- Sermon Notes
Sure Steps for a Smart Home
Illus. What is it?
The superscription of Psalm 127 reveals some of the details about this Psalm, what it was used for, and where it came from. It is noted as “A Song of Ascents,” which is a grouping of psalms from Psalm 120 to 134. The most common understanding is that these psalms were memorized and sung by the children of Israel and families as they traveled to Jerusalem for the three main annual Jewish festivals. Jerusalem is situated on a hill, so they were ascending up as the psalms were sung. It is also believed the Levite priests would sing these psalms in the temple as part of their worship in a call and response way. That was the occasion for these psalms.
The author of Psalm 127 is also given in the superscription, it was written by Solomon. Solomon was David’s son, and he was the king that succeeded David. What we will see through Solomon’s history is that he was certainly a good one to write about the best way to build and set things up, but he is also one who gives us insight into the importance of staying connected to the Lord in our lives because life apart from Him, is in Solomon’s own words, meaningless.
Read: Psalm 127 (NASB 95’)
Commentators have noted a clear line between the first and second sections of Psalm 127, with verses 1 to 2 speaking of what is vain, and the second section, verses 3 to 5, pointing us to what is of value. There is contrast between what is vain, and what is of value.
Solomon would surely be one qualified to speak on such things. Regarding what is of value, Solomon knew a thing or a few about value. He is noted as one of the richest people ever recorded, likely number two at 2.2 trillion dollars. In addition to riches, God also gave him wisdom and discernment like nobody the world had ever seen.
1 Kings 3:12-14, Behold, I have given you a wise and discerning heart, so that there has been no one like you before you, nor shall one like you arise after you. I have also given you what you have not asked, both riches and honor, so that there will not be any among the kings like you all your days. And if you walk in My ways, keeping My statutes and commandments, as your father David walked, then I will prolong your days.
That is where the vanity comes into place. Because Solomon was given wisdom from God, but he would not walk according to that wisdom for his entire life. From 1 Kings 11, we know that the Lord had told Solomon not to associate with certain women, who are from other nations who worship idols…He said, if you do, they will turn your heart away from the Lord and toward false God. Solomon, didn’t listen, he clung to these women, to the tune of 700 wives and 300 concubines. Sure enough, Solomon began to build places of worship for these false gods, and it is noted in 1 Kings 11 that at that point, Solomon did not follow the Lord fully at that time…The kingdom would be torn away from him.
That said, Solomon knew value, but from his failures he could speak from experience about that which is vain, and how vain a person’s life becomes when they attempt to live their life apart from the Lord. Solomon also wrote the book of Ecclesiastes, there he speaks to his life, and his journey and it is in that book that we see a certain word used continually and that is vanity. He wrote the word vain, vanity, or vanities nearly 40 times in 12 chapters. Vanity is a word also translated futile, empty, false, or meaningless! Throughout that book he says, wisdom is vanity, pleasure is vanity, toil is vanity, advancement is vanity, riches are vanity…Then the book ends in Ecclesiastes 12, the conclusion then is “fear God and keep His commandments…”
In Psalm 127, he addresses the vanity, meaninglessness, and futility of building a house apart from the Lord…but at the end, the value of what God has given.
As he speaks of building a house, it is important to note that the word for “house” is applied in different ways in the Old Testament. Solomon could have been speaking of building the temple, the house of the Lord, he could have been speaking of his own physical home, or, he could have been speaking of what is inside of the home, a family. Many times you will read of “the house of David” or a famous quote from Joshua, “as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” In many instances, the reference is not to the physical home itself, but rather, one’s family. Certainly all three need to be built with the Lord, and I will point to some examples from all three this morning, however, what I will circle primarily, is what is inside the house, which is one’s family.
The Psalm itself, begins with the building of a house, what is vain, what is of value and it seems to offer some sure steps for building a smart home. For the rest of our time today, we will look at some of those steps the Psalm provides. We will look at four steps for a smart home that are given in Psalm 127: How it’s built, how it’s secured, how it works, and how it beholds what has been given.
- Build With the Plans God Provides
Psalm 127:1, Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it…(NASB 95’)
- Psalm starts out with three aspects I want to point out, first: the Lord, then the house, and then the laborers who build it.
- I love that it begins with the Lord. Because if you are going to build a smart home, you need to start with a building plan, or a schematic, something that you are going to build it according to.
- Two times we see the word “build,” unless the Lord “builds,” they labor in vain who “build.”
Psalm 127:1, Unless the Lord builds a house, the work of the builders is wasted. (NLT)
- When the Solomon wrote “Lord” he used God’s covenant name, Yahweh, the One true God.
- Unless God is building the house, the home, those who build it are building in vain, what they are building is futile.
- If that is the case, it is important to build according to the plans He has provided.
- Throughout the Bible, both Old and New Testament, the home, the family is spoken of and referred to.
Illus. First comes…
- From 1 John 4:7-8, we know that we are to love one another because love is from God and God is love.
- Love is from God, He created it, God is love, He provides it and empowers it.
- In Genesis 2, the Lord said, it is not good for man to be alone, I will make a helper suitable for him. So the Lord gave Eve to Adam as his wife.
Genesis 2:24, For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.
Matthew 19:4-6, “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, no person is to separate.”
- What does this tell us, that God is the One who joins the man and the woman together, and what God has joined together, no person is to separate.
- God provided the plans, he brought them together, we are not to separate.
- That word separate is a word that means to divide, separate oneself from, or place room in between.
- Rather, build with the plans God provides.
Matthew 7:24-29, “Therefore, everyone who hears these words of Mine, and acts on them, will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of Mine, and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell—and its collapse was great.”
- Jesus spoke about the wise way, building on His words, and then the foolish way, not building on His words.
- Both the wise person and the foolish person heard the words, they both built homes, and from the outside, it seems they looked similar, but what was different was the instructions they were built according to, and their foundation became clear when the storm came through.
Illus. In Genesis 6, the Lord gave a man named Noah specific instructions as to the construction of a boat that would save he and his family.
Genesis 6:22, Thus Noah did; according to all God has commanded him.
- Solomon wrote, unless the Lord builds, they labor in vain who build.
- In other words, if we aren’t building the house according to God’s plans, our work, what we are building, is in vain: emptiness, falsehood, meaningless.
Psalm 119:11, I have treasured Your word in my heart, so that I may not sin against You.
- Set Him as Your Source of Security
Psalm 127:1(b), Unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman keeps awake in vain. (NASB 95’)
- For every smart home, there must be some protection put in place. Those protections ensure that the system is safe continues to work.
Illus. Secure it.
- When Solomon wrote about the Lord “guarding” the city, it is a word that also means “watches.”
- NIV reads this way, “unless the Lord watches over a city, the guards stand watch in vain.”
- The watchman in the Bible, were guards responsible to protecting cities from surprise attacks and other dangers. In the Old Testament, those watchmen would often be stationed on high walls or watchtowers, their job was to keep watch.
- Some worked during the day, and some would stay awake all night keeping watch.
- The point is, if the Lord is not watching over the city, you can stay awake all through the night, your city is open to attack.
- Solomon would have known this well.
Illus. Securing the house…
- To secure something or someone is to keep that something, or someone free from danger.
- When we studied Psalm 91 we looked at our security when we are in God’s shelter.
Psalm 91:1-6, One who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will lodge in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust!” For it is He who rescues you from the net of the trapper and from the deadly plague. He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings you may take refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and wall. You will not be afraid of the terror by night, or of the arrow that flies by day; of the plague that stalks in darkness, or of the destruction that devastates at noon.
- In that Psalm we looked at the fact that in order to be in someone’s shadow, you need to remain close to them, and the Lord is saying if you stay close to me, you have no need to worry!
- Solomon is saying if the Lord is not guarding your life, and your home, and your city, all the security that has been set up is vanity.
- Allow His Ways to Guide Your Work
Psalm 127:2, It is vain for you to rise up early, to retire late, to eat the bread of painful labors; for He gives to His beloved even in his sleep.
- If you have a smart home, or you have been to a smart home, one of the interesting things about it is figuring out how it all works.
- Here Solomon speaks specifically to work, and how to make sure God’s ways are applied to your work.
- It is important to note that the Bible speaks about work, and work being that which is important.
- In 2 Thessalonians 3:10, we read that that people of Thessalonica were given an order, “if anyone if not willing to work, then he is not to eat.”
Colossians 3:23-24, Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord and not for people, knowing that it is from the Lord that you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.
- God is shown working in Genesis chapter one, for the first six days of creation and when He was done with that work: the heavens, the earth, the waters, the light, the night, the dry land, vegetation, trees, the stars, the creatures and birds, man and woman, the fish of the sea…He created everything…then came the seventh day…
Genesis 2:2-3, By the seventh day God completed His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.
- God saw all that He did, He looked at His work, and saw that it was good. From there we establish that work is not a bad thing, but, it can certainly become a bad thing and that is what Solomon seems to be talking about.
- Solomon points to a person who rises up early, and retires late, and they eat the bread of painful labor.
- Solomon said, that persons work is vain, its meaningless, its empty, all it produces is the bread of painful labor.
- In other words, their relationship with work, is not working.
Illus. Work, play, worship.
Psalm 127:2(b), For He gives to His beloved even in his sleep. (NASB 95’)
- Other translations read, “for He gives His beloved sleep.”
- In other words, in your work, remember that God’s ways work, and that the preoccupied, painful way is the way that the Lord has for you to take when it comes to your work.
Illus. Learning a lesson.
Mark 2:27, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.
Proverbs 3:5-6, Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.
Illus. Top Ten.
- Behold Your Family as His Gift and Blessing
Psalm 127:3-5, Behold, children are a gift of the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one’s youth. How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them; they will not be ashamed when they speak with their enemies in the gate.
- This section speaks to the family, and in contrast to the vain things from the first two verses, what we see in the last three, is that the family is of great value.
- Children are noted as gifts from the Lord, that which is like arrows in the hand of a warrior.
Illus. Like arrows: They must be carefully shaped and formed, they must be guided with skill and strength, they must be given care or they will not fly straight, they must be aimed and given direction; they will not find direction on their own, they are, in some respects, only launched once, they are an extension of the warrior’s strength and accomplishment, they have potential for much good or evil. – David Guzik
Joshua 24:15, …As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
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