I have made plans, only to have God change them. I learned that unless I start by asking God for guidance and assistance, then my projects just don’t work out. The psalm for this week, Psalm 127, is one of the psalms attributed to King Solomon. The structure of the psalm reminds me of the book of Proverbs, with its emphasis on imparting wise counsel. It is a short psalm of only five verses, but it is theologically rich, particularly in its links to other Scriptures.
Psalm 127: 1-2 Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain. In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat—for he grants sleep to those he loves.
Anyone who has ever built anything and watched it come completely apart because of failure to read the directions carefully can appreciate Solomon’s advice on the futility of building a house without including God in the decision. We are all builders, and we are called to be wise builders, not foolish ones.
Matthew 7:24-27 states, “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
The foolish build in vain, for storms always come, but the wise are prepared for them, learning God’s commands and utilizing them. This advice is not just for the person building a physical structure, but for anything that we build that matters to us , including our self-esteem, or careers, or personal or professional relationships. Nothing we build that we expect to remain steadfast during times of trials and troubles should be constructed without calling on the name of the Lord for guidance and directions.
Including the Lord in every decision is like having the Lord watching over you, keeping you safe. This does not imply that we do not need the police or the armed services, just that our safety and security are in God’s hands. Sleep will come easily, because worries will not control our lives.
We are also reminded that toiling day and night for earthly treasures is not good for building healthy souls, for Matthew 6: 10-21 states, ““Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.” Let us build on the solid Rock of Jesus, building our hopes on things eternal.
Psalm 127: 3-5 Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their opponents in court.
The last form of building in which it is important to call on God in prayer is in building families in which children can grow into spiritually, emotionally, and physically healthy individuals. God gives us children; they are not accidents of nature. They are to be treasured, but also trained up in the right way, the godly way, for Proverbs 22:6 asserts, “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.“
Ephesians 5:1-2 states, “Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.”
Solomon left us some solid advice regarding the building that we must do in all of our lives. Yes, it is fine to make plans, but ensure that the plans you make include the guidance found in God’s Word. Isaiah 58:11 states, “The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. ”
Let us read our Bibles for the express purpose of knowing what thus saith the Lord, not depending solely on the interpretation of our religious leaders. Instead, as we open our Bibles, we must ask God in sincere prayer for His wisdom, knowledge, and understanding, and you will be amazed how wonderfully He gives you insight and guidance, for the Scriptures are a lamp for our feet and a light on our paths (Psalm 119:105).