STUDY IN THE ASCENT PSALMS
Semi Retired Pastor Jeremy Stopford
Today is Study #9 of our insights into the “Ascent Psalms” – Psalms 120-134. You can check out the first 8 studies in the “BLOG/JEREMY STOPFORD” section of this OUTSTANDING web site of Brother Becker!!!
I checked it out for MYSELF! And there it IS !!!
OUR THEME VERSE
“Blessed is the man whose strength is in You, whose heart is set on pilgrimage. (Psalm 84:5 NKJV). This is a short verse – but worthy of being not only OUR theme verse but YOUR Life Verse! Why not commit it to memory today!
TODAY WE ARE IN PSALM 128
Psalm 128 New King James Version (NKJV)
Blessings of Those Who Fear the Lord
A Song of Ascents.
Blessed is every one who fears the Lord,
Who walks in His ways.
When you eat the [a]labor of your hands,
You shall be happy, and it shall be well with you.
Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine
In the very heart of your house,
Your children like olive plants
All around your table.
Behold, thus shall the man be blessed
Who fears the Lord.
The Lord bless you out of Zion,
And may you see the good of Jerusalem
All the days of your life.
Yes, may you see your children’s children.
Peace be upon Israel!
TITLE OF PSALM 128 (Dr. W. Graham Scroggie)
TITLE: “Family Felicity!”
SOME INTERESTING INSIGHTS
This is a most interesting psalm! Of course, it is an “Ascent Psalm”. This means what again? That the readers were heading to Jerusalem either as sojourners who were returning from a foreign captivity, OR as travelers who were headed to the temple in Jerusalem for individual and national worship on one of the yearly feast days.
It is also an “Universal Psalm”. It is so-called because it has no prescribed author. Since the author is unknown, we know then that the psalm has at least a two-fold direction: for the Jewish people of Israel AND for those believers in Jehovah all over the world and of all time periods! Like US!
But even in this short psalm, did you notice WHO is the subject of this psalm? Who???? Why, a whole BUNCH of people! [my 11th grade teacher would once again be CRINGING, for she would say – am I right, Dr. Becker? – a “bunch” refers ONLY to a whole lot of GRAPES].
Look at VERSE 1: “every one”
Look at VERSE 2: “you”
Look at VERSE 3: “your wife”; “your children”
Look at VERSE 4: “the man”
Look at VERSE 5: “you”
Look at VERSE 6: “you”; “Israel”.
HOW are these subjects FEELING, as described by the psalm’s author?
Look at VERSE 1: every one is “BLESSED”
Look at VERSE 2: you shall be “HAPPY”
Look at VERSE 3: your wife and your children are “LIKE” something
Look at VERSE 4: the man is “BLESSED”
Look at VERSE 5: you are “BLESSED”
Look at VERSE 6: you may “SEE”; Israel may “FEEL” [implied]
Note how each verse is a progression.
Look at VERSE 1: everyone is blessed who FEARS the Lord and WALKS in His ways!
Look at VERSE 2: you enjoy the FRUIT of your labor! You are happy and it shall be well
Look at VERSE 3: your wife is like a FRUITFUL VINE in your house
Your children are like OLIVE PLANTS all around the table!
Look at VERSE 4: thus is the man blessed WHO FEARS THE LORD!
Look at VERSE 5: The man is blessed by the LORD [HIMSELF – implies “personally”!], and
such a blessing of seeing GOOD will be ALL the days of his life!
Look at VERSE 6: you may see your CHILDREN’S CHILDREN! [more than just
“grandchildren” – it refers to the fact that his family will continue for
many generations to come!]
It IS an “Universal Psalm” !!!
The unnamed author concludes this wonderful psalm with a short but poignant prayer:
“Peace be upon Israel”.
It IS a wonderful thing to see the blessing of the Lord upon the individuals and the family members of the people. But more importantly, the whole purpose of this psalm is to direct one’s attention to the “success” before the Lord of the ENTIRE NATION, in this case, of Israel.
That is the psalmist’s eternal prayer!
But what about for YOUR nation? Here in the USA, we just finished (or have we?) a most turbulent election season. We have been blessed by God in our history to be one of the most prosperous countries in the world, We have been led by the Lord to set an example of being the world’s melting pot, a diversity of peoples, who have come here to seek freedom.
Yet in the middle of that blessing, diversity, and freedom, come those individuals and groups that seek “control” for the sole good of themselves rather than of the whole nation.
So wouldn’t it be a proper, simple prayer for us, too?
Let’s pray it together: “Peace be upon the United States of America”.