A song of ascents. Of Solomon.
1 Unless the Lord builds the house,
the builders labour in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city,
the guards stand watch in vain.
2 In vain you rise early
and stay up late,
toiling for food to eat—
for he grants sleep to those he loves.
3 Children are a heritage from the Lord,
offspring a reward from him.
4 Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
are children born in one’s youth.
5 Blessed is the man
whose quiver is full of them.
They will not be put to shame
when they contend with their opponents in court.
Reminiscent of the accounts of workers in Ecclesiastes, the Psalmist pictures builders striving to build a house. It is hard, long work, with little joy or productivity. He sees the town guards watching the horizon, eyes blurry. He hears the cry as the daily drudge goes on, ‘What’s the point! What’s it all about?!’ His response is simple. To find fulfilment and fruitfulness in our daily lives, do them for and with God. Then you will be effective, joyful and have something to show for your work – seen here in childbirth and vindication in disputes, signs interpreted at that time as being indicators of God’s favour. Of course, this applies to every area of our lives, our work life, our social life and our gathered life – every part of our life as members of God’s church whether together or apart.
Father, help me to build my life on you!