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The Master Builder - Psalm 127

by Russell Carnley
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The Lord is the Master builder. Only with His blessing can a man's work be fruitful. This is the point of the psalmist as he penned these words: "Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it;"(Psalm 127:1 NKJV). Psalm 127 emphasizes the vanity of human effort when exerted apart from the blessing and sanction of God. From this psalm we can see two basic truths that all men need to remember.

We Need God

All men need to realize and remember their great need for God. Though this is a simple truth, yet it is so frequently denied. There is little difference between the fool who says in his heart, "There is no God " (Psalm 14:1) and the man who says he believes in God but lives as if He doesn't exist. Often, in times of distress, one will seek God, praying fervently for deliverance. Yet when his prayers are answered he forgets about God and goes right back to the mire of sin which had entangled him before. We need to remember in both the good and the bad times just how much we need God. We need to remember that all of our efforts in this life amount to nothing if we don't have God and His providential care guiding us. Those who were engaged in the building of the Tower of Babel found out that nothing would be accomplished apart from the will of God (Genesis 11). Their labors were certainly in vain. In the second part of verse one the psalmist speaks of one guarding a city in vain. This point is seen especially in the destruction of Jericho (Joshua 6). Those guards stayed awake in vain; for when the time came the city was destroyed. After its demise, Joshua pronounced a curse upon that city saying that the man who would rebuild it would do so at the expense of his son's lives (see 1 Kings 16:34). "Unless the Lord builds the house..."

Children Are A Blessing From God

As we read Psalm 127 we see that the subject seems to abruptly change from the vanity of human effort ( vs 1,2) to the blessing of children (3-5). Why the sudden change? This is a psalm concerning the family. The psalmist first speaks of the vanity of life lived apart from God and then goes on to speak of one of the greatest blessings the Lord has given to man. The point made is that God wants us to live our lives in accordance with His will. He wants us to raise our children in accordance with His will (Eph. 6:4). Anything less than this is futility. One might raise his child to be the best scientist, engineer, or doctor he can be, but if God is not in the home all of this is done in vain. This is true because the purpose or meaning of life is "to fear God and keep His commandments" (Ecclesiastes 12:13). Therefore, all parents need to see the importance of having God at the center of their home. By teaching our children to obey God we can be assured of God's blessing on our family. One of the greatest blessings that God gives us are children. If men and women would realize this there would be no abortion clinics, no "pro-choice" activists, and no abused or neglected children on the streets. We need to stop and take care of this precious possession God has given us. Our children are the future. We must quit laboring in vain to make another dollar and start striving to make a difference. We must quit denying the Lord who gave us our lives and all that we have and start living in submission to His will. We must give our children the time and the training that they need to be successful in God's sight. We must take the time to teach them of God and the Bible and of Christian living; instead of teaching them that life is the struggle to make one more dollar! Let us all strive to teach our children the importance of godly living. Remember: "Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it."