The Family that Fears the Lord
How joyful are those who fear the Lord—all who follow his ways! You will enjoy the fruit of your labor. How joyful and prosperous you will be! Your wife will be like a fruitful grapevine, flourishing within your home. Your children will be like vigorous young olive trees as they sit around your table. That is the Lord’s blessing for those who fear him. (Psalm 128:1-4 NLT)
Not only is our eternal destiny determined as we fear the Lord, but God also promises a wonderful life here on earth as we fear Him and follow His ways.
These temporal tastes of blessing serve to whet our eternal appetite. One day, those who surrendered their lives in obedience to Christ will be seated at His banquet table, partaking of His bounty in the kingdom of heaven after reverently following Him on earth.
Until that time, we are promised joyful and prosperous lives as we follow God’s ways. This does not mean we will not face trials and difficulties. But as we walk in the fear of the Lord, certain of our eternal destiny, we can be full of joy even in spite of our circumstances.
God gives us an eternal perspective through which to view our temporal trials. He allows us to experience joy and to see our families flourish when we follow in his ways. Sometimes the fruit of following God takes time to ripen, but God promises good fruit (blessings) to those who fear Him.
An example of this is found in God’s promise about the children of those who fear Him. It is a blessing for any parent to see their children thrive, and Scripture compares children of those who fear the Lord to young olive trees. According to the Archeological Study Bible:
Olive trees might not bear fruit for forty years. It is a symbol of long life and productivity—as are children in a household of faith. They are not like grass—here today, gone tomorrow.*
As we fear the Lord and follow His will, we set examples for our children to follow. Every seed of faith planted while children are entrusted to our care, God nurtures and nourishes like an olive shoot.
God also compared the godly man’s wife to a fruitful vine:
…[In biblical times] the vine that grew around the trellis or outside staircase [of the home] was the emblem of the loving and fruitful wife and the happy home within.* (Words in brackets added for clarification)
When we fear the Lord and follow His will for our lives, our homes will become fruitful, happy, and loving. God is love; if we follow Him, our homes will be full of His love because our hearts are full of Him.
*Archeological Study Bible. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2005, p 937.
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