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Sunday, November 13, 2016

PSALM 128




"How blessed is everyone who fears the Lord,
Who walks in His ways.
When you shall eat of the fruit of your hands,
You will be happy and it will be well with you.
Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine
Within your house,
Your children like olive plants
Around your table.
Behold for thus shall the man be blessed
Who fears the Lord.
The Lord bless you from Zion,
And may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem
all the days of your life.
Indeed, may you see your children's children.
Peace be upon Israel."


Who doesn't want to be blessed?   

Fear does strange things to people.  Fear of God takes fear out of life because "perfect love casts out fear."   There's a whole lot of fear going on out there.  I am truly shocked how fearful people are right now.  People are fearful of evangelical Christians with a whole lot of name calling going on.  Fear causes fight or flight reactions.  The only thing I can say is how blessed I feel to fear God and walk in His ways. 

God began man's work in a garden.  It was pure joy.  Part of the curse from his disobedience was that he would have to work from the sweat of his brow.  He was never told not to work, but to get sweaty!  "Ye shall all live on the produce of your labour, and the hand of violence shall not be permitted to deprive you of it...Whether rich or poor, high or low; all shall experience the blessing of the Lord." (Adam Clarke)





"Cursed is the ground because of you;
In toil you shall eat of it
All the days of your life.
Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you;
And you will eat the plants of the field;
By the sweat of your face
You will eat bread..."
(Genesis 3:17-19)





Here the Psalmist is saying, happy is the guy who eats the fruit of his labor.  It sure beats going hungry!  Speaking of which, one of our daily table conversations is, "So what did you eat for breakfast today, for lunch today?"  Why do we ask?  In part because food is always a conversation starter with teenagers.  Also, it is fascinating the things my husband sometimes eats with his guys at his Teen Challenge ministry since much of what they eat is from the generous donations from grocery stores.  At times they have to get very creative in the kitchen with what is given.  One time when we were feeding them pizza in our home for some help they gave us, they told us of a new favorite delectable.  A vegetarian among them began taking boiled eggs, removing the yolk and putting a dollop of peanut butter there instead.  It caught on.  Now many of the guys love to eat boiled eggs that way.  Yuk!  To each their own, more happy to them.



The next verses were addressed in the previous post except I would like to quote Matthew Henry,
"As a wife and children are very much a man's care, so if by the grace of God they are such as they should be, they are very much a man's delight."


This complementary blessing of home and country in this Psalm is as Adam Clarke says, "Thou shalt see the cause of God flourish in thy lifetime, and His church in great prosperity."

But this is in the perspective of a captive people coming back to rebuild the temple: Zerubbabel is picking up zee-rubble after the temple had been destroyed.  These are the ones who have to stay armed while they do the work.  But they do it for God and country and for their families.  Sound familiar? 

"Thy family shall be built up and continued, and thou shalt have the pleasure of seeing it...Thou shalt see the good of Jerusalem as long as thou shalt live."
(Matthew Henry)





"Thou shalt see the cause of God flourish in thy lifetime,
and His church in great prosperity..Peace be upon Israel!  May God favour His own cause, and bless all His people."
(Adam Clarke)



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