mighty God, You are my help and strong deliverer. I put my trust in You and You alone.
Read Psalm 128
A song of ascents.
1 Blessed are all who fear the Lord,
who walk in obedience to him.
2 You will eat the fruit of your labor;
blessings and prosperity will be yours.
3 Your wife will be like a fruitful vine
within your house;
your children will be like olive shoots
around your table.
4 Yes, this will be the blessing
for the man who fears the Lord.
5 May the Lord bless you from Zion;
may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem
all the days of your life.
6 May you live to see your children’s children—
peace be on Israel.
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectBring to mind situations where you would dearly love the Lord to pour out healing, restoration, and blessing.
This song, which was often sung at Israelite marriages, paints a picture of a contented man surrounded by his family. But within this psalm of domestic bliss is a reminder of the blessings promised to Israel after they had been rescued from Egypt (Deuteronomy 6:1–3; 28:1–14). Those who obeyed God (v 1) would be allowed to stay in the Promised Land that gave them all they needed to flourish (v 2).
Flourishing meant living in peace, free from enemies or oppressive leaders who might rob you of the ‘fruit of your labor.’ It meant living free from war and disease in conditions stable and healthy enough for your wife to give birth safely, for your children to survive the perilous early years (vs 3,4), and for you to see the family line continue (v 6).
Although obedience starts with each individual (v 1), there is a sense in verse 5 of corporate responsibility and national leadership as the psalmist points to Israel’s communal worship point (the Temple) and the seat of the king in Jerusalem. The psalm suggests that God’s blessing flows down through wise leadership (in government and in the family unit) as his people obey his commands.
Pray for God’s people to obey him in the small and large matters of life so that God’s blessing of safety and flourishing would flow through homes, communities, and nations.
Loving Father, in Your wisdom You have placed us in families. I pray for my earthly family, and families I know that are struggling through the ups and downs of family life.