Thursday, May 18, 2006

Home Building Basics

“Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain.”

“Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward.” (Psalm 127:1, 3)

God’s work and our work. Understanding how these two intersect is one of the most fascinating and frustrating aspects of theology and the Christian life. And it deserves this status, for ultimately we are describing how humans interact with the mighty God of the universe. Psalm 127 tackles this issue head on. And it answers the question by affirming that we must build, but the master builder must approve of the plans for them to succeed.

This psalm moves from speaking about building houses (v.1) to building homes (v.3) – that is, families. The psalm remains the same: God’s stamp of approval is required. “Children are a heritage from the Lord.” In Scripture, we also learn that “a prudent wife is from the Lord” (Proverbs 19:4).

So what does it mean to receive approval from the master builder?

First, God must allow our plans to go forward. He must allow everything from the air in our lungs to the hammer in our hand – and woe to the person who takes these for granted. As a friend of mine says, “We are not guaranteed our next breath.”

Second, God must allow our plans to go forward successfully. Plenty of people build houses and homes – but if they are not built according to specs, they turn out badly. Houses and homes alike. Only by following God’s word can we expect our deepest dreams to come true – families united not merely by blood but by faith, hope, and love.

Don't push God out of the picture. As another friend says, "If it's worth doing, it's worth doing right."

By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established;
by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches. (Proverbs 24:3-4)


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