1 A song of ascents.
Blessed are all who fear the LORD, who walk in his ways.
2 You will eat the fruit of your labour; blessings and prosperity will be yours. 3 Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your sons will be like olive shoots round your table. 4 Thus is the man blessed who fears the LORD.
5 May the LORD bless you from Zion all the days of your life; may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem, 6 and may you live to see your children’s children. Peace be upon Israel.
Psalm 128 – Present and future blessings
(Verse 1) This song of ascents starts with an important Bible principle which extends beyond Jewish pilgrims going to worship God in the temple on Mount Zion in Jerusalem. It applies to all who repent of sin and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour. It is that everyone who fears the only all-powerful and personal ‘LORD’ God is ‘blessed’. ‘Blessed’ refers to true happiness that is the envy of everyone. We are ‘blessed’ when we put our faith and confidence in Jesus, who died on the cross to carry our sins and God the Father’s judgment of wrath on them, and conquered death by rising again. He blesses us now with eternal life if we trust in Him. This blessedness is forever. One result of that trust, as part of Christian conversion, is we acquire a reverential and loving ‘fear’ of God. That leads us to ‘walk in His [God’s] ways.’ We cannot seriously claim to know the Lord Jesus, or to fear God, unless we start to walk in a way that pleases the Lord. Do you know the Lord Jesus? Do you fear God? Do you walk in His ways?
(Verses 2-4) One of the results of fearing God and trusting Christ is that you honour him in your work, both daily work and work for Him. That means you can put food on the table. God also blesses you and prospers you spiritually, and sometimes physically too. In an imperfect world, and as imperfect people, at times we all may face times of difficulties, illness, hardships, opposition and deprivation. Unlike Heaven there is nothing perfect in this world except Jesus and God’s word. But if I walk with God, I walk through these times. Psalm 23:4 says, ‘Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for You are with me.’ (Note the words ‘walk’ and ‘through.’) Romans 8:37 says, ‘in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.’ (Note the phrase ‘in all these things.’) Remember that when we get to Heaven all will be perfectly fulfilled forever! But we are blessed on earth too. ‘The man [who is] blessed who fears the LORD’ is a man who lives a godly life at home, supports his wife well, and helps her to bring up their children in a godly background where they hear the gospel and are taught to trust the Bible. His wife will be spiritually fruitful, like a vine, with or without children, but if she has children, she will see them grow in the protection and guidance of a family which honours God. God’s family plan is simple: it is one man with one woman in marriage for life. And godly people look to have spiritual children too—those ‘born-again’ by faith in Christ and obeying Him.
(Verses 5-6) Psalmist and pilgrims alike long that the ‘LORD bless [them] from Zion all the days of [their] life’ and see ‘Jerusalem’ and Zion prosper. God’s blessing will flow through children to grandchildren and be crowned by God’s ‘Peace’ on Israel. ‘Peace’ is far more than no war or conflict. Philippians 4:7 says, ‘the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.’ Christians experience that peace now, and eternally, and pray for it for future generations.
To summarise: check whether you trust in Jesus, fear God reverentially, walk with Christ daily, seek blessing for future generations, and rejoice in God’s peace.