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Singing Psalm 128 to anticipate family blessings

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Singing Psalm 128, you discover two of the most important life questions to answer. How you answer them is crucial enough to direct the tenor of and trajectory in your life.

What does it mean to fear the Lord’s name?

How do you go about walking in his ways?

Singing Psalm 128 to anticipate family blessings as you rest

Even as we prioritize family, it is possible to have our sights too low as we envision family blessings. Certainly it is a blessing to attempt to meet needs and carry each other’s burdens as we strive to love one another and to not be against one another. But can you even imagine what it would be like to be together with your family and friends and be unable to sin in the way you relate to one another? Not misrepresenting God’s truth. No selfishness to get in the way of caring. No put downs. No misunderstandings. No angry retorts. No comparing or eyeing. No anxiety. No misconstruing what someone said or meant. No wrong priorities—we will rank things right. No majoring in the minors. No trying to be good enough to save yourselves so as not to need Jesus of whom it is said: “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” ~ Acts 4:12

Singing Psalm 128 you envision something much greater than anything you can experience here. We might cherish family memories but even the best of times here can’t light a candle to what will be around the family dinner table there. We anticipate family blessings in our true home where we are no longer sojourning foreigners and aliens but resting citizens and members of God‘s family at home with him. Never again will you even think to question whether or not you belong. The greatest family blessing you can anticipate is that every member of the family of God will know they belong and will be at rest as we engage in whatever work we get to do there. The Lord will be your desire and not an afterthought as you busily go about building your own house. Each one will be fulfilled as we are finally taken up with worshiping and enjoying the Lord Jesus in his house, that we will have completely let go of worrying about ourselves.

You anticipate family blessings that the Lord Jesus promised and will fulfill as you come to him for rest. Not rest in the sense of taking a nap together but in the sense of together enjoying God’s peaceful presence forever.

Singing Psalm 128 to anticipate family blessings as you work

“When you eat of your hands’ labor,

    You’ll be blessed throughout your days.” ~ Psalm 128:2

“May the LORD from out of Zion

    Blessings rich on you bestow.

May you see Jerus’lem prosper

    All your days, until they cease.” ~ Psalm 128:5

When you can work, you anticipate family blessings as you eat together and enjoy the fruit of your labor. When you can’t work, you continue to fear the Lord’s name and walk in his ways trusting his provisions supplied by other means until he again blesses you with work.

Singing Psalm 128 to anticipate family blessings as you wait

“In your house your wife will prosper

    Like a vine whose fruits abound;

And like olive plants, your children

    At your table gather ‘round.” ~ Psalm 128:3

“May you see your children’s children.

    On all Israel be peace!” ~ Psalm 128:6

If we aren’t aware of our self-serving tendencies and aren’t careful to guard against them, we can easily envision building our own little kingdoms in lieu of working for God’s kingdom. As you might dream of having “little Johns” and “little Sallys”, remember that they are God’s children first and as parents you are in a stewarding role. We can fall into the vain hope that they would naturally grow up to care for us as if we created them to serve us in our kingdom. Although the Lord makes it clear that it is pleasing to him for children to make some return to their parents in their old age, it is not something that you demand or even expect. Relationships are gifts from God. When the Lord reveals how he is your very great reward, you attend to your other relationships not out of neediness but out of the overflow of your needs abundantly met and surpassed by God himself. Your other relationships are not out of obligation, but out of a sincere want to. That makes all the difference in your capacity to love others sincerely from the heart. We marvel at the beauty of wrapped gifts until the time comes to humbly unwrap the deeper beauty. All the while, we are careful to hold the giver of all gifts paramount, treasuring our relationship with God above all else.

You might look around and see other families that fall into what seems to be a perfectly created family. Some are under the kingdom of God while others the kingdom of self. The children and grandchildren gather around them and fall into place nicely. Both look the same on the outside. The test comes when they get out of line and don’t fall into place the way you envision them. What then? Do you look around comparing and grumbling that you have somehow been cheated out of the kingdom you had prepared for yourself? 

If so, you might have lost sight of the fact that one can only receive what has been given you from heaven. Things are not always as they seem. Some families grow together like the rising sun and are not thrown off by the clouds that block the view of the sun along the way. Others sadly start out well and end poorly. Still others start out poorly and end well. For many families, it’s like a roller coaster ride all throughout life. Regardless of what the snapshot looks like at any given moment, you ask the Lord to lead you and your family in the way everlasting that your names would be written in the Lamb’s book of life for all generations. Yet just as an exclamation point to this name recording that further tethers your soul to his, Jesus promises:

“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it.” ~ Revelation 2:17

“There is an identity you have in God, reflected in your new name, that transcends whatever shame or regret or disappointment is wrapped up in who you are now. There is a very private and personal place of intimacy with him that brings hope and freedom and joy that none can touch or taint or steal away.” ~ Sam Storms

You take the long view as you anticipate family blessings. Job will enjoy being in God’s courts with his wife and 20 children among God’s people like olive shoots around the table that the Lord has prepared for him. He is still awaiting the fullness of that reunion until Christ comes again to reunite our souls with our immortal resurrection bodies. Those who are separated from loved ones now can wait too if that seems good to the Lord. That joy, as great as it is, will pale in comparison to the invitation we will have from our bridegroom to come and share in our Master’s happiness!

Just as Jesus came not to be served but to serve and offer his life as a ransom for many, so his people follow him with a heart and life of servanthood. He perfectly captures the essence of life in the beatitudes (Matthew 5) that clearly define and picture how to fear the Lord’s name and to walk in his ways. Jesus teaches us to wait for the blessing of comfort that will come to those who mourn, for the blessing of inheriting the earth that belongs to the meek, for the blessing of satisfaction that is reserved for those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for the blessing of receiving mercy that will come to the merciful, for the blessing of seeing God that is for the pure in heart, for the blessing of being called sons of God that is for the peacemakers, for the blessing of the kingdom of heaven reserved for those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, and for the blessing of great reward in heaven for those who have been reviled, persecuted, and to whom all kinds of evil were uttered against them falsely on Jesus’ account. 

These blessings will come to those who endure and persevere through various kinds of suffering until the end. Whatever our level of attachment to one another, may we all attach to the Lord our God with an unbreakable bond. Would that you can hear and say of your physical and spiritual children in Christ with John: “I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.” ~ 3 John 1:4

“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.” ~ John 14:1-3

What to do meanwhile? Give thanks, rejoice and be glad as you seek to learn from Jesus. He answers for us how we are to be in all his teachings, in all his word. This is the most important gift you get to keep unwrapping as it keeps on giving for all your life.

“Blessed are all who fear the LORD’s name

    And who walk within His ways.” ~ Psalm 128:1

“So the man who fears the LORD shall

    In this way, great blessing know. ” ~ Psalm 128:4

June 21-28, 2024


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