Unless the LORD
Psalm 127:1 (ESV) -- Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.
Everyone wants God’s blessings in their lives. We want His favor on our families, businesses, country, and even our sports teams. Human endeavors are legion. We build ministries, companies, schools, non-profits, bands, teams, and all sorts of things. These projects aim to accomplish things. Companies want to make money. Schools want to draw students and successfully educate them. Bands want to get the record deal and make it big. Endeavors, goals, and aspirations are normal and fine pursuits in life.
Our text today reminds us ultimately of what we truly need if we are going to see our endeavors thrive. The psalmist writes, “Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.”
Unless the LORD is blessing the work of your hands, you build in vain. We need the LORD’s provision, favor, and anointing. If we don’t have it, our work will not prosper. The fruitfulness we seek is given by God. Unless God watches over the city, to protect it, the watchman being awake to actually protect it does so in vain. It is futile. Unless God is protecting that city, no watchman is going to be successful.
This raises for us several points to take note of. First, seek the LORD’s favor and blessing. Prayerfully, and specifically, ask for God’s blessing on the work of your hands. It could be your family, your children, your business, your investments, your church, or any number of things you have an interest in God prospering. Recognize the absolute need of God’s favor. Second, realize the necessity of your labor. Notice that the psalmist doesn’t tell us not to work. He says our work will be pointless if God doesn’t supply it with power and favor. So we need to work hard. We should plan, strategize, make wise decisions, take calculated risk, and dedicate ourselves to the task. It isn’t either/or, but both/and.
Reflection & Journal:
- Why is this passage so helpful to us in understanding the ultimate source of blessing?
- How does this passage encourage us to work hard?
- What are some things in your life you are seeking the LORD to build?
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