A song of ascents.
Blessed are all who fear the Lord,
who walk in obedience to him.
You will eat the fruit of your labour;
blessings and prosperity will be yours.
Your wife will be like a fruitful vine
within your house;
your children will be like olive shoots
round your table.
Yes, this will be the blessing
for the man who fears the Lord.
May the Lord bless you from Zion;(Ps. 128:1-6 NIV)
may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem
all the days of your life.
May you live to see your children’s children –
peace be on Israel.
Like Psalm 127, this Psalm has a focus on God’s work in and through the family. It is of real significance that these songs about home and of true civic awareness are sung by those who are on their way to worship. It is good to carry into the place of worship the interests of home and society. We can do good for the family and society by bringing their needs and our needs as we contribute to the family and society.
Blessed are all who fear the LORD: The proper honour and respect the creature owes to the Creator is described as the beginning of wisdom in many places (Psalm 111:10, Job 28:28, Proverbs 1:7 and 9:10, and Ecclesiasts 12:13). It is to be expected that such wise living brings a blessing.
Who walk in obedience: This explains what the psalmist meant by the fear of the LORD. It wasn’t fundamentally a matter of having certain feelings toward God, but a matter of a life of obedience.
The blessing described here is very practical. We will benefit and enjoy the fruit of out labour. The psalmist had in mind the hard-working farmer who enjoys the food of his own work. Although today not so many people work on the land, we work and buy food, and that food comes from the labour of our hands. Though an element of work is cursed since Adam’s time (Genesis 3:17-19), at least a portion of this curse is taken away for the one who fears the LORD. We are not exempt from work, but God will bless and prosper that work.
Your wife will be like a fruitful vine: The one who fears the Lord may be blessed with a large, happy home. The home is happy in its very heart, and the children flourish. As they gather (all around your table) there is a sense of community and happiness. In the providence of God some couples are not able to have children. Many couples who have been childless give more time to the encouragement and building up of the church and become de facto parents to many in the church. Though the idea of bearing children is found in the figure of the fruitful vine, it goes far beyond it. Spurgeon says that ‘Good wives are also fruitful in kindness, thrift, helpfulness, and affection: if they bear no children, they are by no means barren if they yield us the wine of consolation and the clusters of comfort.’
Like a fruitful vine…like olive shoots: These were two important crops in ancient times. The grapes and wine from the fruitful vine and the oil from the olive plants were not necessities for survival, but they made life so much better. A happy marriage and flourishing children are not essential for survival, but greatly enrich life in their own way.
The promise of blessing is repeated.
Yes, this will be the blessing for the man who fears the LORD.
As stated before in verse 1, there is assurance of blessing for all who honour and respect God the way that they should.
And may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life: The blessing of benediction is conferred upon the person who fears the Lord.
The LORD bless you out of Zion: It is natural for the singers of this psalm to think about the connection of blessing with Jerusalem. God has good for His people that will come out of Zion. It shows that there is a sense in which a happy home is not enough; we must also have care for our community and nation. Blended with the domesticity of the psalm is a love for the church. However blessed the home, it is not intended to weaken the sense of belonging to the people of God.
May you see your children’s children: The blessing to the one who fears the LORD goes beyond the holy city and impacts the holy family. The psalmist sees the blessing as enjoying grandchildren.
O Lord our God we thank You for the blessings of family and the blessings of the church. We thank You that we can bring matters related to family into the larger family of the church and pray. Lord bless our families and bless our church for Christ our Saviour’s sake. Amen.