9 May 2022

Psalm 127

Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labour in vain. Unless the Lord guards the city, the guard keeps watch in vain. (v. 1)

1 Corinthians 7:25-31


As discussed yesterday, the Book of Psalms is in the Old Testament and consists of 150 separate psalms. Today's psalm is part of a collection known as “songs of ascent” (Psalms 120–134). These were believed to have been used by pilgrims on their travels to and from Jerusalem.

 Psalm 127 is thought to have been written by King Solomon, though not everyone agrees with this notion. His reference to a house in verse 1, could refer to the temple which he built, but it could have wider application.

The psalm talks about the importance of not relying entirely on our own strength. There is no need to be anxious: the creator will provide food and sleep. One could interpret this as saying that there is no such thing as a 'self-made' person. We owe our lives to God. We cannot attribute our success only to ourselves; we are dependent on God and, for that matter, also on other people.

In verses 3-5 there is a reference to family life. It is notable that there is a mention of sons as being a heritage from God and a reward, but there is no mention of daughters as in this era they were not considered as important as sons. The psalmist says it's important to have many sons as it is to have arrows in a quiver. A warrior would not go to war without sufficient weaponry.


To Ponder:

  • How important is it to bring our work to God, as a sign of our trust and dependence on God?
  • Verse 2 could serve as a warning to workaholics. How do you deal with “eating the bread of anxious toil”?

Bible notes author

The Revd Lynita Conradie

Lynita Conradie was ordained in 2005 in the Methodist Church of Southern Africa and worked part-time as a minister and also as a human rights lawyer and editor of the Namibian Law Reports, in Namibia. Lynita came to Britain in September 2013 and served as a presbyter in the Nottingham (North) Circuit until August 2018. She is currently in the Harrow and Hillingdon Circuit. In 2021 she was awarded a Professional Doctorate in practical theology by Chester University. In her spare time, Lynita follows cricket and rugby and likes reading and travelling.

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