Unless Jehovah builds the house,
They labor in vain who build it;
Unless Jehovah guards the city,
The watchman keeps watch in vain.
It is vain for you to rise up early,
To lie down late,
To eat the bread of toil;
For He gives to His beloved even in his sleep.
— Psalm 127:1-2
There are three things we all like to do once we love the Lord and enjoy the church life. Firstly, we like to build. Secondly, we like to keep watch. Thirdly, we like to labor. These are the three “attractions” for us in the church life. We enjoy the building, the watching, and the laboring.
It is significant that this psalm was written by Solomon, because he was the one who built the Lord’s house. He says that unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. When we try to do many things to build up the Lord’s house, it doesn’t work. Furthermore, unless the Lord keeps the city, those who guard the city watch it in vain. Finally, it is vain for us to rise up early, to lie down late, and to eat the bread of toil. This means that it is vain for us to be so consumed with concern for the Lord’s interests. When we are overly burdened for the church life then our bread becomes the bread of toil. This sounds very good, but actually it is in vain. It is of no use.
Adapted from The Journey of Life, page 66.
Tomorrow: “The Lord Wants Us to Rest”