Friday, November 11, 2022

May the Lord Bless You (Psalm 128)

"Blessed is every one who fears the LORD, who walks in His ways" (Ps. 128:1).

In the preceding psalm we learned that all human affairs are grounded in the sovereign grace of God. All blessings, all prosperity are to be sought in Him alone. Psalm 128 is perhaps an appendage to Psalm 127, for it declares that divine blessings come only to His true and sincere servants. Only those who fear the Lord and walk in His ways can hope for blessings, both eternal and temporal, from the hand of providence. This psalm shows that two things can never be separated in the acquisition of divine blessings: the fear of the Lord and obedience to His law. The root of reverence to God must necessarily produce corresponding fruit. Certainly this fruit will not be perfect, but it will flow from a sincere and devoted heart toward God.

The writer next reveals the types of blessings given to those who fear the Lord and keep His ways. First, such faithful people will eat the fruit of their labor. From this very first blessing we discover how different the happiness of the saint is from the ungodly. “How few are to be found who, were it left to their own choice, would desire to live by their own labor; yea, who would account it a singular benefit to do so!” Calvin wrote. “No sooner is the name of happiness pronounced, than instantly every man breaks forth into the most extravagant ideas of what is necessary to it, so insatiable a gulf is the covetousness of the human heart.” When the world thinks of blessings, it dreams of a life of ease, honor, and wealth. However, the blessings of God come in a far different package. A multitude of material things cannot guarantee peace and contentment.

Second, God promises a wife who will be like a fruitful vine and children who will grow like olive branches. How foreign such blessings are to the world. How few are those who value a good marriage over worldly success, who cherish children instead of wealth and ease. Yet, unlike the world, the Lord holds hard work and family in high estimation—we, therefore, can do no less. Proverbs 19:14 says that a wife is from the Lord, and yesterday we learned that children are a blessing from God. Such are the manifold blessings God gives to His people—a profitable job that may not make you rich but will meet your needs, a solid marriage, and children who will rise up and call you blessed.

Read Proverbs 3:9–10; 12:11; 15:6; 18:22 and Psalm 127:3. What do these passages say about hard work and family? Where do you need to change your attitude about these things to become more pleasing to the Lord? Do you consider these blessings to be of higher value than success and honor in the world’s eyes?