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

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;

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

Psalm 127:

• Is an ancient song with a modern 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.

And this Psalm clearly teaches that:

• Unless God blesses these activities with his presence and help,

• Then no matter how we view success and failure.

• The simple fact is this;

• According to Psalm 127 all our efforts will have been in vain.

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

Unless the LORD builds the house,

its builders labor in vain.

Unless the LORD watches over the city,

the watchmen stand guard in vain.

2 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• But Solomon’s words are not old hat, out of date,

• 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.

Alistair & Rachel (and of course everyone else):

• 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?

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

• Build your life, marriage, future by building on him!

• Otherwise all your efforts will be in vain!

(b).Guarding a city.

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

• Their job was to be look outs and to warn the people of the enemies attack.

• They played a vital role in defending a city,

• Key people in protecting the people from danger.

• But there ability to defend a city was limited.

• Even if they played their part well, the city could still be conquered.


• The Great Wall of China is the only man made structure that can be seen on the moon,

• It is 3,460 kilometres long and was built over a period of 2,000 years.

• It was built so high that nobody could climb over it,

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