Take a closer look at Psalm 128 with me.
I think that sometimes we don’t really believe that obedience to God is what brings us the most joy and happiness. Submission to something or someone, obedience and reverence for something greater than ourselves; these words and phrases do no strike chords of happiness and joy do they? This has been Satan’s plan of attack since Adam and Eve right?
God gave Adam and Eve all they ever wanted and needed but he gave them one rule: not to eat of the fruit of the tree in the middle of the Garden of Eden. They had to chose to trust, fear, and obey, God out of love for Him. Satan came along and said in essence, “Happiness, knowledge, freedom, comes outside of the law of God.”
Satan tells us the same thing today. He tries to convince us that joy, happiness, knowledge, freedom, comes outside of the law of God.
The psalmist tells us everyone is “blessed” or “happy” who fears the Lord and walks in His ways (verse 1). Our greatest blessing comes first from fear or reverence of God and walking in obedience to Him! I want you to see that obedience “walking in his ways” is driven by a posture of faith, “fear of the Lord” which leads to blessing.
We have it backwards. We want “blessing”, so we try to “walk in his ways” without reverence for God, which is not real faith. We have talked about this before; it turns into manipulation.
I want you to see in this psalm the kinds of blessings God has and the “ripple” effect that fear of the Lord and walking in His ways leads to.
It says that, “you shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands.” (in verse 2). Disobedient Israel, who rebelled against God, were held captive in slavery and their labor went to feeding other nations as a result. So the psalmist is looking back and saying when we walk in fear of the Lord and obedience, God freely blesses us with the labor of our own hands.
Verse 3 talks about how your wife will be like a fruitful vine, and your children like olive shoots. A fruitful vine in the Old Testament usually signified peace, tranquility, refreshment and joy. As for the children being like olive shoots, signified a promise of a legacy that would be left. Then jump down to verse 5 and see that fear of the Lord and walking in obedience leads to “seeing prosperity in Jerusalem.”
You can see the progression of blessing in a life of one who fears the Lord, your personal life “labor” (vs.2), your marriage and family will be blessed (vs. 3), and your community will be blessed (vs. 5)
You see, a life of obedience blesses more that just you, it blesses others around you! It blesses your relationships, family, work, and community! I want to speak to the fathers. Won’t you live a life of reverence to the Lord and obedience to the Lord so that your family, and community will be blessed? Single mother, fear the Lord, walk in obedience so that your family will see what it looks like to live a blessed life! Single people: submit your life to the Lord, fear Him, and see the blessing that He has for you!
One thing that I know is true is that our definition of “blessing” changes when we fear the Lord and walk in obedience to Him. What we think of as blessing, money, success, and influence will pale in comparison. Our perspective changes the more we pursue the one who blesses, rather than the blessing He can provide…and in Him we actually find our blessing! Do you believe that obedience to God is where you find happiness? Don’t believe the lies of Satan! There is nothing better than being submitted to the Father from whom all blessings flow!