Summary: Count on the Lamb!
We live in an age of stress and worry. We worry and then we worry about our worry. We worry about our nation’s economy, its defenses, its youth, its stability, and whatever you worry about. We have pills that calm us and pills to make us sleep. Children are stressed out in an age where they have more creature comforts than ever before and yet they get stressed and depressed.
We have stress management seminars right after our motivational seminars that tell us we can have it all. We become workaholics because we fear we will not be able to afford that vacation or the boat we bought to relax in which causes us to work overtime and get no rest. All our worries and fears put us into cardiac arrest which then makes us fear we will not make it to see our children grow up or reach that retirement we have been killing ourselves to prepare for. He who dies with the most toys does not win, but his beneficiaries make a killing. Pardon the pun.
Yet, with all that fear and worry what changes? Nothing at all changes because most of the things we fear we have no control over. Can you control the economy? Can you prevent nuclear war? Can you prevent the corporate takeover that gets you downsized? Can you prevent your children from exercising their own free will and doing something stupid? Can you truly prevent your death? None of these major life issues that cause us stress are in our control.
1 Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.
We are a nation of homebuilders, but God says, unless He builds it you are wasting your time. You are building it for the fire ants, termites and tornadoes or hurricanes and quakes if you live outside the great state of Texas. You can craft it from the finest materials and it is a useless waste of time. It will be hard and irksome work that is in vain.
However, while the word in the Hebrew does mean a dwelling, it is also used in meaning a family. People work so hard to provide all the material things for their family. They do all they can to keep them physically safe, healthy, sheltered and clothed and yet for all that many families crumble like a trailer house in a tornado.
The family experiences divorce, teenage pregnancy, criminal activity by a member of the family, dropping out of school and even society. There is constant strife in the home between the members and those they associate with. Why? The Lord did not build the house. He was not even consulted. He did not approve the plans or the building and He is under no obligation to support or repair it. In His grace and mercy, He often mitigates the damage and will do home repairs though He is not under contract to do so.
Not all homes fall completely apart; some will slowly disintegrate over time. The members just never get together or when they do there is very little joy and the feelings of someone always get hurt. The homes or families just become shells without any substantial interior design like a pole barn.
Now, many homes would say that they were looking for the Lord to build them. Not only families of unbelievers have these struggles. Many "Christian" homes suffer great loss as well. Building a Christian home is more than just having some Bibles in it and Christian verses or slogans on the walls and shelves. Many Christians get suckered into the mold of this world. They read the same books as the non-Christians and get much of the same shallow and sallow results. The home is based on a form of godliness and denies the power thereof and thus it crumbles as the sand it is built on shifts. Who is building your house or family?
The condition of the families in a city dictates the condition of the city in which they live. The condition of the cities dictates the condition of the nation. If the Lord is not building the families then He is not building the cities. If He is not building the cities where does the nation stand? It stands alone. Its own strength and not the strength of the Lord defends it. It is therefore extremely vulnerable to its enemies domestic and foreign. It may have the finest weapons and latest detection devices and yet may fall to one weaker and even more wicked than itself.
Check the history of Israel in the Bible when they forsook the Lord for their own wisdom and tactics or for a false god. No defenses could save them. When they were right with God, no army could defeat them no matter how large. Except the Lord guard or keep the city, the watchmen may as well go to sleep on duty. The city won’t know what hit it. Wake up, America. Don’t repeat Israeli history!