Band of Brothers Week 3

Psalm 127: The Battle of Building or

Labor that Last


The key to unlock the unity of this Psalm can be found in a Hebrew word play. The Hebrew words for “build” (banah), “house” (bayith), and “sons” (banim), form a literary device of similar words that are woven throughout this Psalm. Beginning with two references in verse 1 “build” and “house” follows with “sons” which is translated as children in verses 3-4. This word is a thread woven throughout the fabric of this Psalm demonstrating that unless the Lord builds the house, and unless the Lord builds the family, then all labor is in vain.


Psalm 127: 1-2 1Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. 2 It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep.

Thoughts from the Text:

  • The word house here has enough ambiguity for us to apply this principle to the building in the family, in the church, or in society.
  • The writer presupposes that we will be busy working so laziness is not an option. The question is do we rely on God or our own power while building, protecting, or providing.
  • God should be our only hope for protection and not human might. We do not trust in horses or chariots, but in the strength of our Lord.
  • Solomon makes the connection to vanity. Perhaps this is his outline for the book of Ecclesiastes. “Vanity of Vanities, all is vanity,” says Solomon in Ecclesiastes. He continues, “The conclusion of the matter is ‘Fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all. For God will bring every work into judgment, including every secret thing, whether good or evil.’” Ecc 12:13-14

Application to Your Life:

  • Do you seek the Lord first or rely on your own might when building your house, your church, or your business?
  • By the way you spend your money, what would an outsider assume you are putting your trust in? Insurance policy, retirement fund, government, possessions
  • Are you working too hard and eating the “bread of anxious toil”?
  • What is it that has kept you awake at night? Do you not trust God enough to turn it over to Him?
  • Understanding that all is vanity, what lifestyle changes should you make to put increased emphasis on God.


Psalm 127:3-5: 3 Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward. 4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children of one’s youth. 5 Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate.

Thoughts from the Text:

  • Children are a blessing from the Lord so our attitudes toward children should reflect that in every area of our lives.
  • We must recognize the responsibility for good or danger that comes with directing a child’s path and sculpting a child for life. A warrior can use an arrow for evil or good. The analogy corresponds to how we train and equip our children.
  • God’s design is that one day your children will take care of you…perhaps to the exact same degree you have taken care of them. Have you abandoned them through nursery, daycare, or the school system? If so, will you reap what you have sown by being abandoned to the retirement center, or nursing home?

Application to Your Life:

  • Does your attitude reflect that children are a blessing from the Lord or that they are burden on your life?
  • How are you developing your children into an arrow for God’s purposes? Are you spending time with them? Guiding them spiritually? Are you shepherding them or forcing them to fulfill your lost dreams? What about your grandchildren?
  • Will your children be your defender or your accuser?
  • Is it possible that by aborting our children, we have aborted our future? Will this lead to the demise of the economy, social security, and possibly euthanasia?

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Filed under Men's Bible Study: A Band of Brothers

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