Sunday, October 24 2021
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
Please rejoice and give thanks with us on our 41st wedding anniversary and share with us the lessons of Psalm 127 for our day.
Without the Lord you cannot build successfully.
Today 10/25 my wife Ellen and I celebrate our 41st wedding anniversary. In our wedding ceremony we had our Pastor preach from Psalm 127 not only for our sake but for all those who would be attending. Thankfully by God's grace on one hand those words have had prophetic rewards, but grievously on the other, observable consequences. Take them to heart we can testify from here that they are true. The Lord has been merciful and good to bless our attempts to be faithful and "build our house" with four believing and successful children and presently eight grandchildren, including two children and one grandchild who have preceded us to heaven due to miscarriage. We are not ashamed when we speak with our enemies in the gate (the world). However, we have witnessed firsthand in the lives of our relatives and friends the brokenness, futility, depravity, and deaths, of many who were there and did not seek the Lord to build their house. It is with a combination of joy and grief that we look back upon the pictures of those in attendance in our wedding album. Having the Lord be the builder of your house is irreplaceable, He alone is God.
You cannot build what the Lord is not building.
Yet there is another meaning in this Psalm which is the main thought that we wish to share with you. Allow me to put this in a metaphor.
Imagine a young prince/ruler in Biblical times seeking to build and defend his city, but he is beset with seemingly insurmountable problems in doing this both from within and without. He is faced with many natural issues such as building walls, bridges, supply and demand, but the most distressing problems come in human form as his competitors and enemies. He sits down one day outside the city walls on a hill overlooking his city, tired, dispirited, distraught, questioning why it won't come together, how will he ever be able to build what he rightly believes his city should become, and why God does not seem to be blessing him. He thinks with indignation upon the opposition and foolishness of those who out of jealously create obstacles and the mocking of his enemies from other cities and grieves for what could be but what is not.
Then an older man of his acquaintance comes and sits with him and asks of his troubles and comforts him with these words: My son, "Unless the LORD builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; Unless the LORD guards the city, The watchman keeps awake in vain." You cannot do what God alone can do, and unless He chooses to do it, you can have little effect. So, it is not worth it for you to wear yourself out, with toil and stress to make happen what God does not choose to. "It is vain for you to rise up early, to retire late, to eat the bread of painful labors"; relax a little, look to Him and trust that He cares and has a bigger plan, "For He gives to His beloved even in his sleep", and even apart from their effort.
The Lord does build/ is building through your children/ people a city.
But that does not mean that He is inactive though. Stop for a moment and LOOK at your young family. "Behold, children are a gift of the LORD, the fruit of the womb is a reward." He has already blessed you and rewarded you for your faithfulness and has a plan for you and your City. Look here all these children you have, your children, you are their father, and they are yours to raise, to teach, to train, to lovingly command. They are of your house and if you raise them correctly, they will be loyal to you and to our God. They will be your allies. They are "Like arrows in the hand of a warrior," to accomplish the mission that God has given you and to defend against His enemies. "So are the children of one’s youth" and you have many! "How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them." See here my son, observe, this is where He is working, under your own nose, in your own house, this is His plan for your City! Walls and houses decay and fall, city officials come and go, enemies and friends change, but God builds His City with people with eternal souls, families, and houses enduring for generations. For It is "upon this rock" of Faith which He creates it, in those who "receive" it like your own little children. Mt 16:17-18, Mt, 19:14
So, do not be so downcast, God's work is long "and our desires impatient; the work of progress immense and our means of aiding it so feeble; the life of humanity is so long, that of the individual so brief, that we often see only the ebb of the advancing wave and are thus discouraged. It is History (HIS STORY) that teaches us to HOPE!". Turn your efforts to where you know the ground is fertile where He is blessing and working, …in your children. Those who do so will also be blessed, and "They will not be ashamed when they speak with their enemies in the gate", because He intends that even "the gates of Hell shall not prevail against" THEM.
So today, as WE consider the city in the world before us, and the Cities in our homes, does Psalm 127 have a message for us?...just sayin…
May God Bless,