Psalm 127:1 Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord guards the city, the guard keeps watch in vain.
The original reader would likely have understood this verse in the context of ancient Israel. God’s “house” was the temple in the center of Jerusalem. It was there that people made sacrifices to God and where the nation’s treasure was housed. It was built and destroyed multiple times over many centuries.
The nation of Israel, whose capital city was Jerusalem, was surrounded by enemies on every side. As a relatively small nation, its people were completely dependent on the protection of God for its survival. Eventually, due to the people’s unfaithfulness to God, he withdrew his protection from Israel and it was conquered. What’s the key point here?
That which we build upon our own initiative alone, apart from the grace and blessing of God, will not endure.
I’ve officiated at a number of weddings in recent months and it’s such a blessing to see young couples choose to begin their lives together in relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ. It gives me hope these unions will survive, when many others will not.
As I think about my children (22, 20, and 16 years of age), all of whom make plenty of mistakes like everyone else, I have hope they will find the right path. Why? Because they are prayed for every single day. They have had the Word of God spoken over them, and into them. And every once in a while, I see the green shoots of adult faith appear in them. They are transitioning from the faith of their parents to their own faith. It’s a slow process.
That said, questions emerge for me today:
Where in my life am I trying to build something apart from the Lord?
Do I wait to see evidence of God’s grace going ahead of me, or do I follow my own lead and hope the Lord gets onboard?
Conversely, where is the Lord wanting me to go, but I’m dragging my feet?
Why am I slow to follow the Lord? Am I fearful? Lazy?
Heavenly Father, you are the Creator of heaven and earth. Nothing endures apart from your grace and mercy. Give us grace to see where you are leading – and where you’re not. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.