In Psalm 128, the psalmist examines, by inspiration, the blessings benefitting the individual that fears the Lord and walks in his ways. The consideration of walking in his ways is one of lifestyle. It is not sporadic or periodic, but constant and consistent. The psalmist writes:
Blessed is every one that feareth the LORD; that walketh in his ways. For thou shalt eat the labour of thine hands: happy shalt thou be, and it shall be well with thee. Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house: thy children like olive plants round about thy table. Behold, that thus shall the man be blessed that feareth the LORD. The LORD shall bless thee out of Zion: and thou shalt see the good of Jerusalem all the days of thy life. Yea, thou shalt see thy children’s children, and peace upon Israel.
Consider some things the psalmist says are blessings to the righteous man.
A happy and productive life. The individual who fears God and walks in his ways is hardworking and industrious. As such, he is blessed with the ability to partake of the labor of his hands. Though this certainly has reference to those who work with crops, fields, or vineyards, it is equally applicable to those whose work makes it possible to provide food for the table by purchase. The labor of the hands is not avoided by the righteous man, it is anticipated. This also leads to a happy life. The individual who works hard, enjoys his work, and understands the blessings and benefits it provides will not be grumpy, hateful, and harsh about life. Instead he will be happy, gracious, and thankful. This certainly epitomizes Paul’s statement that, “godliness with contentment is great gain” (1 Tim. 6:6).
A loving family. When one fears and follows God as he should, he treats others in a way that brings the best out of them. The man in this psalm is described as having a wife like a fruitful vine. Any vine that is fruitful has had care and love bestowed upon it. There has been time spent ensuring its welfare. Provision and protection have been assured with love and concern. The man who follows God will love his wife with the dedication and strength that both recognize her value and help her to be fruitful in her endeavors for the home and family.
The servant of God is also described as having children like olive plants around his table. The olive plant was considered to be a plant of luxury, it was something to be cherished and enjoyed. Such should be the consideration of children. In a society that increasingly sees children as a burden to one’s plans, hopes, and dreams, the righteous man will see his children as the greatest testament to the wealth and blessings bestowed by God. He will be pleased to have them at his table and thankful for the luxury and value they add to his life and happiness.
Goodness and peace. The man who is blessed of God will not be one striving for conflict and struggle. He will instead be one whose desire is the continued blessings of God and his family; to see his descendants grow and prosper in the blessings of God, and to see peace in his land among his people. These should be the thoughts, prayers, and endeavors of all men. If they were, the world would be a much better, safer, and godlier place.
May God continue to bless those who fear him and walk in his ways. Let us endeavor to live our lives and lead our families in such a way that the words of Psalm 128 are not just a dream of what could be, but a description of what is found in our lives and seen in our hearts.