Psalms 128:1-6 - Homilies By S. Conway
The secret of the happy home.
I. THE FEAR OF THE LORD .
1. This is not a slavish fear , but that reverent and loving regard to the Lord's will, in all things, which will make a man shrink from transgression.
2. He has this blessed fear who himself has known the loving-kindness of the Lord , and whose love has been wakened up thereby. This fear of the Lord is the essential foundation of the truly happy home.
3. It must be in the head of the household , and should be in the wife and children too. Indeed, if husband and with are not of one mind in this respect, it is difficult to see how their home can be happy.
II. WHERE THIS IS , THE FATHER WILL HIMSELF BE BLESSED . Every verse in this psalm declares this, and constant experience endorses it.
1. The man shall be blessed in himself . "Happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee." The fear of God preserves him; the Spirit of God rules him; the love of God has redeemed him: he is happy in God.
2. He is blessed in his business . ( Psalms 128:2 .) He shall not live by begging, by knavery, by any unworthy means, but by God's blessing upon his honest toil. This is the happiest way of living, and it shall be to the man who feareth the Lord.
3. In his home . Dear wife and children shall make him glad; no solitary, loveless abode shall his be, but a home in all the blessed meaning of that word. And, thank God, there are myriads such—affectionate, well-ordered, healthful, pure, bright.
4. He shall be blessed through the Church ' s ministry and fellowship . ( Psalms 128:5 .) The blessing of the Lord in his Church was sought on the union of his wife and himself; their children, one by one, were brought and presented to the Lord in baptism, and the Lord's blessing sought upon and won for them; and in the holy services of the Church his household is trained to take part. And the influence of all this on the home happiness is great indeed.
5. He is blessed in the guarantees that such homes as his give for the peace and prosperity of his country . ( Psalms 128:5 , Psalms 128:6 .) Such homes are a nation's bulwarks, and do more for the good of the nation and her peace and preservation than all the munitions of war. Where such homes are, the aged are cheered by seeing their children's children enjoy the blessings they have helped to secure, and by the prospect that when they are gone their descendants will enjoy like peace. Such are the blessings of him that feareth the Lord.
III. AND THE WIFE . ( Psalms 128:2 .) She shall be as the beautiful fragrant vine , and not alone in its fruitfulness. There will be that; she will be the joyful mother of many bright, happy, and healthful children, who cling to her as the clusters do to the vine; but also, like the vine, she will be for the comfort and adornment of the home, imparting gracious shade and shelter from the heat (cf. Micah 4:4 ). It is not said, but it is implied all through, that the same blessed fear of the Lord that dwells in her husband dwells also in her.
IV. AND THE CHILDREN . "Like olive plants." It is a common sight, in the lands where the olive grows, to see the parent tree surrounded, and, as it were, sustained, by the young olive shoots that have sprang from its roots. As they have sprung from the parent root, so they are like their parent, and they gather round, as the children do round the table at home. Yes, the children are as the parent. The godly man will be blessed in his children: their father's God will their God; they will be as their father, and will hand on the fear of the Lord which they first learnt from him. May our children be as these olive plants!—S.C.
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