Blessed is everyone who fears the LORD,
who walks in his ways!
For you shall eat the fruit of your handiwork;
blessed shall you be, and favored.
Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine
in the recesses of your home;
your children like olive plants
around your table.
Behold, thus is the man blessed
who fears the LORD.
The LORD bless you from Zion:
may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem
all the days of your life.
(Psalm 128:1-2, 3, 4-5)
128:1 Blessed is everyone who fears the LORD The word ashre (“blessed” or “fortunate”) is used to contrast the righteous and wicked throughout the book of Psalms. The fear of God is connected to conduct; the blessed person reveres God in belief and conduct.
128:3 Your wife will be like a fruitful vine The psalmist employs the motif of family as a fruitful plant to depict the success of the pious person because of his blessed life. The pious man’s family with be fruitful like a garden or orchard. (Large families were viewed as a tremendous blessing in the ancient Near East.)
128:4 thus is the man blessed The Hebrew word used here, barakh, describes the LORD’s granting prosperity to the pious man in this instance. It is the usual word for the extension of good wishes or special enablement. who fears the LORD Fearing God means placing all other potential objects of fear or reverence in perspective and revering Him above else. Fearing God can be described as giving Him respect or honor.
128:5 The LORD bless you from Zion It is from the LORD’s dwelling place in Jerusalem—the proper place of worship—that He is depicted as blessing people. This hints at the idea that blessing can only be fully established as the entire nation worships the LORD appropriately in His chosen place. the prosperity of Jerusalem The blessing of Jerusalem is symbolic here of the condition of the people of Israel in general. This prosperity includes right corporate (group) worship, economic stability, and freedom from attack.
The LORD’s blessing is for those who fear the LORD. God’s blessing is the enhancement of life that brings it to fulfillment. That understanding is apparent in the way this psalm speaks of the two basic areas of human life. Mortals work, but it is the blessing of God that brings work to completion and makes the labor satisfying. Mortals marry, but the birth and growth of children is the blessing of God.
Whatever makes life good is the effect of blessing. There is a concurrence between the way life is lived and the way life is enhanced. Well-doing and doing well are interdependent. Walking in the ways of the LORD is a receptivity to the blessing of the LORD. The spirit of pilgrimage always incorporates walking in the ways of the LORD. Without blessing, life is incomplete and frustrated.
– James Mays
May the virtues of faith, hope, and love go with you today – DV.