Ascent Psalms: Psalm 127

Read Ascent Psalm 127 (preferably the MESSAGE translation if possible).

“If God doesn’t build the house, the builders only build shacks…” (Psalm 127:1).

Where did we ever get the idea we are the architects and contractors of our lives? I know: Success-oriented propaganda keeps pounding the “piffle” that we are the masters of our own fate. I’m afraid my own human nature plays a role in prolonging the line that “nothing will happen if I don’t do it.”

Today’s psalm teaches me that God is my Master Builder. God, who created me, who redeems all of my failed building projects, who inspires me to hope for better days, is “the builder of my life.” I can’t begin to match this Divine plan. Today I want to give credit where credit is due: God builds cathedrals! I build shacks! The Bible reminds me: “If God doesn’t build the house, the builders only build shacks…”

Oh, I know, God equips and uses human skills for great things. Some folks are great carpenters, or mechanics, or even wordsmiths. The truth of the matter is: God wants to bless the skills and purposes planted within us. God does not bless arrogant, selfish, pride-filled human activity that ignores His helping hand. However, when we come to our senses, God does forgive our foolish building plans that construct grandiose designs on mere sand. Remember the prodigal son and the prodigal father! God does find it in His grace to move our lives up to solid rock in spite of our history and histrionics. As the psalmist affirms,”…don’t you know He enjoys giving rest to those He loves?”

What energies I waste being anxious about my building enterprises. My insomnia doesn’t help either. What really lasts are the promises God gives to my family and me.

Dear Jesus, you know something about building since Joseph, your earthly father, was a carpenter. Your wisdom goes far beyond hammer and nails in helping build our lives on a good foundation. You are even my “corner rock.” Thank you, Jesus!