Psalms 120-134 are called the ‘Songs of Ascents’. They were traditionally sung by the Jewish families during their ‘ascent’ to Jerusalem for the 3 different appointed annual feasts. Maybe in the modern day setting these are like songs we might sing together going on a road trip to a retreat. Psalm 128 goes like this, “1 Blessed are all who fear the LORD, who walk in his ways. 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 sons will be like olive shoots around your table. 4 Thus is the man blessed who fears the LORD. 5 May the LORD bless you from Zion all the days of your life; may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem, 6 and may you live to see your children’s children. Peace be upon Israel.”
Whenever I’ve read this before I tend to picture a ripple effect. Whenever you pick up a rock and toss it into a lake, its impact sends out circular waves that are felt a considerable distance away. This song begins by talking about a man who fears the Lord and walks in his ways. As a result of this one decision he is blessed, his wife is blessed, his kids are blessed, and it even projects a blessing to a city (Jerusaelm) and a nation (Israel) and finally to the next generation (children’s children). Blessing doesn’t always look like what we think it will. It doesn’t necessarily mean a big house, a life of ease, and everything always going our way. I think of it as a powerful sense of God’s presence with us, peace, joy and love that gets deeply rooted in us and its ripples impact our wife, kids, community, city and nation. So never underestimate the impact of your decision today to fear God and walk in His ways.