Psalm 128: The Lord Bless You!
July 5, 2022
TODAY'S BIBLE READING:
Almost in answer to the question implicitly posed by the previous psalm (how can you be a person whose life is a house the Lord is building?), this psalm makes it clear where blessing comes from. “Blessed is everyone who fears the Lord, who walks in his ways!” (128:1). If you are wanting to have a blessed life—not just material blessings or superficial moments of happiness, but that sense of being in the right and on the right path, and connected to the source of meaning and purpose of the whole universe—then “fear the Lord.”
A Christian fears God though he is also a friend of God. As intimate a relationship as a Christian has with his or her Father God, the godly Christian never forgets that that relationship is with the Almighty. Picture Susan and Lucy coming close to the mighty Aslan of Narnia: intimate, but never trivial; always frightening, though always loving.
The blessing does mean fruitfulness from the hard work of “your hands” (128:2). Certainly, suffering can come to the godly Christian, but his work is not blighted by curse. It is imbued with God’s blessing, and there is fruit on the branch that is abiding in the vine (cf. John 15).
This blessing is personal, but it is also familial (128:3): “Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table.” Clearly, not all godly Christians experience this particular blessing. Some godly Christians are single, some godly Christians are married but unable to have biological children. As often with such “wisdom literature”-like statements in the Bible, the principle is sound, but in this fallen world and in practice, the application varies. The point is that the blessing of God, even in the midst of varied situations and human fallenness that we all experience, will not only be individual but also impact your household, your family, your relationships, your friendships, your children.
What great reason there is to fear God! “Behold, thus shall the man be blessed who fears the Lord” (128:4). Look at it. Think about it. Reflect on it. Behold it. This is the way someone is blessed when they fear God. Their work is fruitful; their personal lives are fruitful too.
That is not to say there is never any frustration for the godly Christian too. But by and large, all things taken together, and in normal circumstances, such is the blessed life of the Christian who fears God. Would you not therefore be wise to live a life of fearing God? Doing what he says, obeying his word, being a disciple, taking him seriously. All this leads to a blessed life!
Verses 5 and 6 are therefore a blessing—a benediction—a statement of what will be, should be, could be to the person who fears God. Would you not want this blessing spoken over you?
“The Lord bless you from Zion! May you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life! May you see your children’s children! Peace be upon Israel!”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Josh Moody (Ph.D., University of Cambridge) is the senior pastor of College Church in Wheaton, IL., president and founder of God Centered Life Ministries, and author of several books including How the Bible Can Change Your Life and John 1-12 For You.
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