Psalm 128 - Blessed is everyone who fears the Lord, who walks in His ways! You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be blessed, and it shall be well with you. Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table. Behold, thus shall the man be blessed who fears the Lord. The Lord bless you from Zion! May you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life! May you see your children's children! Peace be upon Israel!
In a world flooded with marketing claims to happiness, instant prosperity, and perpetual youth, the Psalms stand in marked contrast.
The psalmist here paints a picture where happiness is an overflow of knowing and following God's path. There's a righteous satisfaction is eating what you have worked hard to produce. And youth is enjoyed not by grasping it continually for yourself, but in nurturing younger generations.
After searching a few of these terms online and looking at the pictures, I gather the world's view of happiness has something to do with beaches, jumping in the air, and sporting an awesome tan. Prosperity is a tree that miraculously spouts gold coins, and youth is back to jumping on beaches and throwing one's arms up in the air. It's both exuberant and confusing.
Of course, we may not take all our cues from the internet, but the lucrative business of self-help books, get-rich seminars, and youth serums indicate that many do. Not surprisingly, there are some preachers who have joined the bandwagon, peddling ideas of how life done right will, in so many words, net one increasing wealth and health. And the muddle goes on.
In contrast, Psalm 128 blesses the one who fears the Lord and walks in His ways. Following God's way in itself is a blessing and yields the ability, in any circumstance, to say with the hymnwriter, "It is well with my soul." God's way doesn't leave us frantically searching for results according to the world's standards, since even the fruit of one's labor is enjoyed as a gift from the Almighty. God's way applies to every generation, too.
These are easy words to write, but difficult to keep front and center when the messages of a success-driven world blare on all sides. When you're in danger of buckling under the pressure of the world, seek God in His Word. Steady, sure, eternal -- His Word is timeless and true. To set His seal on it, He sent His Son to lead us in the way everlasting. What was true for the psalmist David is true for us today: "Blessed is everyone who fears the Lord, who walks in His ways!"
THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, please reveal Your way for us today. Though the world tempts and lures, open our eyes to see Your path, and give us ears to hear Your still small voice saying, "This is the way. Walk in it." Then give us the courage to actually follow You. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by AmyRuth Bartlett.
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