Summary: Psalm 127 shows us the true answer to the daily worries of the workaholic -- the LORD's grace and provision.

A Workaholic's Guide to the Grace and Provision of the LORD


Sterling C. Franklin

Text: Psalm 127:1-5

Psa 127:1 A Song of Ascents, of Solomon. Unless the LORD builds the house, They labor in vain who build it; Unless the LORD guards the city, The watchman keeps awake in vain.

Psa 127:2 It is vain for you to rise up early, To retire late, To eat the bread of painful labors; For He gives to His beloved even in his sleep.

Psa 127:3 Behold, children are a gift of the LORD, The fruit of the womb is a reward.

Psa 127:4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one's youth.

Psa 127:5 How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them; They will not be ashamed When they speak with their enemies in the gate.


Song of Ascents - "Steps"

Song of ascents (steps) -- what you sing on the way up to worship in the Temple. Geographic location of the Temple: on a mount (so you literally are 'going up').

Even though the majority of Jews had to go South to get to Jerusalem (note: southern location of Jerusalem), it was a climb literally and spiritually, as the place was also at the time the Holy place at which people would gather to worship God.

Worth noting: Psalm 127 was written by Solomon


- Only one Psalm is attributed to Solomon -- 127. The other Psalm in relation was written for Solomon (72).

- Solomon had a lot of children.

- 700 wives

- 300 concubines

(a) House building: Only useful if the LORD builds it

(b) City guarding: Only useful if the LORD guards it


Don't worry

Rising up early

Falling asleep late

Eating the bread of painful labors

Possible translation: see NASB

"For He gives to His beloved even in his sleep"

(less likely)


Children are a gift from the LORD

// Fruit of the womb is [His] reward

Parallel statement, poetically stating the blessing of children (repetition good for songs and memory, e.g. Proverbs).



like arrows in the hand of a mighty warrior,

so are children of one's youth


Blessed is the man whose quiver (metaphor) is full of them;

They will not be ashamed

when they speak with their enemies in the gate

Relating to Domestic Life...

I. The uselessness of 'homeland security' without the LORD's help (1)

A. Building a house

B. Guarding a city

C. Implicit: The LORD does the previous tasks very well

- Don't work too hard for something the LORD doesn't establish.

// Buying a house

- Is this speaking to workaholics?

Verse 1: Relating to work -- earning your own safety

Verse 2: Relating to laboring painfully -- waking up early and going to sleep late.

- That brings up the other possible translation (see above)

--> Yes

- When is working useless (in vain)?

- When we don't do things with the LORD's help.

- What are some things that working in vain can do?

- Makes one more agitated

- Jeopardize one's health

- Destroy a family

- God gives us the gift of grace and blessing on our domestic lives if we've committed our way to Him

- cf. Proverbs 3:5-6

Pro 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding.

Pro 3:6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.

II. The uselessness of worrying under the LORD's care (2)

A. Rising up early

B. Going to sleep late

C. Eating the bread of painful labors

D. Explicit: The LORD gives sleep to His beloved

- Seek first God's Kingdom...

Mat 6:31 "Do not worry then, saying, 'What will we eat?' or 'What will we drink?' or 'What will we wear for clothing?'

Mat 6:32 "For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.

Mat 6:33 "But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Importance of Rest

- God created the Sabbath as a model for us!

- Work 6, Rest 1

- Challenge: Are we taking a Sabbath each week?

III. The LORD's blessing of children (3-5)

A. Gift from the LORD (3)

B. Simile: Warriors' arrows // one's children

1. Happy is the man who has many

2. Won't be ashamed

- Children are produced as we rest and continue to live, yet they are an utmost blessing from the LORD.

Protection theme: Children in verses 3-5. They can defend the family, as well.

Children who are born early on (in one's youth) can take care of the elderly parents.

City gate:



-- Understanding the Grace of God


1. Commit your way to the LORD -- otherwise, it's useless!

2. Rest in Him

3. Enjoy the LORD's blessings in life.

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