Christian Living

Don’t Build in Vain

Let God Built and Protect All That We Do

There are fifteen songs of ascent in the Bible. Five of them are in today’s reading. Four of the fifteen are ascribed to David and one to Solomon; the rest are anonymous. Most of them are quite short.

We understand the people would sing these songs of ascent as they traveled to Jerusalem—that is, as they ascended to the temple—to worship God.

Psalm 127, written by Solomon—opens with the convicting reminder that unless God builds a house, the builders labor in vain. In a parallel thought, unless God watches over a city, the guards watch in vain (Psalms 127:1).

I wonder how much we build in vain, striving to accomplish work on our own and without God taking part. Do we try to pursue life our own way or live a life in tandem with our Lord? If God’s not part of what we do, it is in vain.

May we not work—or live—in vain.

The next verse continues the thought, stating that it’s vain to get up early and go to bed late toiling just to make a living and feed ourselves. Yet this isn’t a call to laziness or permission to be idle.

In the context of this Psalm, it’s a solemn reminder to include the Lord in our striving, our work, and all that we do. If we don’t, we build in vain.

The second half of this song talks about the blessing of children, of having a quiver full—the more the better. This fulfills God’s command to Adam and later to Moses to be fruitful and multiply (Genesis 1:28 and Genesis 9:7).

And where do these children live? In our homes!

Just as it is in vain if we attempt to build a house without God, it is in vain if we attempt to raise children without him.

We need the Almighty to help us build a house, just as we need him to build a family.

We must put him first in all we do and trust him with the outcome. Else we build in vain.

[Read through the Bible with us this year. Today’s reading is Psalms 125-129 and today’s post is on Psalms 127:1.]

Peter DeHaan writes about biblical Christianity to confront status quo religion and live a life that matters. He seeks a fresh approach to following Jesus through the lens of Scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices.

Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.

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