By Henry Law
Safety and success can only come from God. Pious families are multiplied by His blessing.
1. "Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain who build it; except the Lord keep the city, the watchman wakes but in vain."
It is a blessed lesson in the Spirit's school that God's all-ordering hand and all-controlling power direct events. He sits upon the throne of universal sway. Prosperity abounds only as furthered by His will. Failure undermines all efforts which rest not on His sovereign desire. All labor is but nothingness except He commands the blessing. Without Him workmen toil to gain vanity. Guards may surround the city with much show of force, but if the Lord is absent their weapons and vigilance end in defeat. Jesus comforts with the assurance that all power is His in heaven and in earth. Let us flee to Him and cling to Him. Then we shall surely prosper. Adversity can never frown when Jesus smiles.
2. "It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows; for so He gives His beloved sleep."
It is sad when men consume their time and energies in fruitless toil. If God is forgotten, and His aid unsought, the midnight hours and the early dawn are vainly spent in labors. Profitless is all exercise of mind and body if He is excluded who alone dispenses blessings. Shut out the sun, and there is no light. Omit the ball, and empty is the cannon's sound. Let His servants make Him their all, and He will cause them to repose in peace. Tranquil confidence will trust events to His guardian care, and thus sweet calm will soothe the breast.
3-5. "Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord; and the fruit of the womb is His reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man, so are children of the youth. Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them; they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate."
It is a lovely scene when pious parents sit surrounded by a pious progeny. The happy circle gives evidence that God's favoring smile beams on the family. Heavenly feeling pervades the house. Love of God, faith in the redeeming blood and covering righteousness of Christ, are ruling principles. There is joy in present communion and in anticipation of eternal fellowship. The godly union, also, is strength. No enemies can resist the arrows aimed by a giant hand. Thus foes prevail not over this holy company. No shame or confusion depresses their heads. They boldly meet all adversaries. Who will not serve the blessed Lord, and delight in the heritage which is His people's crown!