Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman wake but in vain. 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. Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. 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. (KJV)
This is the eighth psalm of the fifteen Song of Ascents psalms
The focus of this Psalm is on the theme of building. Verse one starts out with a bold statement states that the Lord must be the master builder. As I read this Psalm, I reflect on how this Psalm is used in seminars to teach biblical principles on how to build successful lives and families. If you perform, a Google search on the phase “how to build successful lives and families” and you will get over 426,000,000 hits. However, as I read this verse I reflect back on Genesis chapter eleven where mankind as a whole stated, “come let us build a city, and a tower whose top may reach unto heaven, and let us make us a name; lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth”. So what did God do? He confused the language of men and scattered them abound. However, a simple review of history will reflect that the theme of making us a name has been goal of humankind ever since this event. If you Google the phase “Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain” you will get over 694,000 hits. As I look at the websites, they use these verses to support an important part of their ministry, or belief system. However, as I study Genesis chapter eleven on how God separated the nations throughout the whole planet I see how he used one family to create a nation that he would use to provide salvation to humanity. In Genesis chapter, twelve we read about the call of Abram. Abram was called to leave and follow the direction of God. God promise to bless him and make his house great. The key principle found in this Psalm is that you must make the Lord the builder and caretaker of your life.