Summary: Psalm 127. (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email:

Psalm 127

Reading: Psalm 127


• A man went to a psychiatrist with a worry problem.

• "Every time I get into bed, " he said, "I'm convinced there is somebody under it".

• "I can help", said the psychiatrist,

• "But it will mean a session a week for a year, costing £30 per visit".

• The man never returned,

• So when the psychiatrist met him in the street he asked why he hadn't come back.

• "Oh, a friend cured me for nothing, " he explained.

• "How did he do that?" asked the psychiatrist.

• "He simply told me to cut the legs off the bed!"

• Replied the man.

Psalm 127:

• The 5 verses of this Psalm (127)

• Also gives simple practical advice for some of the key areas of our lives.

• It is an ancient song with a modem message;

• It deals with the practical themes of:

• Home-making (verse 1).

• Security (verse 1).

• Work (verse 2).

• Having a family (verse 3-5).


• If you are Scottish, you might recognise the words from verse 1,

• It is the motto of the city of Edinburgh, Scotland,

• It appears on the crest,

• And is affixed to the city's official documents.

• In Latin it says; 'Nisi Dominus frustra’

• Which means; "Without the Lord it is in vain".

THAT MOTTO Or THAT expression:

• Is the main point of this Psalm.

• The Psalm divides up into three parts;

• Three activities are mentioned; building, protection, and raising a family.

• The key message that the writer is trying to get across to us – put God 1st.

• Unless God involved in these key areas of life;

• All our efforts will have been in vain.

(1). Building without the Lord (verses 1-2):

“Unless the LORD builds the house,

its builders labour in vain.

Unless the LORD watches over the city,

the watchmen stand guard in vain.

In vain you rise early

and stay up late,

toiling for food to eat

for he grants sleep to those he loves”.

• To the people who first received this Psalm:

• The things mentioned carried immediate meaning.

• Building a house,

• Keeping watch over a city,

• Toiling for food.

• Were all essential tasks.

• The idea that these things could have been done in vain,

• Would have come as quite a shock to the readers of this psalm.

• So to its original readers Solomon's words have a cutting edge:

• That would have arrested the attention of the reader.

• But Solomon's words are not old hat, out of date (ancient song with a modern message)

• They still have important principles that apply to all our -lives.

The first activity mentioned is:

(A). Constructing a house.

Building a house was a common activity:

• Which required a considerable effort &cost,

• So imagine investing time and energy only to find out that it was all is pointless.

• How depressing and disappointing to have invested time & money, to have done your best

• Only to find out there was a much better way of doing it!


• It is visited each year by thousands of people,

• It is one of the great tourist attractions in the world,

• It stands 179 feet tall and is a work of beauty,

• The problem is the architect built it on 10 feet of foundations.

• The leaning tower of Pisa,

• Is externally impressive but was a disaster waiting to happen!

• And it has only survived to this day,

• Thanks to the knowledge and skill of many different experts.

This Psalm reminds us that no matter how impressive your home may or may not look:

• In the end only one thing matters,

• How good are your foundations?


• Strangest greeting ever was when I spoke at Sholing Baptist Church ladies meeting.

• Lady stamped on the floor, looked me in the eye and said “Good foundations”.

• Apparently the Church had been rebuilt several times over the years;

• But the foundations were the original ones, 100’s of years old.


One of the best known stories Jesus told involved a building project.

• Jesus himself taught us in the parable of the wise & foolish builders,

• Build your life, marriage, build you future, build your…………. on good foundations.

• Those foundations are Jesus and his teaching;

• To ignore either is to build, to have all your efforts in vain!

(B). Guarding a city (verse 1).

“Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain”.

• In Old Testament times watchmen were stationed on city walls and hill tops,

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