Psalm 127 – A Legacy Worth Leaving
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Have you ever pondered what legacy you might leave behind you?
Most of us are likely too rushed to indulge such grandiose questions. However, in Psalm 127 it is a question that Solomon, son of King David, was pondering.
Perhaps some of us are motivated by the desire to build a grand legacy or others by an anxious desire to protect what we already have.
Psalm 127 reflects on both tendencies, challenging us to consider wisely what legacy we will leave to our children and future generations.
The Psalm asserts that unless God builds (verse 1), unless God watches (verse 1), and unless God gives (verse 2) even our work to honour him will be in vain. No matter how much we create, how carefully we conserve, or how hard we work, it is futile and foolish to try to do so independently of God.
However, trusting God to provide, direct and accomplish, allows us to set aside the “bread of anxious toil” (verse 2, ESV). We can sleep secure in the knowledge that God is working all things together for good for those who love him (Romans 8:28).
These inspiring words from King Solomon were intended to galvanise the community of Israel as they made their way up to Jerusalem and the temple, reminding them—and us—of God’s covenant promises and blessings.
Even Solomon failed to learn the lessons of this Psalm; his building became reckless, his kingdom a divided ruin, and his marriages a disastrous denial of God (1 Kings 9-11). Although he knew the theory, his life and actions told a different story, which left a devastating legacy for his future generations.
Psalm 127 tells us that all our great achievements are ultimately worthless, unless the Lord is building, watching and writing his story through all we do.
Nowhere is this seen more clearly than in our families and children.
In commanding his people to “Be fruitful and increase in number” (Genesis 1:28), God was seeking godly offspring (Malachi 2:15). The blessing of children was significant in building the house of Israel:
Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD,
the fruit of the womb a reward. – Psalm 127:3
So often in our world today, children are considered a burden. But in Psalm 127, children are an inheritance and reward from God, entrusted to parents as a blessing in the context of covenant faithfulness.
Christian parents have a God-given responsibility to raise our children to know and love God. “Like arrows” (verse 4) fit for purpose, children need to be taught the Scriptures and formed as young disciples of Jesus Christ. Surely this is the greatest gift we can pass to the next generation.
But how can we help our young people to navigate this complex and confusing world, keeping their faith intact? The Psalmist points to the simple truth:
Unless the LORD builds the house,
the builders labour in vain. – Psalm 127:1
This entails parents and mature Christians recognising that the blessing of children requires our investment in their spiritual formation. Rather than out-sourcing to ministry ‘professionals’, young people need to see living faith in those around them.
As parents, leaders and carers we can model the life of faith for our children—including the joys, disappointments, failings and perseverance—as we daily submit to God, following Jesus and seeking godliness through the Spirit.
We can read the Bible and pray with our children, teaching them the gospel and answering their questions and doubts thrown up by the world.
And we can foster a church community that will teach them God’s Word and help them to serve and grow as mature disciples of Jesus in fellowship with other believers as they are being built into the household of God.
What a blessing and privilege to partner with God in raising up the next generation of young believers who will impact our world for Christ and his gospel!
We all will leave a legacy. If it’s being built by the Lord, it will last into eternity.
Now that’s a legacy worth leaving!
The Lift Up Your Hearts devotional series for the month of March 2021 are provided by Canon Craig Roberts, CEO, and his colleagues from Anglican Youthworks in Australia. Today’s devotion was written by Janet Simpson, Campaign Director, Youthworks. You can find more of Youthworks excellent resources here.
Pray with us today's prayer request:
Diocese of Kisii, Kenya. In February we prayed for protection for the churches in Kisii County following the burning of 5 church buildings. Bishop John Orina is bishop of Kisii diocese. He reports that the Anglicans have not been affected. In 2020 the clergy in Kisii diocese took part in training given by the Anglican Missions Africa team. Pray for the protection of the churches and also for God's strength as they move forward with the church planting strategy.
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