Summary: How to have a great home.
Blessed are all who fear the LORD, who walk in his ways.
You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours.
Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your sons will be like olive shoots around your table.
Thus is the man blessed who fears the LORD (Psalm 128:1-4).
Psalm 128 is labeled a song of ascent. The “songs of ascent” were likely psalms that were sung by bands of pilgrims on their way to the yearly feasts in Jerusalem. Because a person always went up to Jerusalem, if one sung these psalms on the way, they were songs of ascent, sung as one ascended to Jerusalem and to the Temple mount. Let’s experience this Psalm together today.
For eight weeks now we’ve been making over our homes. First, we realized that none of us has a perfect family and agreed that there were things we could change. Second, we gutted our house. We looked at our personal life and our family life and sledged out those things that didn’t belong. Then, we stopped to accept and promise to follow God’s plan for our home, the Bible. Then we started going through the house room by room. We made over the living room, a place for values. Then we made over the kitchen, a place for nourishment. Next, we moved to the master bedroom, a place for love. Once through there, we stopped off and made over the kid’s room, a place for testing. Now, we’re finished. Well, you may have a few years of work left on your home, but we are done with learning how to do that work.
On the television show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, this would be the episode when the family finally sees the finished product. Of course, the family members jump up and down, cry, and generally make absolute fools of themselves, and rightly so, because their house is much better than they ever expected.
I believe that if we will makeover our families according to God’s plan, the plan we have laid out in the previous weeks, our homes too will be better than we could ever expect. We’ll be so blessed, we’ll want to jump up and down. We’ll look back and say, “It was hard work – was it ever! But we did it, and it was worth it.”
But something else happens when that final reveal takes place on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition – everyone is stunned and asks, “How’d they do that?” The same is true when you makeover your family. The world around you – members of your extended family, your friends, your acquaintances, your neighbors – will look at you and ask, “How’d They Do That?” I know where they were before, but, man, look at them now! “How’d they do that?”
That’s where Psalm 128 is. The Psalms are often vivid in their poetic imagery. This one, even though it is short, is just as vivid. In Psalm 128 we have a picture painted for us with words. The picture links up with Psalm 127, which we considered two weeks ago. The man with his quiver full of arrows is now sitting at the table with his large family. A person comes into the house, sees the man and his family, sees their happy state of affairs, and asks, “How’d they do that?” He goes on to reflect upon just how it has happened, why things are so good, and then speaks blessings upon the family for future good.
Let’s experience what’s happening in this psalm. Picture a family sitting at a banquet table – an elder man and his wife along with their two grown sons and their spouses. Now, we walk in and ask, “How’d they do that?”
Well, let’s find out.
Blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in his ways.
This family is blessed because they fear the lord and walk in His ways.
We use the word “fear” to describe a feeling of dread for the future, that we are “scared” of something. But the Bible uses the word “fear” in slightly different ways. When we talk of this man’s, “Fear of God,” we mean at least two things.
First, we mean that he has a reverence for God.
This is an awe, a respect. Psalm 89:7 says, “In the council of the holy ones God is greatly feared; he is more awesome than all who surround him.” Genuine faith is expressed in, and full of, an awe and reverence for God. Christians should never lose their sense of awe of God. This fear of God leads to true wisdom and provides direction for us through life. In fact, true reverence for God must be expressed in good works and holy living. 2 Corinthians 7:1 says, “Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.” If you fear God, you will obey him. That leads us to the second meaning of fear of God.