This is the 8th psalm of the fifteen Song of Ascents psalms
Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain. In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat for he grants sleep to those he loves. Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate. (NIV)
This Psalm focus 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. Just do 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 mankind 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 through the whole planet, I see how he used one family to create a nation that he would work through. 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.