Portrait of a happy family

Quotations – Unless the LORD Builds the House

Unless the LORD builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless the LORD guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. … Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb is a reward. (Psalm 127:1, 3 NKJV)

The Believer’s Study Bible note to v.1-2:

“Everything is vain … if the Lord is not in it. This is doubly true of the home. There is a beautiful picture in the Hebrew language of the [Old Testament] which is lost in translation: 1) the Hebrew word for son is ben, 2) the Hebrew word for daughter is bat, and 3) these two words are similar to the Hebrew verb banah, meaning ‘to build.’

“To the Israelite a house was an opportunity to ‘build’ sons and daughters. One works at building a family just as one works at building a building. Children who have been built well, in turn, become good child-builders themselves. Also note the change in subjects in the first two lines. In the first line it is the Lord who builds; in the second line the subject is ‘they.’ This means that parents must team up with God in the building of a Christian home. God does the building, but He does it through parents.”1

Note to v.3:

“Children must always be looked upon as belonging to the Lord. They are a sacred trust, a holy heritage. The rabbis of old declared that a child has three parents: God, his father, and his mother (Genesis 20:17, 18; 30:1, 2). Parents, then, are held accountable unto God for their stewardship of parenthood.”2

1. W. A. Criswell, Paige Patterson, E. Ray Clendenen, Daniel L. Akin, Mallory Chamberlin, Dorothy Kelley Patterson, and Jack Pogue, editors, The Believer’s Study Bible, New King James Version (Nashville, Tenn.: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1991), 831.                

2. Ibid.

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