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Wednesday, May 29th, 2024
the Week of Proper 3 / Ordinary 8
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Bible Commentaries
Psalms 127

Scott's Explanatory Notes, Practical Observations on the book PsalmsScott on the Psalms

Verses 1-5

Psalms 127:1-5. Title. It is probable, that Solomon composed this Psalm, when he succeeded to the throne of Israel, and was about to build the temple : for the title may be read, " A Song of degrees : A Psalm of Solomon." (Note, 1 Kings 4:30-34. Song of Solomon 1:1.)

V. 1. The duty of constantly and entirely depending on God, in every undertaking, is here inculcated. The Psalmist did not mean, that diligence, vigilance, and skill ought not to be employed ; but that God should be depended on, or they would be employed in vain. Paul may plant, and Apollos water ; nay, it was their indispensable duty so to do ; but God alone gave the increase. (Marg. Ref. Note, 1 Corinthians 3:4-9.) The spiritual watchmen also must be vigilant, and faithful in giving warning: yet, without the Lord bless their labours, their watching will be in vain. (Note, Ezekiel 3:17-19.) This was very applicable to Solomon’s undertaking of building the temple, and preserving the holy city in peace and safety. (Notes, Zechariah 4:4-10.)

V. 2. Whilst others perplex themselves with fruitless cares, and incessant labours, about their worldly pursuits, often to no purpose ; God, in the way of reliance on him, " giveth sleep to his beloved ; " surely, he giveth his beloved sleep : he enables them to do their duty cheerfully, and to leave the event with him in the confidence of faith, and in submission to his will, and thus to close their eyes in sleep without useless solicitude. (Marg. Ref. Notts, Psalms 3:3-5. Psalms 4:6-8.) His beloved.] singular. Note, 2 Samuel 12:24-25.

V. 3- 5. When worldly men are eagerly pursuing their temporal interests, they commonly profess that they only mean to provide for their families after them. But it entirely depends on the Lord, whether they shall have children or not ; whether their children shall live with them,and survive them ; and whether they will be a comfort or a grief to them. (Notes, Ecclesiastes 2:18-23.) Those however, who trust in God and walk in his ways, may hope to be comforted in their children : receiving them as a heritage from him, and bringing them up in his fear, they may expect, (and they will not generally be disappointed,) that, as they defended their offspring in helpless infancy, so these will be their defence and ornament in the decline of life. (Notes, Psalms 128:3-6. Proverbs 17:6; Proverbs 31:13-29, v: 28.) ’ Such children shall be able to stop their adversaries’ ’ mouths, when their godly life is maliciously accused.’ ’ In a house full of dutiful children consisteth the happiness ’ of their parents, who then can never want friends ; friends ’ that will at no time be ashamed, but will at all times rejoice, to appear for them, to meet their enemies and accusers in the gate, or place of judgment, there to answer ’ any charge, against them, to vindicate them in their per’ sons, their good name, or their property. It is a glorious ’ sight to behold children thus standing forth in defence ’ of their parents. Mr. Merrick mentions a remarkable ’ Chinese proverb : When a son is born into a family, a ’ bow and arrow are hung before the gate.’ Bp. Home. Parents in general are apt, like Jacob, to be most attached to the children of their old age : (Notes, Genesis 37:3; Genesis 44:20:) but " the sons of their youth " must be their champions and defenders, and their good conduct reflects most honour on the parents who brought them up.


Whether we build, or plant, or defend our habitations and property, or even attempt any good work for the house and city of our God ; we should remember that our labour and watching will be in vain, except the Lord build, and plant, and watch with us. We should therefore diligently use the proper means, and then expect and pray for his blessing ; that we may trust in him without presumption. Thus the minister in his labours and watchings for the good of souls ; the Christian in seeking to grow in grace, and to guard against temptation ; and the sinner in coining to the Saviour ; should use all appointed means with persevering application, and yet rely on the Lord alone to render them effectual. This is the method of being safe, comfortable, and successful. For want of attending to this rule, many labour und watch to no purpose. In vain they " rise early, sit up late, eat the bread of sorrows," and " bereave their souls of good," to provide for themselves and their families : whereas " seeking first the kingdom of " God and his righteousness," using moderate diligence in their lawful callings, and casting all their care on God, they would have all needful success, without solicitude and vexation. But if we enjoy either outward sleep, or inward tranquillity, we should give God thanks for it; and we ought never to forget that the rest, the peace, and the provision, which he gives to his beloved, are far preferable to the much greater prosperity of the wicked. It ill becomes the professed servants of God to murmur, because children are withheld ; but it is far worse, to fret because they have a numerous offspring. Children are in scripture considered as a heritage, and a reward from God to his people ; and shall we deem them our encumbrance ? as if he could not provide for many as well as for a few ! When trained up according to his word, they generally prove the best defence, ornament, and comfort in declining years, if parents and children are spared to each other : and they are the seed of the church, and often prove the support of religion, after the decease of their parents. Children also should remember their obligations to their parents ; and study to requite them, by being ready to supply their wants, to vindicate their characters, and to protect them from oppression, in their old age. In this case they would be as " arrows in the hand of the mighty man ; " and happy will lie be " who has his quiver full of them :" he need neither be ashamed, nor afraid, to meet his enemies in the gate. Yet all earthly comforts are precarious ; but the Lord will assuredly comfort and bless those who trust and serve him : and those, who zealously seek the conversion of sinners, will assuredly find their spiritual children, (though alas, they often grieve them at present, and prove a source of much anxiety,) to be their joy and crown, in the day of Jesus Christ, (Notes, 2 Corinthians 2:1-4. Galatians 4:17-20, v. 19. 1 Thessalonians 2:17-20; 1 Thessalonians 3:6-10.) May all his ministers receive abundantly " this heritage and gift, that cometh of " the LORD ! " 9

Bibliographical Information
Scott, Thomas. "Commentary on Psalms 127". Scott's Explanatory Notes, Practical Observations on the book Psalms. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/tsp/psalms-127.html. 1804.
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