The Divine Blessing Needed for Human Enterprises.
A song of degrees for Solomon, a hymn written by him probably in connection with the building of the Temple, but applicable to all similar conditions of life, the believers realizing their dependence upon Jehovah in all things. V. 1. Except the Lord build the house, Himself watching over the erection of every building executed by men and prospering their labors, they labor in vain that build it, there being so many possibilities of failure if the blessing or consent of the Lord is missing; except the Lord keep the city, Himself the Watchman and Guardian prospering the precautionary measures of the citizens, the watchman waketh but in vain, no matter with what degree of faithfulness he applies himself to his appointed work. V. 2. It is vain, to no object and purpose, for you to rise up early, to sit up late, lengthening the day by artificial means, toiling and moiling with worry and care, always taking thought for this life and its needs, Matt. 6, 25-34, to eat the bread of sorrows, thinking only of the hardships connected with the obtaining of oneís daily bread; for so He giveth His beloved sleep, that is, while the believer reposes securely in Godís protection, free from trouble and care on account of his trust in the providence of his heavenly Father, the Lord prepares to reward this trust by giving him all that he needs for his own good, as a free reward of His kindness and mercy. This blessing of the Lord upon the believers is now set forth by an unusually evident example. V. 3. Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord, sons are bequeathed by the Lord as a special gift and blessing, and the fruit of the womb is His reward, given to parents as an evidence of His favor, this fact being stressed time and again in Scripture as a standing reproof to the many blind and foolish people of our days who enter into marriage only for selfish reasons and consider children an unwelcome burden. V. 4. As arrows, weapons of defense, are in the hand of a mighty man, so are children of the youth, begotten while the parents are still in the vigor of their age Gen. 37, 3, and therefore themselves grown to manhood and womanhood before the senile decline of the parents. V. 5. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them, to whom the Lord has granted a house full of children; they shall not be ashamed, they will not meet with disgrace, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate, that is, in the place where business was transacted and differences were adjusted. Not only will children, if properly brought up, be a support of their parents when these have attained old age but they will also make it their business to protect the rights of their parents against al detractors - a beautiful picture serving as an admonition to both parents and children, an example which should be heeded far more.