Get God Involved
By Rev Tan Eng Boo
Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labour in vain.
Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain.
I took a photo of the female Golden-backed Weaver building her nest in Kranji and I am amazed at the way this bird builds the nest. According to a website about weavers, “Weaver nests are usually built of sticks, grass or blades of reeds or grass. Weavers use their bills to build nests. They sometimes use their feet to hold part of a grass blade while using the bill to thread the other end through the nest”.
When I see the weaver in action, Psalm 127:1 comes to mind. Psalm 127 is part of 15 psalms (120-134), each titled, “A Song of Ascents.” They were probably sung as the pilgrims journeyed up to Jerusalem for the yearly feasts.
We have to get God involved in building our house. “For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God” (Heb. 3:4). Do you want God to build your house? Charles Spurgeon called Psalm 127, "A Psalm for Builders." The lessons are:
1. Self-reliance and self-sufficiency is futile and foolish.
While the weaver can do so much on her own to build the nest and humanly speaking we can do so too, on our own, but let us get God involved in the process. If we don’t, Phi Johnson (Grace to You Ministry) says, “It exposes the arrogance of people who think they can accomplish anything truly lasting or meaningful in their own power, apart from God's help and enablement. You might have the human energy and the expertise to build a house, or you might have the skill and alertness to guard a city, but if you think you can do those things apart from God's power and blessing, you are destined for ultimate disappointment and failure—vanity.”
Twice God repeats the phrase, “unless the Lord,” and twice He used the word “vain” to make the point that unless the Lord blesses your efforts it will be in vain. We are prone to put God aside in building our house (family). There are many schools of thoughts in building a house. But “one crucial factor in building a satisfying home life is that you walk in genuine humility before the Lord, casting yourself upon His grace in faith and prayer” (C. H. Spurgeon).
Bring God into the life of your homes. This is where I want to encourage every parent to pray for their children, and to do so even when they are grown up. We have the blessed example of Job who prayed for his children every day: “And when the days of the feast had run their course, Job would send and consecrate them, and he would rise early in the morning and offer burnt offerings according to the number of them all. For Job said, “It may be that my children have sinned, and cursed God in their hearts.”” Thus Job did continually (Job 1:5).
While parents may pray for their children, let the children also pray for their parents. In so doing the family will not labour in vain.
2. Involve God in the family when the children are young.
“Begin early to teach, for children begin early to sin (C. H. Spurgeon).
We are told that Abraham led his family in the way of the Lord. The Lord said: “For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him” (Gen. 18:19 KJV).
Abraham instructed his children in the way of the Lord. Both Ishmael and Isaac were instructed to walk in the way of the Lord. “Let no Christian parents fall into the delusion that Sunday School is intended to ease them of their personal duties. The first and most natural condition of things is for Christian parents to train up their own children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (C. H. Spurgeon).
I heard a story of a Christian family who put their only child in the home of a nanny. They saw their child only once a week. One day, the parents went to bring the child home for the weekend and the child refused to go with the parents. The child also called the nanny, “mama”. This is not right. How can a Christian couple, blessed with a child, do such a thing? “Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward” (Ps. 127:3). If God has blessed you with a son or a daughter, make sure you get God involved in their life.
So, let’s do the following:
a) Make God a part of your conversation. “And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise” (Deut. 6:7). See also Eph. 6:4.
b) Serve the Lord as a family. “But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD” (Josh. 24:15). “… you know that the household of Stephanas were the first converts in Achaia, and that they have devoted themselves to the service of the saints” (1 Cor. 16:15). Look out for work in church and be devoted to the service of the saints.
A family that fears the Lord will be blessed by Him.
Meditate on these verses:
“Blessed is everyone who fears the LORD, who walks in his ways! You shall eat the fruit of the labour 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” (Psalm 128:1-3)