Friday, May 6, 2011

God's Blessing on Family Life pt 2

The Psalm is an observation on life in general rather than an absolute promise. It is like many sayings in Proverbs. For example, Proverbs 26:27 says, “If a man digs a pit, he will fall into it”. This means that if you set a trap for others you are likely to be caught in a trap yourself. It is not a promise that anyone who digs a hole will fall into it! What the psalmist has seen by the Spirit of God is that generally speaking people who follow and obey God enjoy strong family life. That is a wonderful blessing. It should not surprise us because God is for family and He loves to bless His children.

“Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your sons will be like olive shoots around your table” (vs3). In the Old Testament, wine and olive oil are two symbols of God’s blessing. “Wine that gladdens the heart of man, oil to make his face shine” (Psalm 106:15: see also Deuteronomy 8:8 and Hosea 2:22). A beloved wife is compared to a vine, which gives abundantly in joy and fruitfulness and yet also needs support. Children will grow to be olive trees, which speak of flourishing life and lasting fruit. It is a lovely picture but it does not just happen.

Read verse 1 again to discover what kind of person it is who enjoys such a wonderful family. It is the person who fears the Lord and walks in his ways. It is a person who loves and follows God. Good family life does not stand alone. It flows from a life of listening to God, obeying him and following his ways. This psalm is saying that family flourishes when God is honoured.

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