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Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless
the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard 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.
the Israelites climbed the road to Jerusalem for feast days and sang
these songs, they remembered what it must have been like for the first
generation who returned to Jerusalem after the exile (Ps. 126). They
thought of how joyous and unbelievable it must have been for the
children of those who had seen Jerusalem destroyed to one day return and
The returning exiles knew the
consequences of turning away from God. They had seen their houses
destroyed, and understood the futility of the things accomplished in
their own strength. Psalm 127 was perfect song to sing after Psalm 126.
Those who know the futility and destruction of turning away from God
can wisely declare: "Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders
labor in vain."
Response and Action:
want to begin today with a Psalm 126 perspective--to look back at the
foolish ambitions and efforts of my past, and to rejoice in the ways
God faithfully continues to lead me out of those failures into a joyful
and hopeful future.
I will give careful consideration
to the things I work on today. Am I building something that honors
God? Am I giving myself to the work and purpose and direction God is
leading me to do? Am I depending upon his guidance, strength, and
provision, or am I wearing myself out by doing things for my own
reasons, in my own way, and in my own strength?
my life to be a house that God is building. I want to find rest and
peace and satisfaction in God's will and purpose. God is the builder
of the life I want to live.
God, help me to live for you and through you in thought, word, and
deed. Help me to turn away from what is wrong, and to do what is
right. Help me to love you with all my heart, soul, mind, and
strength. By the power and grace of your Holy Spirit, lead, build,
provide, and sustain my life. Help me to delight in your will, and to
walk in your ways, to the glory of your name. Through Christ, Amen.
Spiritual Formation Verses:
"Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down
and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? 29 For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, 30 saying, 'This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.'
A Long Obedience in the Same Direction
by Eugene Peterson