Psalm 128:4

 

EXPOSITION

Verse 4. Behold, that thus shall the man be blessed that feareth the LORD. Mark this. Put a Nota Bene against it, for it is worthy of observation. It is not to be inferred that all blessed men are married, and are fathers; but that this is the way in which the Lord favours godly people who are placed in domestic life. He makes their relationships happy and profitable. In this fashion does Jehovah bless God fearing households, for he is the God of all the families of Israel. We have seen this blessing scores of times, and we have never ceased to admire in domestic peace the sweetest of human felicity. Family blessedness comes from the Lord, and is a part of his plan for the preservation of a godly race, and for the maintenance of his worship in the land. To the Lord alone we must look for it. The possession of riches will not ensure it; the choice of a healthy and beautiful bride will not ensure it; the birth of numerous comely children will not ensure it: there must be the blessing of God, the influence of piety, the result of holy living.

 

EXPLANATORY NOTES AND QUAINT SAYINGS

Verse 4. As Haman caused it to be proclaimed ( Esther 6:9 ), "Thus shall it be done to the man whom the king delighteth to honour"; so here, Behold, that thus shall the man be blessed that feareth the Lord. He shall be blessed in his wife, and blessed in his children; so blessed in both that the Psalmist calls all to behold it, as a rare, beautiful, yea, wonderful sight: "Behold, thus shall the man be blessed." And yet the man fearing God shall be blessed more than thus: his blessing shall come in the best way ( Psalms 128:5 ): "The Lord shall bless thee out of Zion"; his temporal mercies shall come in a spiritual way, yea, he shall have spiritual blessings: "He shall bless thee out of Zion"; and he shall have blessings beyond his own walls: "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." Sometimes a good man can take no content in his family mercies because of the church's afflictions; he "prefers Jerusalem above his chief joy" ( Psalms 137:6 ), and while that is mourning he cannot but be sorrowing, though his own house be full of joy. Sometimes a man's own family is so afflicted, and his house so full of sorrow, that he cannot but mourn, even when Jerusalem rejoiceth and Zion is glad. But when a good man looks home to his own house and sees good there; when also he looks abroad to Jerusalem and sees good there too, how full is his joy! how complete is his blessedness! and, "Behold, thus the man is blessed that feareth the Lord." --Joseph Caryl.

Verse 4. Behold, that thus shall the man be blessed, etc. It is asserted with a note commanding attention: behold it by faith in the promise; behold it by observation in the performance of the promise; behold it with assurance that it shall be so, for God is faithful; and with admiration that it should be so; for we merit no favour, no blessing from him. -- Matthew Henry.

 

HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS

Verse 4. Domestic happiness the peculiar blessing of piety. Show how it produces and maintains it.