128:0A family tree is a list of all the people in your family: your grandparents, your parents, your husband or wife, your children and your grandchildren. Also people that lived before and after them all. People who are in awe of the LORD will see part of their family tree! This psalm teaches us that. They will live at peace in Jerusalem. For many Christians, Jerusalem means where they live. Psalm 87 and some of Paul's letters tell us that the Jerusalem on the earth is a picture of the Jerusalem in heaven. Heaven is the home of God. We do not know where it is.
The Family Tree
This is a song for climbing.
1 Everyone that is in awe of the LORD will be very happy.
They will walk in his ways.
128:1Verse 1: ‘In awe’ means ‘a bit afraid of someone that you love.’ People are ‘in awe’ of God because he is so great. They love him. But they know that he is very powerful. ‘LORD’ is a special name for God. It is his covenant name. A covenant is when people agree to do something. Here, God agrees to send his people help. His people agree to love and obey him. ‘Walk in his ways’ is a Jewish way to say ‘obey his rules.’
2 You will eat the things that your hands have worked for.
You are very sure that you will. You will be happy!
Good things will happen to you!
3 Your wife in your house will be like a vine that grows much fruit.
Your sons round your table will be like branches of an olive tree.
128:3Verse 3: Both word-pictures mean that you will have many children. You will if you ‘walk in his ways!’ A vine is a tree. It grows a fruit called the grape. An olive tree grows a fruit called the olive. An olive tree has many branches.
4 The LORD does good things to the man that is in awe of him.
This is how he does it. Make a note of that.
128:4Verse 4: ‘Does good things to you’ in verse 4 is ‘blesses you’ in many Bible translations. This is a good example of the word ‘bless.’ It means ‘have many children.’ It can also mean that your animals will have many young animals. And your plants will have many fruits on them. If you obey God, good things will happen to you! Good things will come from your work (verse 2). And good things will happen to your family (verse 3) and to Jerusalem (verse 5).
5 The LORD of Zion will do good things to you.
Then you will see that Jerusalem is a good place for as long as
you are alive.
128:5Verse 5: The Jews believed that God lived in Jerusalem. God is ‘the LORD of Zion.’ Zion is the hill in the middle of Jerusalem. Solomon built God's house, the temple, on the hill of Zion. For many Christians, Jerusalem is like a picture of the Church or a picture of heaven.
6 You will see your grandsons and there will be peace in Israel.
128:6Verse 6: ‘Peace’ is when people do not fight each other. Jesus taught us that there is a special peace. Only Jesus can give it to us. It means that we are friends with God. And we always obey him. Also, God does not hurt us because we have not obeyed him. Israel, like Jerusalem in verse 5, is a picture of God's people. For Jews, it means Jews; for Christians it means Christians.