1 Blessed is everyone who fears the LORD,
who walks in his ways!
2 You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands;
you shall be blessed, and it shall be well with you.
3 Your wife will be like a fruitful vine
within your house;
your children will be like olive shoots
around your table.
4 Behold, thus shall the man be blessed
who fears the LORD.
5 The LORD bless you from Zion!
May you see the prosperity of Jerusalem
all the days of your life!
6 May you see your children’s children!
Peace be upon Israel!
(Translated version, original article written in Chinese by Pastor Mickey Hsiao)
[Theme] What does it mean to be blessed? How to receive blessings?
When reading Psalm 128, you can read it with Psalm 127 and make a comparison.
Like Psalm 127, Psalm 128 emphasizes matters related to the family, mentioning a wife and children respectively. Here the poet points out a blessed man whose wife is willing to take her family as the center, to take care of her inheritance given by God, to invest her time in cultivating characters of her children and taking care of them carefully, and to bear good fruits; and her children also love the family, making the whole family vibrant, like the sprouts of an olive tree.
Another similarity is that both psalms also refer to “toil”. Psalm 128:2 says, “You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be blessed, and it shall be well with you.” The previous Psalm 127:2 says, “It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil….” How did the toil there become in vain?
The difference between the two is whether there is a “fear of God” or not. If we do not want to admit that all we have is from God, everything is in vain (Psalm 127:1-3), and those who fear God and follow His word in everything (Psalm 128:1-2) will enjoy the fruits of their toil!
What is reverence? Simply, it is to live a godly life with a fearful heart. We shall not test God nor make random jokes about God. We shall not ask God to meet our selfish desires. Such people are blessed!
After speaking of the blessings of God, in the last two verses we see the reference to Zion, Jerusalem, and Israel, where the poet expands the realm of blessings to the whole city and nation. Why is Zion, Jerusalem, mentioned? Don’t forget, this is the poem of the ascending line. We can also say that those who truly fear God must live with the church and with those whom have pursued a God-fearing and holy life.
The true way to be blessed is to live a God-fearing life, with obedience to God’s will. And living together with those who are willing to do so (i.e., the church) will make it easier for you to appreciate the blessings!
Joshua 1:8 says, “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” May God’s Word be the right way that I am willing to obey and go along with.
Psalm 128:1 Blessed is everyone who fears the Lord, who walks in his ways!