Slave to the wage — Psalm 127

Let’s work together

There are two attitudes many Christians have about work:

One is to work so hard that you wear yourself out. You may make the excuse that you are doing this for your family, but what good is that if that family is grown up and gone before you get time to spend with them?

The other attitude is to say, “God has done it all, what Jesus acomplised on the cross is finished, therefore I need do nothing.”

Both of these attitudes are wrong.

Psalm 127

A song of ascents. Of Solomon.

Unless the Lord builds the house,
    the builders labour in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city,
    the guards stand watch in vain.
In vain you rise early
    and stay up late,
toiling for food to eat –
    for he grants sleep to those he loves.

Children are a heritage from the Lord,
    offspring a reward from him.
Like arrows in the hands of a warrior
    are children born in one’s youth.
Blessed is the man
    whose quiver is full of them.
They will not be put to shame
    when they contend with their opponents in court.

The Songs of Ascents or Songs of Degrees are calls from the world to God. In the Eastern Orthodox Church and those Eastern Catholic Churches which follow the Byzantine Rite, the Songs of Degrees make up the Eighteenth division of the Psalter and are read on Friday evenings at Vespers throughout the liturgical year.

Nice work if you can get it

God works. God did not set the universe in motion and then sit back and let it get on with universing, or whatever it is that universes do. God has been active in the universe since before the universe existed. God is at work.

God wants us to work. We are not supposed to be lazy. But work can be a toil, leaving us with no energy to do anything else. God wants us to work with him, and God does not want us to wear ourselves out. The work of God includes the personal, the house, and the national, the city, God calls us to be part of what he is already doing, it is a mistake to ask God to bless what we are already doing without God. We are involves in the work of God and given sleep for the same reason, God loves us.

Lets talk about sex

The first half of the psalm says that working for God is not a burden. The second half gives an example: it’s like sex isn’t it.

Children do not arrive on their own. God told the first people to multiply and fill the earth, the first task we were given. We did not do that by sitting back and waiting for God to ask. The love of spouses for each other and the whole sweaty, messy and tying experience of expressing that love physically is God given. The Bible even uses erotic language in a metaphor for the love of God for his church.

Your stature is like that of the palm,
and your breasts like clusters of fruit.
I said, ‘I will climb the palm tree;
I will take hold of its fruit.’
May your breasts be like clusters of grapes on the vine,
the fragrance of your breath like apples,

Song of Solomon 7:7-8 NIV UK

Of course the rearing of children is included in here as well. Sitting up in a hospital ward all night when your child is undergoing tests is being checked for suspected meningitis has been part of our parenting process. Being a parent teaches about the parental heart of God. We take on the worries and stresses of life on behalf of our children in order to let them grow.

Doing the tasks that God wants us may be difficult, they often are, but it brings growth.


Holy Bible, New International Version® Anglicized, NIV® Copyright © 1979, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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One thought on “Slave to the wage — Psalm 127

  1. If only parenting was equated with working levels more often. Then maybe the struggle of being an autistic working mom with an autisitc son would not seem so daunting.

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