Psalm 127

Unless the Lord…

“Unless the LORD builds a house, the work of the builders is useless. Unless the LORD protects a city, guarding it with sentries will do no good.” ­– Psalm 127:1 NLT

This is a psalm written by Solomon, the son of David who ascended to the throne after him. Solomon was the one who had the privilege and responsibility of building the temple that David had proposed and done all the preparation for. Solomon, as you might recall, was also considered the wisest man who ever lived. Which is significant to think about when you read this short psalm. In it he reminds us that unless the Lord builds a house, the work of the builders is useless. I have to believe he wasn’t just thinking about any house. I think he probably had the temple in mind. That was one of the crowning achievements of his reign – constructing the house of God in Jerusalem. And I am sure that this message had been drummed into his head by his father David. David had made sure that Solomon knew the success of his reign was directly tied to his faithfulness to God. Solomon had been taught that without God everything becomes worthless and valueless, no matter how grand and impressive it may appear. A powerful kingdom without the power of God behind it was destined to failure. A city protected by a wall and surrounded by watchmen was more than vulnerable to defeat without the presence of God in their midst. Rising at the crack of dawn and putting in a full day of hard work would be fruitless and prove unnecessary when God could provide for you even while you were asleep.

The main theme to this little psalm is the uselessness of life without God. But it also talks about the many blessings involved with a life in which God is intimately involved. He uses the example of children and reminds us that they are a gift from God. They are of far greater value than a house or city we might build, or a career we might pursue. Yet oftentimes we can see our children as burdens rather than blessings. Yet with the help of God and a mindset that recognizes that they are given to us by Him, we can see great benefits and blessings in our lives as we raise them to walk in His ways. Unless the Lord builds a house or builds a family, the work of the builders in useless. Unless I recognize that I cannot build a healthy family without the help of God, no amount of energy or effort I exert will assure future success. This psalm is not advocating complacency or inactivity, it is reminding us of the essential nature of God’s presence in everything we do – in all of life. I must make Him an integral part of every aspect of my life. To not do so, the psalmist teaches us, would be to court disaster and ensure our ultimate failure. Whether we’re building a house, protecting our home, raising a family, or pursuing a career, we need to include our heavenly Father in all that we do.

Father, I have done a lot over the years without including You at all. And I can attest to the fact that it is useless and ultimately worthless. Even my greatest achievements accomplished without Your help have proven to be short-lived and not all that enjoyable. But anything I have done in my life where You were at the center of it has proved to be a blessing. Help me to see that life without You is worthless so that I will want to include You all the time and in everything. Amen

Ken Miller
Grow Pastor & Minister to Men