STUDY IN THE ASCENT PSALMS
With Semi-Retired Pastor Jeremy Stopford
Today is Study #8 of our insights into the “Ascent Psalms” – Psalms 120-134. You can check out the first 7 studies in the “BLOG/JEREMY STOPFORD” section of this OUTSTANDING web site of Brother Becker!!!
OUR THEME VERSE
“Blessed is the man whose strength is in You, whose heart is set on pilgrimage.” (Psalm 84:5 NKJV).
Have you set YOUR heart on “pilgrimage”? The Christian life is a…JOURNEY! And “Journey” = DISCIPLESHIP! The recipients of these psalms were on a pilgrimage – either back from captivity OR on their way to Jerusalem for one of the special feast days. Either way, they were journeying, on pilgrimage. They were ASCENDING with the Lord! Are YOU?
TODAY WE ARE IN PSALM 127 (New King James Version – NKJV)
Laboring and Prospering with the Lord
A Song of Ascents. Of Solomon
Unless the Lord builds the house,
They labor in vain who build it;
Unless the Lord guards the city,
The watchman stays awake in vain.
It is vain for you to rise up early,
To sit up late,
To eat the bread of sorrows;
For so He gives His beloved sleep.
Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,
So are the children of one’s youth.
Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them;
They shall not be ashamed,
But shall speak with their enemies in the gate.
TITLE AND OUTLINE OF PSALM 127 (Dr. W. Graham Scroggie)
TITLE: “Dependence Upon God”
#1. In our SOCIAL life… The BUILDER of the House (1a)
#2. In our CIVIC life… The KEEPER of the city (1b)
#3. In our BUSINESS life… The RENEWER of the worker (2)
#4. In our DOMESTIC life… The BLESSER of the family (3-5)
SOME INTERESTING INSIGHTS
Did you notice who is the author of this psalm? Why, yes, it is Solomon! He is author of several of the poetic books, including Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, and most of Proverbs. But in addition to Psalm 127, he also wrote Psalm 72, in which verses 1-2 say:
Give the king Your judgments, O God,
And Your righteousness to the king’s Son.
He will judge Your people with righteousness,
And Your poor with justice.
It is apparent that at several stages of his life, Solomon had a strong heart for the Lord. Reading through the historical books, however, show us that near the end of his life, he was indeed struggling with the “Who is the true KING?” of his life. Which should lead us all to an introspective question: is the Lord Jesus Lord of my life from the day I was saved? OR, like Solomon, do I struggle in this vital area of my life? IF the latter is true, psalms like 72 and 127 – as well as especially Proverbs and Ecclesiastes (and Song of Songs for the husband/wife relationship!) – should be a major part of your walk with the Lord!
“Unless the Lord” follows with what? “BUILDS THE HOUSE”. Have you found this to be true? Take a gander ahead to Matthew 7:24-27. You can either build your house on the ROCK (King Jesus and His Word!) or you can build your house on sand (which causes the house to SINK when the littlest struggles hit it). Your HOUSE is your LIFE!
Is your life centered on the Lord Jesus and His Word? Do you know Jesus as your Lord and Savior?
CHECK OUT THE ENCOURAGEMENT BY PASTOR BECKER AT THE BOTTOM OF HIS WEB SITE! This will help you to come to know Him as your Savior TODAY!
In Psalm 127, Solomon says there are FIVE THINGS which the Lord considered “vain” (empty, useless, full of wind):
To labor to build a house without the Leadership of the Lord
To guard your house/city without the Lord
To rise up early..
To sit up late…
To eat the bread of sorrows…
All these are VAIN “unless the Lord builds the house”. Isn’t that amazing? All 5 are things that are the heart of our everyday world! Our family, our jobs, our community, why our very nation would lose all their meaning if the Lord isn’t the Lord and Builder of our house/lives.
So…Who is Building (big B) or building (little b) your house? God (Big “G”) or gods (little “g”)?
Why do you suppose the psalmist goes from talking about “guarding a city” to discussing about children? He then spends the rest of the psalm talking about how the blessing of the home are the little feet (NO, not of dogs and cats!) which are pitter pattering around the floors! Is there a connection! Of course there is! We understand what it means to “guard a city”. We as believers in Jesus understand the vitality of guarding our lives to be holy and useful for Him. So, does that mean that that SAME vitality is necessary – that SAME “guarding” – in the raising of our family?
And the Lord says through Solomon, “children are a heritage from the Lord”. “Heritage” is translated in many unique ways: “gift”, “heritage”, even “inheritance”. Should we not guard them as we would guard a city? Should we not trust the True Guard of our lives to guard the personal city He has wisely and purposely given to us?
“Happy is the man” (v. 5). You and I live in a crazy world. Why even here in the U.S. of A., people think their happiness revolves around whether or not THEIR candidate wins the wild election of this week.
But what if TRUE happiness comes from KNOWING the Lord Jesus, allowing His Spirit to mold us into His image?
What if TRUE happiness comes from being not only “hearers” – readers, students, faithful disciplinarians – of the Word but rather from being DOERS of the Word?
What if TRUE happiness comes from being AMAZED by where the Lord loves to surprise His children in usefulness – even if it be “at the gates of the city” – the place where the community’s decisions were discussed and decided?
The King would ask each of us today: are you HAPPY? Are you truly HAPPY because the Lord is guarding YOUR city, your life, your heart? Are YOU?