Last Updated on May 24, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 399
Context: Psalm 127 is a brief expression of man's complete dependence upon God, and is put with deceptive simplicity. The poet emphasizes that God must be a part of everyday undertakings if they are to have any meaning. A house built without spiritual considerations is a sterile and disappointing place, a mere shelter; when faith enters into the construction, integrity and meaning are embodied in it. The poet then elaborates his point: there is little use in guarding a city, he continues, unless there is the firm belief that God is guarding it too. Implied but not stated is the point that if we are convinced that God is not guarding the city we immediately become ineffectual protectors. Lack of faith in the undertaking, whatever its nature, is destructive to accomplishment. There is much hard labor in life, but there is comfort even in this fact; for man was not made to spend all his time thus, and the Lord has provided him with rest, that he may have relief from toil. The lines may also have another meaning: that men are prone to fretfulness and worry, and dwell upon their sorrows; and that God has provided comfort and forgetfulness in the form of sleep. In the last half of the poem, the psalmist takes up one of the most important of God's many blessings. Children, he tells us, are a heritage from God and his reward to man. Not only are they the joy of their father; they are his strength in time of need, upholding and supporting him. They give him recognition and honor. The man who has many children is fortunate, for in addition to the devotion they give, they will be his defense against his enemies.
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.
It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep.
Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.
As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.
Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.
Unlock This Study Guide Now
Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.
- 30,000+ book summaries
- 20% study tools discount
- Ad-free content
- PDF downloads
- 300,000+ answers
- 5-star customer support