A Family's Fear of God & Generational Blessing
As we seek to ascend into the manifest presence of God, we find that a restoration of the family altar is essential. The way we act at home is vital to our relationship with God, and Psalm 128 reveals that fear of the Lord characterizes a successful home.
How blessed is everyone who fears the LORD, who walks in His ways. When you shall eat of the fruit of your hands, you will be happy and it will be well with you. Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine within your house, your children like olive plants around your table.
Behold, for thus shall the man be blessed who fears the LORD. The LORD bless you from Zion, and may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life. Indeed, may you see your children's children. Peace be upon Israel!
The entirety of this Psalm is a blessing upon households that have a profound reverence for the LORD, which speaks to the whole being and every aspect of the home that directs its daily life (its comings and goings) according to God's desires. This means that our every action is dictated by God's moral character, His habits, and His direction. This blessing is not for a select few but directed toward EVERYONE who walks in His ways.
The first blessing addresses God's provision for His people. When we fear God, our labor is blessed. Walter and I have seen this time and again. Whenever Walter was provided the opportunity to work overtime and faced with a choice to be in the house of God or work, we chose to be in the presence of God. Even when the extra funds were in the best interest of the household, we put God first. However, it has been our experience that you never lack anything when God is the hub of the home. Life is filled with joy, even when things are rough because your faith and trust are not in a job but the person of Jesus Christ.
In addition to provision, God blesses your house. It must be said (and yes, I am going there) that the man is the head of the household, as Christ is the head of the church. Women, if you disagree, you're wrong. However, Scripture makes it clear that the man is to love his wife even as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her (Eph. 5:23-30). So, what happens when a woman has a husband who fears God and cherishes her? According to Psalm 128, women become fruitful vines. This is in the broadest sense. When Walter walks in fear of the LORD and honors me as his wife, I reap the benefits! I grow spiritually, and what I touch is blessed and bears fruit. For me, that means I am successful in my homeschool endeavors, in the ministry God gives me, in my relationships. My influence expands. Accordingly, as I show Walter the respect due him as my husband and spiritual overseer, his life is enriched. Collectively, our home is blessed because we are doing things God's way instead of our own. We are one in Christ, and our relationship grows into a threefold cord, not easily broken (Eccl. 4:9-12). This becomes evident in the fruit we bear, particularly our children.
When parents do life God's way, our children become, Scripture tells us, olive plants around our table. Why olive plants? Let's look:
1. The olive tree is known for its longevity, bearing fruit for up to five hundred years. Remember, the LORD says His faithfulness continues throughout all generations (Ps. 119:90).
2. The olive tree is prolific in its fruitfulness, bearing it as early as five years of age, averaging about four hundred pounds of fruit per year, which increases with age. Paul told Timothy not to let anyone despise his youth (I Tim. 4:12).
3. The root system of an olive tree is indestructible. Even when it seems everything above ground has been destroyed, the roots remain alive and are capable of producing a tree once more.
4. They are known to survive even in drought conditions.
5. The olive tree is considered sacred. It is symbolic of the anointing, of peace, abundance, and glory. Remember, Psalm 127 states that parents will not be ashamed. An anointing descends upon the children of those who walk in fear of God.
6. They are healthy! The olive tree is known for its antioxidants and for being a healthy fat. Who doesn't want their child to walk in health?
These are just a few of the blessings that come upon the children of those that fear the LORD. These are plants, offshoots, or transplants of ourselves. When we walk in fear of God, we instill it in our children, who are a reflection of our spiritual well-being.
There is another blessing that comes from Zion. From God's holy hill, we see Jerusalem, literally teachings of peace, all of our days. Peace is a defining characteristic of the home that walks in fear of the LORD. Additionally, the longevity given to our children (because we learned the fear of God from our parents) comes back upon us, enabling us to live long and observe God's faithfulness to our children and grandchildren. No matter what comes our way, our lives are filled with God's peace. What an incredible blessing!
Now, for those of you who weren't reared in a godly home. This blessing is for you, too! You can sow the seed of holiness and the fear of the LORD by the choices you make today. Choose to make the LORD the center hub of your life, walking it out for your children, providing the example of how to ascend into the presence of God. Your home can be a household of faith.