Blessed is every one who fears the Lord, who walks in His ways. When you eat the labor of your hands, you shall be happy, and it shall be well with you. Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine in the very heart of your house, your children like olive plants all around your table. Behold, thus shall the man be blessed who fears the Lord. The Lord bless you out of Zion, and may you see the good of Jerusalem all the days of your life. Yes, may you see your children’s children. Peace be upon Israel! (A Song of Ascents; Psalm 128)
The Family Who Fears The Lord
As the people of God returned to the Temple each year they would sing psalms of praise going to Jerusalem and returning home. This would be an incredible sight to see the pilgrimages of Israel accompanied by singing and rejoicing. Many of the psalms are labeled songs of ascent as they would go up to Zion. Found in these psalms are deeply moving hymns of praise to the deliverance of the Lord, the power of His word and the importance of family. Psalm 128 is a song of ascents that speaks to the blessing for those who fear the Lord from the standpoint of the family. As the basic foundation of the world, a family who fears the Lord will be blessed beyond measure. It is important to establish the home on the word of God that will teach the fear of the Lord. This fear is not a frightful relationship but one of love and confidence. Respectful fear is giving honor to God for who He is, what He is and His providential care over the family. Teaching the fear of God in the family brings the family closer to the eternal truth of how the Lord formed the home. The man serves as the leader of the home to guide the heart of his wife and children in the pathway of truth, righteousness, grace, and mercy of the Lord God. He must first fear the Lord so that he can teach and be an example of respect for the Lord to his family. His leadership is tempered by what he learns in his personal relationship with God. He walks according to the word of God. A family that fears the Lord begins with the man of God taking the reins of holy grace as his own and showing how the fear of the Lord guides his life as a husband and father to his children. The fear of the Lord is not something that is taught by command but shown in word and deed through the life of the man who loves the Lord with all his heart, soul and mind. As the leadership of the home goes so finds the relationship of the home to God.
Fearing the Lord is found in the ability of the man to labor with his hands in the work of providing the necessary needs of the family. Work is one of the first things the Creator placed upon man. After the curse man would work by the sweat of his brow to provide for the family but his task remained the same. Eating the labor of the hand is a blessing of taking care of the family showing a respect for the Lord and His divine plan. The Lord condemns a slothful and lazy man who is unwilling to care for his own. Paul would call such a man worse than an infidel. This disrespects God when a man refuses to provide for his family and this is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. Fearing God is taking care of the family given to him by the hand of God. A man who fears the Lord will have a wife like a fruitful vine in the very heart of the house. Her blessing comes from the fear of the Lord as she respects her husband and honors God. Through her life the home becomes a place of blessing. The image of the fruitful vine in the midst of the house is where the woman finds her place as the center of the home. Her presence warms the home and the fear of the Lord dwelling in her heart guides the heart of her husband and her children. The children learn the fear of the Lord from the soothing voice of their mother. There is nothing more eternal in the hearts of children who grow up hearing the voice of their father and mother singing praises to God, reading from his word and showing in their lives a love for truth. Homes that are built upon a devotion to spiritual matters are blessed with happiness and serenity rooted in the grace of God. The man who leads his home by God’s word will be blessed in the fear of the Lord.
The home that fears the Lord will be blessed by the Lord. When worship is the center of the home and God’s grace overshadows the hearts of the family there will be untold blessings. Fear is the essential ingredient to the home. The man fears the Lord as head of the home as the woman submits her will to the fear of the Lord teaching her children to fear the Lord. Peace comes from showing respect and honor to the word of God. Children who grow up with worldly parents will have little interest in eternal matters when they grow to adulthood. Many families are torn apart when children refuse to honor God rebelling against the church, the word of God and the admonition of the shepherds of a local church. One reason comes from a lack of fear for holy things most often demonstrated by the parents over the informative years of the child’s life. Without the fear of God in the home there will be no peace and divine prosperity. Fear begins in the home not the church. Parents must first show this fear in their lives so that when they teach their children the family will be united under the same cause. Sing praises to the Lord God as the family assembles together for worship in the fear of the Lord. The family that fears the Lord together will worship before the throne of the Father together.