Unless the LORD
Scripture: 1 Kings 4:1-34, Psalm 72, Psalm 127
"Unless the LORD builds a house, the work of the builders is wasted. Unless the LORD protects a city, guarding it with sentries will do no good." Psalm 127:1b (NLT)
Psalm 127 is another in the fourteen psalms referred to as the Songs of Ascent. These songs are believed to be reflective in nature and boast of what the Lord had done for His chosen children. They were sung on the journey to the Holy City where the Israelites gathered to celebrate the annual festivals.
What a picture to envision the people—many generations removed from those who first received His promises—singing and remembering the provisions of such a Mighty God. His children knew that without the Lord, neither they nor their ancestors would have survived. This brings us to our key words in today’s main verse.
In the ESV translation of Psalm 127:1, wasted and will do no good are translated as vain. The Hebrew word is shav'. It means emptiness, vanity, falsehood, nothingness, and worthless. The message that King Solomon wanted God's children to remember is one we’d do well to remember too. The Lord has made covenant with us to be our:
- Builder (vs. 1)
- Protector (vs. 1)
- Provider (vs. 2)
- Rewarder (vs. 3)
- Defender (vs. 5)
Without the Lord, everything we put our heart, hands, and head to do is pointless. We need our Builder in order to be successful in any avenue of life. He promises to make our paths straight as long as we keep our end of the covenant: obedience and no idolatry. When we obey, the Holy Spirit can do the work necessary to build, protect, provide for, reward, and defend us.
Lord, forgive me for my vanity of trying to "build" things for myself. I acknowledge that You are a far superior builder than I. It is my heart’s desire for You to take over my efforts, doing all things necessary to draw me closer to You. Amen.