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.
Psalms 128–130 take us from simple pleasures to the depths of despair. Pray for grace, wherever we may be just now on this spectrum.
This brief psalm contains a classic expression of one aspect of the core beliefs of ancient Israel, that reverence for God and a determination to obey His will are the foundation of human well-being and happiness. Elsewhere this conviction is related to large issues concerning the peace of a city or the security and prosperity of an entire nation, but here the focus is narrowed right down to the domestic sphere of family life. The psalmist wants us to recognize that simple, taken-for-granted pleasures and joys are the consequence of the life of faith, so that the gifts of God are
bestowed ‘in the little happinesses of everyday life’.1
Of course, the psalm does not address situations in which godly people encounter tensions and breakdowns in family relationships, although this reality is clearly recognized elsewhere and the Bible is completely realistic about experiences which seem to contradict the scene of intimate family joy depicted here. Nonetheless, the basic conviction of this text is that the family unit, when shaped by the love of God and His righteousness, is both the sphere within which children experience joy and security as they mature into adulthood and the basis upon which wider social harmony and communal well-being rest. The psalm may take a restricted view of things, but it serves to remind us that the blessing of a nation begins at the place where the family eats together ‘round your table’ (v 3).
Give thanks for the love shared in your family; remember all who lack such blessings and suffer as a result.
Loving Father, in Your wisdom You have placed us in families. I pray for my earthly family, and families I know that are struggling. May life-lessons be learned through the ups and downs of family life.
1 Artur Weiser, The Psalms: Old Testament Library, Fortress Press, 1962, p769
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