Reading: Psalm 127
A song of ascents. Of Solomon.
Unless the LORD builds the house,
the builders labor in vain.
Unless the LORD watches over the city,
the guards stand watch in vain.
In vain you rise early
and stay up late,
toiling for food to eat—
for he grants sleep to those he loves.
Children are a heritage from the LORD,
offspring a reward from him.
Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
are children 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 opponents in court (NIV).
There are fifteen Songs of Ascent. Four of them are attributed to David, but only this one is attributed to David’s son, Solomon. It is very fitting that King Solomon should be credited with penning this psalm. The psalm begins with this sentence: Unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain.
Choosing the right path with your child — photo by David Kitz
Solomon was the greatest builder of the Old Testament era. He built the magnificent temple of the LORD in Jerusalem. On this project, he spared no expense. Solomon covered the inside of the temple with pure gold, and he extended gold chains across the front of the inner sanctuary, which was overlaid with gold (1 Kings 6:21).
In addition to the temple, Solomon built an enormous palace for himself, as well as stables for his horses and chariots. (See 1 Kings 10:26). Solomon was an expert at construction and on vanity (see the Book of Ecclesiastes) yet he states, “Unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain.”
So then, where is lasting value? There is lasting value in our children. The grand construction project of lasting worth is the life of a child—the soul of a child. Are we overlaying the inside of that temple with pure gold? Are we instilling values of honesty, charity and self-worth? The real treasure is in the heart of a child—a child that will carry those values to the next generation.
Solomon reminds us: Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from him. They are the arrows that are targeted at the third generation. Now there is a construction project worthy of a king.
Response: Father God, I want to see the true worth of my children. Help me to pass on values and lessons of faith to them. I thank you for them. They are a gift from you of immeasurable worth. Amen.
Your Turn: Are you overlaying the sanctuary of your child’s heart with pure gold?