Summary: THE SUCCESS OF ANY ENDEAVOR DEPENDS ULTIMATELY ON THE GIFT OF GOD’S BLESSING
BIG IDEA: THE SUCCESS OF ANY ENDEAVOR DEPENDS
ULTIMATELY ON THE GIFT OF GOD’S BLESSING
There are many ingredients to success. The psalmist is not demeaning the value of hard work, of diligence, of ambition, etc. But there is one essential ingredient for success.
I. (:1) 2 ILLUSTRATIONS
A. Building a House
“Unless the Lord builds the house, They labor in vain who build it”
1. Requires skilled labor – but this alone is vanity apart from:
2. Essential Ingredient = the work of God
cf. frustration of those who attempted to build the Tower of Babel in opposition to God’s will.
Cambridge: “house is probably used in a wide sense, which could include the temple, an ordinary house, or a dynasty or family”
B. Guarding a City
“Unless the Lord guards the city, The watchman keeps awake in vain”
1. Requires the vigilance of a watchman – but this alone is vanity apart from:
2. Essential Ingredient = the vigilance of God
II. (:2) KEY PRINCIPLE
A. Insufficient Ingredients for Success ( Fruitless apart from God’s Blessing)
1. Long Hours of Work
“It is vain for you to rise up early, To retire late”
2. Hard Labor
“To eat the bread of painful labors”
B. One Essential Ingredient for Success = Gift of God’s Blessing = “He Gives”
“For He gives to His beloved even in his sleep”
If man receives the blessing while he is sleeping, it is evident that the fruit of.his labors depend on God’s gracious gift rather than on his own labors.
The Lord delights to give good gifts to His beloved children.
No place for anxiety; we should sleep in peace – confident in the Lord’s giving to meet our needs in harmony with His will.
Cambridge: perhaps should be interpreted: “he gives (children) to those He loves as they sleep” Or “in sleep (= marital intercourse)”
Transition: The best proof of this is the gift of children.
III. (:3-5) FINAL PROOF = GOD’S GIFT OF CHILDREN
A. The Determining Ultimate Source of Children
1. “Behold, children are a gift of the Lord”
2. “The fruit of the womb is a reward”
B. The Powerful Resource of Children
“Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one’s youth”
C. The Blessing of a Large Family
“How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them;
They shall not be ashamed, When they speak with their enemies in the gate.”
* * * * * * * * * *
1) As we acquire skill in a particular area, do we tend to forget about our need to rely on God for success in that area?
2) When have we labored hard at something and been frustrated because God’s hand of blessing was not in the endeavor? Doesn’t this make it imperative for us
to spend time seeking the will of the Lord as to what endeavors He wants us to give our time and energies to?
3) Do we treat each of our children as a precious gift from the Lord and communicate that to them?
4) Do we have the same perspective towards large families as the Lord does? What does this have to say about the modern emphasis on family planning and birth control?
Download the entire Psalms commentary in pdf format
(including notes on each psalm from other commentators)