Friday, April 28, 2006

Fearing God and Fruitfulness in the Family

Psalm 128 is only six verses but has some powerful promises:
Blessed are all who fear the LORD, who walk in his ways. You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours. Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your sons will be like olive shoots around your table. Thus is the man blessed who fears the LORD. May the LORD bless you from Zion all the days of your life; may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem, and may you live to see your children's children. Peace be upon Israel.

The promise of blessing if you fear the Lord is great. The Psalmist tells us that if we fear the Lord we will benefit from our work - it will be fruitful and we not someone else will eat of it. Instead of using 'prosperity', I like how the NAS says that we 'will be happy and it will be well with you.' Fearing God brings about joy not despair and drudgery.

Then he moves to the home. He describes the wife of a man who fears the Lord as a fruitful vine and their sons as olive shoots. A vine needs support and often oneness of the vine and the tree or post that support it is so great that you can't tell where the vine begins or ends. I certainly want to support Robin in order that she will bear fruit to the Lord all her life. I want us to be one and not two.

Olive Shoots is an interesting choice of words too. I have been told that an olive tree takes at least 4 years to bear fruit and then it can live up to 500 years - maybe longer. It usually bears fruit on the previous year's growth. It takes special care, pruning and nourishment. I want all three of my boys to grow up to be olive shoots that bear fruit even in harsh dry times because of the care they received at a young age.

I can't help but notice too that the vine bears fruit in the house of the one who fears the Lord and the olive shoots are around the table. It is within the context of the home that these things happen.

The blessing of seeing your children's children is great especially for someone who is past 40 with young boys!

1 comment:

Joan said...

Thank you, Andy, for this thought-provoking post. You penultimate statement is so very true. We need to be reminded frequently that it is in the HOME that character and therefore destiny is determined. Our society is suffering because so many homes are failing at their jobs.

I pray God's blessings on you and Robin as you raise those three little boys.