************ Wedding Sermon on Psalm 127:1 ************
By: Rev. Adrian Dieleman
This sermon was preached on April 23, 2010
(Psalm 127) A song of ascents. Of Solomon.the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain. (2) In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat-- for he grants sleep to those he loves. (3) Sons are a heritage from the LORD, children a reward from him. (4) Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one's youth. (5) Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate.
Steven & Teresa, their family & friends:
Did you notice what kind of Psalm this is? "A song of ascents." A song, in other words, that was sung on the way to Jerusalem in order to worship in the Temple.
Did you notice who wrote the Psalm? Solomon. Solomon. There are two things about Solomon that are of interest to us. First, it was Solomon who built the Lord's house, the Temple, in Jerusalem. Remember, David wanted to build the Temple but God would not let him. That blessing was reserved for Solomon. Solomon, of all people, recognized that without the Lord's blessing no temple-building amounts to anything.
Second, it was Solomon – with his 700 wives and 300 concubines – who said the words of our wedding text. Remember what Scripture tells us?
(1Ki 11:4) As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his heart was not fully devoted to the LORD his God, as the heart of David his father had been.As things were falling apart in his home and marriages, among his children and grandchildren, Solomon recognized – too late – the need for God's blessing upon his home life.
"Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain. (2) In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat--for he grants sleep to those he loves" (Ps 127:1-2). The lesson of Scripture here is so very clear: only what is of God is truly strong; only what receives the Lord's blessing counts for anything.
"Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain" (Ps 127:1). Let's think about this. Do you hear what Solomon is saying? "Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain" (Ps 127:1). The Bible recognizes only one kind of home: a Christian home. There is not to say unbelievers have no homes. For they do. Nor is this to say that the marriages of all unbelievers end up in divorce and their children end up as hoodlums. From a human point-of-view, an unbeliever's marriage may be quite satisfying and his children may turn out quite well. Nevertheless, the holy Scriptures recognize only one kind of marriage and home: a Christian one.
This means, Steven & Teresa, that your home – like the Temple – has to be built and established by the Lord. By the LORD – Yahweh, the almighty God Who covenants with us and loves us in Christ.
I want to give you a picture of such a home. Almost 30 years ago I clipped an article from "The Banner" about John & Margie Cooper. For nearly 40 years Margie Cooper lived in an iron lung. For nearly 40 years John Cooper stuck with a wife whose glamour and sexiness were gone; whose ability to entertain, cook, travel, garden, vacation, and work – the routine things husbands enjoy in their wives – had been taken away. For nearly 40 years John lifted Margie from the iron lung every morning and gave her daily care, washing her, brushing her teeth, combing her hair, rubbing her back, dispensing her medications, and more. He was the hands by which she did things: he turned pages in a book or magazine, he fed her, he switched on the TV, he wrote the Christmas and birthday cards, he did their shopping, he cleaned the house. The home of John & Margie Cooper was a Christian home. It was a home built by the Lord. Nothing could destroy this home, not even polio and an iron lung.
"Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain" (Ps 127:1). You need to recognize, bride and groom, that it is the Lord Who has brought you together. And, it is the Lord Who demands a place in your home even as He lived in the Temple. He demands to be at the center of your home and marriage.
"Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain" (Ps 127:1). What should we find in such a home? The things we talked about in pre-marital counseling. First, it should include Bible reading and prayer. Follow the example of previous generations who read the Scriptures and prayed after every meal.
Second, never neglect to worship together as a family. And, Steven & Teresa, remember that in the United Reformed Churches we assemble together for worship twice each Lord's Day.
Third, serve God together. Get involved in church and kingdom life. Volunteer for service. Be part of a Bible study.
"Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain" (Ps 127:1). This is a warning, bride & groom, to keep God at the center of your home. You know, when we think about it, this is not only a warning, but it is also a blessing. God promises something here. God promises that those homes with God at the center – like the Temple – are not built in vain. Such homes are strong and secure, able to withstand the storms of life. Such homes are filled with God's presence and advances the Kingdom of God. Such home are a delight to be in and receive every blessing from God.
Steven & Teresa, and every couple here, listen again to the words of our text: "Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain" (Ps 127:1). A warning, yes. But also a promise.
You can e-mail our pastor at: Pastor, Trinity United Reformed Church
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