SCRIPTURE REFERENCES FOR THIS SERMON:
127:1 A song of ascents; by Solomon.
If the Lord does not build a house,
then those who build it work in vain.
If the Lord does not guard a city,
then the watchman stands guard in vain.
2 It is vain for you to rise early, come home late,
and work so hard for your food.
Yes, he provides for those whom he loves even when they sleep.
3 Yes, sons are a gift from the Lord;
the fruit of the womb is a reward.
4 Sons born during one’s youth
are like arrows in a warrior’s hand.
5 How blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them.
They will not be put to shame when they confront enemies at the city gate.
128:1 A song of ascents.
How blessed is every one of the Lord’s loyal followers,
each one who keeps his commands.
2 You will eat what you worked so hard to grow.
You will be blessed and secure.
3 Your wife will be like a fruitful vine
in the inner rooms of your house;
your children will be like olive branches,
as they sit all around your table.
4 Yes indeed, the man who fears the Lord
will be blessed in this way.
5 May the Lord bless you from Zion
that you might see Jerusalem prosper
all the days of your life,
6 and that you might see your grandchildren.
May Israel experience peace.
129:1 A song of ascents.
“Since my youth they have often attacked me,”
let Israel say.
2 “Since my youth they have often attacked me,
but they have not defeated me.
3 The plowers plowed my back;
they made their furrows long.
4 The Lord is just;
he cut the ropes of the wicked.”
5 May all who hate Zion
be humiliated and turned back.
6 May they be like the grass on the rooftops,
which withers before one can even pull it up,
7 which cannot fill the reaper’s hand
or the lap of the one who gathers the grain.
8 Those who pass by will not say,
“May you experience the Lord’s blessing!
We pronounce a blessing on you in the name of the Lord.”
130:1 A song of ascents.
From the deep water I cry out to you, O Lord.
2 O Lord, listen to me.
Pay attention to my plea for mercy.
3 If you, O Lord, were to keep track of sins,
O Lord, who could stand before you?
4 But you are willing to forgive
so that you might be honored.
5 I rely on the Lord.
I rely on him with my whole being;
I wait for his assuring word.
6 I yearn for the Lord,
more than watchmen do for the morning,
yes, more than watchmen do for the morning.
7 O Israel, hope in the Lord,
for the Lord exhibits loyal love
and is more than willing to deliver.
8 He will deliver Israel
from all their sins.
131:1 A song of ascents, by David.
O Lord, my heart is not proud,
nor do I have a haughty look.
I do not have great aspirations,
or concern myself with things that are beyond me.
2 Indeed, I have calmed and quieted myself
like a weaned child with its mother;
I am content like a young child.
3 O Israel, hope in the Lord
now and forevermore!
132:1 A song of ascents.
O Lord, for David’s sake remember
all his strenuous effort
2 and how he made a vow to the Lord,
and swore an oath to the Powerful One of Jacob.
3 He said, “I will not enter my own home,
or get into my bed.
4 I will not allow my eyes to sleep
or my eyelids to slumber,
5 until I find a place for the Lord,
a fine dwelling place for the Powerful One of Jacob.”
6 Look, we heard about it in Ephrathah;
we found it in the territory of Jaar.
7 Let us go to his dwelling place.
Let us worship before his footstool.
8 Ascend, O Lord, to your resting place,
you and the ark of your strength.
9 May your priests be clothed with integrity.
May your loyal followers shout for joy.
10 For the sake of David, your servant,
do not reject your chosen king.
11 The Lord made a reliable promise to David;
he will not go back on his word.
He said, “I will place one of your descendants on your throne.
12 If your sons keep my covenant
and the rules I teach them,
their sons will also sit on your throne forever.”
13 Certainly the Lord has chosen Zion;
he decided to make it his home.
14 He said, “This will be my resting place forever;
I will live here, for I have chosen it.
15 I will abundantly supply what she needs;
I will give her poor all the food they need.
16 I will protect her priests,
and her godly people will shout exuberantly.
17 There I will make David strong;
I have determined that my chosen king’s dynasty will continue.
18 I will humiliate his enemies,
and his crown will shine.”
133:1 A song of ascents; by David.
Look! How good and how pleasant it is
when brothers truly live in unity.
2 It is like fine oil poured on the head,
which flows down the beard—
and then flows down his garments.
3 It is like the dew of Hermon,
which flows down upon the hills of Zion.
Indeed, that is where the Lord has decreed
a blessing will be available—eternal life.
134:1 A song of ascents.
Attention! Praise the Lord,
all you servants of the Lord
who serve in the Lord’s temple during the night.
2 Lift your hands toward the sanctuary
and praise the Lord.
3 May the Lord, the Creator of heaven and earth,
bless you from Zion.