Resting in God
Psa. 127:1 Unless the LORD builds the house,
those who build it labor in vain.
Unless the LORD guards the city,
the guard keeps watch in vain.
Psa. 127:2 It is in vain that you rise up early
and go late to rest,
eating the bread of anxious toil;
for he gives sleep to his beloved.
There are several ways in which this scripture can be understood. Could it relate to the time in which the Israelites are building Solomon's temple? Solomon had wisdom and wealth and so much capacity to do things "for" God -- and yet, if he didn't simply trust in God and allow this to be God's project -- he would be laboring in vain.
Or, could it be that this song was sung when the children of Israel had returned from exile and Nehemiah had established teams to be rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem? They stayed up day and night to get the work done -- but was it a reminder that all of that labor belonged to the Lord! That at the end of the day, it was God who would protect his people?
Could it also be that God is reminding us that it is he who builds and establishes our families? Unless the LORD is the center of our families and our households -- we labor in vain. Unless it is God who guards our lives and the lives of our children and grandchildren -- we are keeping watch in vain. We can work hard, make money, and try to do many things but if none of this is founded on the LORD -- then it is in vain. Instead we will have anxious nights worrying about work, our things and our children. When God is the center of the home, we are able to lay our heads down to sleep in peace -- for it is he that will take care of the daily needs.
Finally, this can relate to the building of the church in God's kingdom. Too often those who are engaged in ministry believe that it is their responsibility to personally devise a strategic plan and work from early morning until late at night to make it all successful. Again -- "it is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest" -- if none of that labor is founded upon a deeply personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Jesus wants us -- every part of us -- to live for him day in and day out. He wants us to fall deeply and desperately in love with him and in doing so he will give rest "to his beloved."
How privileged are we to be his beloved children and as such, the LORD wants us to rest in him. There are plenty of things in life about which we can be worried. We can be worried about our job, about our family, about the future, but the LORD says to simply rest in him. It is the final word "beloved" that gives us a clue to the depths of this relationship. It is the same language found in Song of Solomon. There we find a relationship between the lover and the beloved. God wants us to fall so deeply in love with him -- he wants us to be his beloved -- and as his beloved, he will love and care for us. We need to give everything to him, work with him, and daily rest in him for he is all we need.
Lord, may I rest in you today. Amen.