Read: Psalm 127:1; 120:1; 121:1,2; 122:1; 123:1; 124:1; 125:1; 126:1
Psalm 127 is the eighth of the songs of degrees or ascents, which were sung by pilgrims as they made their way up to Jerusalem. This psalm was written for Solomon, but was fitting to be sung by the pilgrims as they marveled at the beauty of the Temple and reflected on the significance of both its Divine and human architects and builders.
Think About It: Compare the first verses of Psalms 120 – 127. On whom is the emphasis in each of these verses? Where is the emphasis in my life?
Prayer: Lord, help me to keep my focus on You.
Read: Psalm 127:1; Genesis 11:1-9; Joshua 6:26; 1 Kings 16:34; Habakkuk 2:12
David wanted to build the Temple, but the Lord would not permit it. David recognized that human effort would be pointless without the Lord’s involvement, thereby teaching Solomon by example as well as by precept to rely upon the Lord.
Think About It: How do the Scripture references for today reinforce the message of Psalm 127:1? What are some other historical examples of human “building projects” that faltered because God was not the builder?
Prayer: Lord, build me up.
Read: Psalm 127:1; Ephesians 2:8 – 10; Titus 3:5; Romans 3:20, 28
The phrase “except the Lord build the house” has spiritual implications regarding salvation. Salvation is not a human work, it is all God’s work. The New English Bible (NEB) translates 2 Corinthians 5:18, “From first to last this has been the work of God.”
Think About It: What work must I do to in order to earn salvation (John 6:28 -29)? How does Christianity differ from other religions regarding the relationship between works and salvation? Have I experienced God working in me to will and to do according to His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13)?
Prayer: Thank God for His Divine work of salvation.
Read: Psalm 127:1, 147:10 – 11; 2 Chronicles 32:18 – 22; 1 Peter 5:8
“Except the Lord keep the city, the watchmen stay awake in vain.” The Lord both builds and keeps the city; He is our only reliable protection.
Think About It: Oliver Cromwell told his soldiers, “Trust in God, and keep your powder dry.” Cromwell’s order raises the issue of the relationship between trusting in God’s protection, and maintaining watchfulness for our own security. Does Psalm 127:1 teach that we should not be watchful? What is the relationship between our watchfulness and God’s keeping of us? Could Cromwell’s order be improved upon in order to agree better with Psalm 127:1?
Prayer: Praise God for His watchful care.
Read: Psalm 127:2; Isaiah 26:3; Philippians 4:6 – 7; 1 Peter 5:7; Psalm 4:8
“. . .He gives His beloved sleep.” Anxiety produces sleeplessness. Absolute trust in the Lord produces inner peace, and peace allows rest, not just figuratively, but literally.
Think About It: According to Philippians 4:6 – 7 and 1 Peter 5:7, what can I do to decrease my fears and anxious thoughts, in order to enter into blessed rest in the Lord?
Prayer: I cast my cares upon the Lord.
Read: Psalm 127:2; Genesis 3:17-19; Matthew 6:25-34; Mark 4:19; Luke 10:41-42
“The bread of sorrows” — what a poignant phrase! The bread of sorrows is that which is produced with fretful, anxious effort and eaten without relish; it is the bread of the curse, made with grain raised in the struggle with thorns and thistles, and eaten without joy.
Think About It: Contrast the “bread of sorrows” with Ecclesiastes 9:7; contrast Martha with Mary (Luke 10:41-42). How am I eating my bread– in sorrow, or with joy?
Prayer: Lord, help me to eat my bread with joy and thanksgiving.
Read: Psalm 127:3 – 5; Matthew 18:3; 19:14
The last three verses of Psalm 127 do not introduce a new topic; they expand on the theme of “building the house,” since the house is not only a dwelling place, but includes those who live in it. Solomon, for whom the psalm was written, continued the line of David and helped establish his house.
Think About It: How are children viewed in Psalm 127:3 – 5? What words are used to describe how children are a blessing? As a child, have I been a blessing to my parents? As an adult, how have I experienced children being a blessing to me?
Prayer: Praise God for the blessing of children.