to obey is better than sacrifice / obedience is better than sacrifice
August 15, 2019 – Thursday
Psalm 128:1-6 NIV
1 Blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in obedience to Him.
2 You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours.
3 Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your children will be like olive shoots around your table.
4 Yes, this will be the blessing for the man who fears the Lord.
5 May the Lord bless you from Zion; may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life.
6 May you live to see your children’s children—peace be on Israel.
Included the whole Psalm as it is so short and beautiful and I find it somehow very reminiscent of Psalm 1, also only six verses. Here this Psalm has an internal title of A Song of Ascents, but various versions provide an additional title such as Blessed is Everyone Who Fears the Lord or a title very much like it.
However this is not simply about those who fear the Lord but about those who walk in obedience to Him. I mention this as many may fear the Lord, but are determined not to obey Him much less walk in obedience to Him. If you ask how can this be, simply look around you at everything that is clearly sinful being justified as not sinful. Not only that, but the Bible and Christians in general are being described as haters or racists or as having a phobia of one sort or another.
While not of that is true, this Psalm brings the blessings of both fearing the Lord and walking in obedience to Him into great focus. The five subsequent verses are full of blessing for such an individual. Spurgeon’s Treasury of David (under whole Psalm) describes this Psalm as related to Psalm 127 which begins with ashre (happy, very happy), and the other ends with ashre. It says the same of Psalm 1 and Psalm 2.
Another whole Psalm comment from the Treasury of David as I appreciate how it takes the so-called burdens of marriage and shows them to be positives.
This Psalm is an epiyalamio logos, written for the commendation, instruction, and consolation of those who are either already married or are about to enter on that kind of life. It enumerates, therefore, at the commencement, as is usual in songs of this kind, all those things which are regarded as burdens in the married life, such as the labours in seeking to provide for the whole family; the spouse, and that marriage bond, which, as it were, binds a man and seems to make him a slave, just as that character says in the comedy, “I have taken a wife; I have sold my liberty:” lastly, the education of the children, which certainly is most laborious, and requires the largest expenditure. To lighten the burden of all these things, there is added to each a blessing, or a promise, so that they might appear slight. And at the close, it subjoins in general, a spiritual promise, which easily makes light of all the labours and disquiets of the married life; even if they should be the very heaviest. The blessing comes from Zion or the Church: for there is nothing so burdensome and difficult, but what it can be easily borne by those who are the members of the true Church, and know the sources of true consolation. D. H. Mollerus.
Blessings come for those who both fear the Lord and walk in obedience to Him. Correction, not blessing, but blessings! All too often we look upon this as an onerous task (to walk in obedience), but here it is shown not to be so. Something which most who have had long successful marriages can tell you they are indeed full of blessings just as walking obedience to God results in many blessings over time.
(to obey is better than sacrifice / obedience is better than sacrifice)