Psalm 128:5-6 (NIV)
May the Lord bless you from Zion;
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.
“The word ‘prosperity’ (tov) in verse 5b often functions as a synonym for shalom, ‘peace,’ ‘wholeness,’ or ‘goodness’ (Isa 52:7; Jer 8:15). In Psalm 128 the psalmist asks the Lord to bless the hearer from Zion so that he may experience the peace and wholeness of Zion. In turn, the peace and wholeness of Jerusalem will allow the hearer to live a long life—’to see your children’s children.’” [Tucker, W. Dennis, Psalms, Volume 2(The NIV Application Commentary), pp. 805-806]
How does this world define prosperity?
How is the prosperity of Jerusalem defined in verse 5b?
Do we recognize where all of our blessings come and from who? Or do we take God’s blessings for granted?
As we live as pilgrims in this life, longing for our heavenly home, let’s look up to our God from whom all blessings flow and praise Him! God desires to bless us and for us to experience the happiness that will last as we walk in His ways. Let’s pray for ourselves and those in our families, in our communities, that we will experience this peace, wholeness, and goodness in God!
Psalm 128:3-4 (MSG)
Your wife will bear children as a vine bears grapes,
your household lush as a vineyard,
The children around your table
as fresh and promising as young olive shoots.
Stand in awe of God’s Yes.
Oh, how he blesses the one who fears God!
“Blessing has inherent in it the power to increase. It functions by sharing and delight in life…The blessed gives to the others, because the strength instinctively pours from him and up around him…The characteristic of blessing is to multiply.”…As we learn to give and to share, our vitality increases, and the people around us become become fruitful vines and olive shoots at our tables.” [Peterson, Eugene H. A Long Obedience in the Same Direction]
The phrase, “one who fears God” appears again in verse 4. For those who fear God, in what other areas of life can they see God’s blessing and fruitfulness?
What are the blessings that are found in these verses?
In living for the Lord, do you believe that God can pour out His blessings to others around you and through you?
Let’s pray for increase of God’s blessing in our families, respective ministries, churches, that many will be at our tables with us sharing in God’s blessings that will last!
Psalm 128:2 (NRSV)
You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands;
you shall be happy, and it shall go well with you.
“In Psalm 127 individuals are cautioned, if not outright chastised, for working too hard out of the belief that they can secure their own future. Psalm 128 begins with the universal claim concerning the blessed person. Psalm 128 provides no hint of self-reliance but instead receives all ‘blessings and prosperity’ (v. 2b) as a gift from God.” [Tucker, W. Dennis, Psalms, Volume 2 (The NIV Application Commentary)]
How does this verse bring out the relationship between working and being happy?
Do we consider work to be a blessing from the Lord?
What are the promises found in these verses?
The psalmist sees the value of work and the fruit it produces. Knowing that God is involved with us in our work and that it is God who blesses it, should bring us great joy!
Read Colossians 3:23 (NLT) and Romans 12:1-2 (MSG):
Colossians 3:23 (NLT) – “Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.”
Romans 12:1-2 (MSG) – “So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering.”
Let’s spend time thanking God for work and being able to experience happiness in our work. Let’s ask for His strength to do it all for the Lord!
Psalm 128:1-2 (MSG)
All you who fear God, how blessed you are!
how happily you walk on his smooth straight road!
“Walk on his smooth straight road.’ Not only do we let God be God as he really is, but we start doing the things for which he made us. We take a certain route; we follow certain directions; we do specified things. There are ethical standards to follow, there are moral values to foster, there are spiritual disciplines to practice, there is social justice to pursue, there are personal relationships to develop…Too many people are willfully refusing to pay attention to the One who wills our happiness and ignorantly supposing that the Christian way is a harder way to get what they want than doing it on their own. They are wrong. God’s ways and God’s presence are where we experience the happiness that lasts.” [Peterson, Eugene, A Long Obedience in the Same Direction]
How would you fill in the blank? “If only ________________, I would be happy.”
How would you describe someone who “walk on his smooth straight road”? How would you describe the road that is not smooth or straight?
Would it make sense to take a road that is not smooth or straight? Where would that lead us?
Walking in God’s ways is the way to happiness and blessing! Spend a moment in prayer, placing your life in God’s hands. Pray for God’s grace to live a life of obedience and walk on his smooth straight road to happiness that lasts.
Psalm 128:1 (NRSV)
Happy is everyone who fears the Lord…
“In this phrase, ‘fear’ is not about being intimidated or ‘shaking in your boots’ before the divine presence. It is rather about reverence or awe before YHWH, and the observation that whom one reveres, one obeys. To fear YHWH is to entrust all of life and hope to this one and follow the divine guidance. The perspective of the psalm is that such a decision about lifestyle makes a difference; living in line with YHWH’s teaching brings a profound joy and completeness to life.” [Brueggemann, Walter. Psalms (New Cambridge Bible Commentary), pp. 545-546]
According to Psalm 128:1, who are happy?
What does it mean for you to fear the Lord in your current circumstance?
What other fears can we be driven by, rather than by the fear of God? What are some fears that can lead to missing out on the happiness that God has in store for you?
Let’s spend a moment in prayer, let’s lay down all the fears that we may be struggling with before the Lord and entrust our lives to Him again.