The Psalms of Ascent are a set of fifteen psalms that were traditionally sung as priests entered the temple, and Jews journeyed to the Holy Land to celebrate the Passover Festival. They offer hope, encouragement, and peace in a time of uncertainty. Today we will read and discuss Psalm 128, the ninth psalm in the psalms of ascents.
While the blessings listed so beautifully in Psalm 128 are the desires of the psalmist, they also show us how one person’s fear of the Lord, and their obedience, can impact their family, their community, and beyond.
Psalm 128 discusses blessings that can come from a fear of the Lord, or a reverence and obedience to Him.
“Blessed are all”: These blessings are not limited to a particular race or social class, but are available to everyone who fears the Lord and walks in obedience to Him.
“Walk in obedience”: Obedience is a product of love and fear, or reverence. Just as a child wants to please their parent by being obedient, so, too, should we desire to be obedient to our Father.
“The fruit of your labor”: Blessings may come, but we also have to work. We are partners in God’s purpose.
“Your wife will be like a fruitful vine”: This refers not only to women who produce many children, but also can reference women who bear the fruit of the spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. (Gal. 5:22-23)
“Your children will be like olive shoots”: Olive trees take a long time to mature, but produce crops for centuries. This is a symbol of longevity and productivity.
Both vines and olives are used symbolically in the Bible often as symbols of an abundant life.
“May the Lord bless you from Zion”: Zion was the home of Jerusalem, the Holy Land, and also became the location of Jesus’ crucifixion and ascension. Our blessings, through Jesus, came from Zion.
“May you see the prosperity of Jerusalem…May you live to see your children’s children”: When we live a life in reverence to the Lord, it filters into our marriages, our children, our homes, and naturally flows through into our communities, impacting our nations and our world.
Our life in Christ can impact the prosperity of the nation!
Each day, from March 23-April 6, 2020, I will be live on Instagram reading and discussing each of the fifteen psalms of ascents. I want to encourage you to join me.
Also, take a moment each day for your own study. Write the psalms (they’re all relatively short), and dig into God’s Word. That is where we will find peace.