Word for the day by Christian Education Forum
FAMILY THAT HAS TO BE BUILT UPON CHRISTPsalms 128:1-6
Verse: “Blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in obedience to him.” - Psalms 128:1
A godly family is a huge part of God’s kingdom plan. Just because we are Christians and attend church does not mean we have a godly family. A godly family is filled with the love, power, and wisdom of the Holy Spirit. A godly family is not one that simply believes in Christian values or claims a Christian heritage. Too many children grow up in such a home and wander from God as they become adults. Much more is required in a godly home. A godly family is built by God ( “Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it.” Ps. 127:1). It results in harmony among each other (“How good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity.” Ps. 133:1). The family is a heavenly invention, not an earthly one. Scripture says, “For this reason, I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name.” Eph. 3:14-15.
In today’s portion for meditation, Psalm 128 says that a godly family begins with a godly man as the head of the home, ripples out to his wife, then to the children, and finally shows the effect of this godly home on the nation. A godly life is a blessed life. The godly are not immune to financial difficulties, marriage trouble, or rebellious children, but the blessings of God help them overcome the realities of this fallen world. Psalm 128 celebrates three aspects of the blessed life.
Personal Blessing - The Blessed Life is the Faithful (Righteous) Life
Verse 1 reads, “Blessed is everyone who fears the Lord, who walks in his ways.”. God’s blessing rests upon the person who fears him. The fear of God is not slavish fear. It is spiritual fear that combines awe, trust, and joy. It is worshiping God as Creator, Ruler, Sustainer, Redeemer, and Judge. The fear of the Lord is the heart of the blessed life. Walking in God’s ways is to live in daily obedience to the word of God. Fearing the Lord and walking in God’s ways means loving the Lord Jesus. All of the Scriptures point to the ultimate sacrifice Jesus made for us upon the cross. He died so that we might live. He paid for our sins upon the cross. Jesus enables us to have access to God himself.
Verse 2 speaks to fulfillment in the workplace. When a person takes God very seriously and walks in the light of his word, God’s blessing is very abundant. Heaven’s favor will be upon your work. “When you eat the labor of your hands, you shall be happy, and it shall be well with you” (verse 2). If you fear and obey God, your endeavors will be fruitful and rewarded.
Family Blessings - The Blessed Life is the Fruitful (Rewarded) Life
In verses 3–4, the psalmist speaks of fulfillment in the home: “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 words “fruitful vine” and “olive plants” are used in the Bible to depict prosperity from God, to depict God’s favor (Deuteronomy 6:11; Psalm 52:8; etc.). As used here, they depict domestic blessings from God. The psalmist is not saying that those who fear the Lord will necessarily be married and be given children. Rather, he is saying that those who are married, and those who are married and who have children, will be blessed in these spheres. The happiness of the happy man will flow to others. Whether you are married or not, whether you have children or not, if you fear the Lord and therefore are happy in the Lord, you can be a means of making others happy as well.
Verse 4 says, “Behold, thus shall the man be blessed who fears the Lord.” This verse repeats and reaffirms verse 1. The person who reverences God will be divinely favored. He will know grace upon grace. The goodness of God will rest upon his life in double measure.
Societal Blessings - The Blessed Life is the Flourishing (Expansive) Life
We see in verses 5–6 that the blessed life is the flourishing life: “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.” One man's fear of the Lord can reshape generations of a family or church. His walk with God, his devotion to the Lord, and his reverence for Him, leads to generational fruit.
A physical house built without a foundation is destined to fall. Only a firm foundation creates a real and lasting home. In the same way, Christ is the foundation of a Christian home. Just because Christians live inside a house does not mean that Christ is that home’s foundation. Jesus ended his sermon on the mount with the parable of “a wise man who built his house on the rock” (Matthew 7:24-27). His house stood against the wind and flood, but the house built on sand fell. As parents, we must choose to build our family, on the rock of Christ and His word if we want to build a Christian home that will stand for God.
Lord, give us the wisdom to build our families centered on you. In Jesus' name. Amen
Thought of the day
“Every Christian family ought to be a little church” - Jonathan Edwards.