The Vine & The Olive Tree

A devotional of Psalm 128

1 Blessed is everyone who fears the Lord, who walks in his ways!

Many passages of scripture prescribe the fear of God as the beginning of knowledge or wisdom, (Psalm 111:10, Job 28:28, Proverbs 1:7 and 9:10,) and Ecclesiastes 12:13 states, “Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, For this is man’s all.” This is your purpose, the summation of your life goals. This verse ties in tightly with Psalm 128:1 in marrying the concepts of the fear of God and obedience to his Word. Fearing God isn’t only about an emotional state of terror towards him but a resultant lifestyle of seeking to please him.

My good friend Spurgeon says, “It is idle to talk of fearing the Lord if we act like those who have no care whether there be a God or no. God’s ways will be our ways if we have a sincere reverence for him: if the heart is joined unto God, the feet will follow hard after him.”

2 You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be blessed, and it shall be well with you.

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Work is not a curse as many believe. It is indeed a blessing. The curse would be laborious work with minimal produce. Work is the calling of every man and woman. It is our blessing while we live. Theologian Trapp says, “Thou shalt reap and receive the sweet of thy sweat, whether it be of the brow or of the brain, according to the kind of thy calling.” Delight in your work, friends. Ask Holy Spirit to give you a love for your work and to help you see its sacredness. It is your blessing. May he endorse it and make it flourish.

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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.

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These two fruits are rich symbols of the abundant life, the good life. Though they are frequently used, they are not necessities but luxuries. A wife and children are not necessities. God’s intention is that they be a precious blessing. They are to be a long-term, indwelling regularity like the grape vine and the olive tree which only bear richer fruit the longer they are established. That said, Guzik wisely adds, “These are not the only blessings of life, and God may give other blessings in compensation to those who fear the LORD.”

5 The Lord bless you from Zion! May you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life!

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The lovely picture painted of a home life is set as a stalwart foundation for our communities. Strong and happy homes are for the good of a city. Theologian Morgan teaches, “The strength of any city lies in its strong family life. The true strength of the family issues from its ordering in the fear of the Lord.”

6 May you see your children’s children! Peace be upon Israel!

May peace be upon our children and their children and their children. Thus may peace be upon our neighborhoods and our cities and our nations.

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