Sunday, March 8, 2015
Psalm 127 - A Song of Ascents - (Solomon)
The first verse of Psalm 127 is one of the most poignant passages in Biblical literature. And, although it is taken here; out of context; the words are so beautifully positioned so as to read almost as if they were poetry; which most of the Psalms are. It is often known as the Song of Ascent. It is attributed to Solomon.
This was the quote from the Psalm which President John Kennedy had planned on using in his speech at the Trade Mart in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963. He never got to make it.
In the context of the Psalm itself; printed in its entirety below; the Psalm pays homage to the Lord; and acknowledges that everything we do comes from that deity. It also exposes our own misconception that we are in charge of anything at all. After all, when the watchmen wake it is only in response to what has already been done.
“Except Jehovah build the house,
they labor in vain that build it.
Except Jehovah keep the city,
the watchman waketh but in vain.”
The next 4 lines deal with the frivolity of trying to do it all; staying up late; lamenting your troubles. God gave us the gift of sleep, and the commandment of a Sabbath to help us cope with the craziness of living. Rather than wrap yourself only in work and self-pity, look to your family for the comfort you desire. True happiness is more likely to be found there. That guy Solomon sure was smart.
Psalm 127 King James Version (KJV)
127 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.
2 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.
3 Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.
4 As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth.
5 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.
Note: The illustration of God at the top is from Michelangelo's work in the Sistine Chapel.