“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” Pro 9:10a). Psalm 128 elaborately expresses the graces bestowed upon those who fear the Lord. The blessings of those who fear the Lord are numerous but Ps 128 enumerates six blessings for those who fear the Lord. It is a psalm for the family and blessings promised to all its members. Christian families are domestic churches and heaven on earth. Then who made some families as hell on earth and a synagogue of Satan. Let us try to find him out. God has not planted that tree in the Middle of the Garden but Devil did it and he sat on his own tree to tempt and even today he sits on it and other trees planted by him to make your life and family as hell on earth. Beware of him!
1.Psalm 128:2a- You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands
We work and toil and engage in hard labor, but very often, the outcome is not equivalent to the effort we put in. Psalm 127:2 says, “It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives good things to his beloved while they sleep.” Who is beloved to the Lord? Those who fear him are beloved to him.
In our own lives, we often sow good things, but what we reap is evil. In the family too, there are many things that are not from God, but permitted by God. For instance, there are divorces, miscarriages, abortions, strife, etc. which are not ordained by God. 1 John 3:18b says, “The Son of God was revealed for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil.” The purpose of Christ was to undo what the devil has done. This purpose of Christ can be fulfilled only in those who fear the Lord by not knowledgably and willfully choosing the devil. Those who fear the Lord will be blessed to sow good in their lives, and they will enjoy the fruit of the labor of that good.
2.Psalm 128:2b- You shall be happy, and everything shall go well with you.
Different things make us unhappy in our lives; such as enemies, diseases and the evil one. Those who fear the Lord do not have to worry about any of these things because Jesus has promised the victory over them through the Church (CCCc 314).
Victory over enemies: In the book of 2 Kings 6 and 7, we read how the Aramean king waged war against Israel. 7:6- huge army from Syria surrounded Israel, the northern kingdom. In their distress and poverty, they cried to the Lord. God caused the loud sound of an army to be heard by the Arameans, and the King of Aram thinking that the King of Israel had sought help from the kings of the Hittites and Egypt to fight against him. The enemy fled for their lives, leaving everything behind.
Who are our enemies? Those who have indulge in the seven capital sins- pride, envy, gluttony, lust, anger, greed, and sloth, are enemies of God and humanity. Mary from Magdala had these 7 demons and Jesus cast them out of her (Lk 8:2). When we look around the world too, we see war, problems, terrorisms, fundamentalism, hatred and so on. All of these, stem out of these seven sins. Once, there was a boy from a state, Kerala, in India who killed his classmate at St. Thomas College campus, Palai. At the time, this incident made big news. His classmate refused his proposal to marry him and in revenge, he murdered her. He was living in lust, and not love, because love means to stand in favor of. When we live in fear of the Lord, our enemies will flee away just like the king of Aram fled before the king of Israel.
Victory over sickness: Jesus says in Luke 6:45a, "The good man out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil man out of his evil treasure produces evil," which is why Proverbs 3:23 also says, "Keep your heart with all vigilant; for from it flow the springs of life." When you give way to negative feelings, they affect your body and you can suffer from psycho-somatic disorders.
“The term psychosomatic refers to real physical symptoms that arise from or are influenced by the mind and emotions rather than a specific organic cause in the body (such as an injury or infection). A psychosomatic illness originates from or is aggravated by emotional stress and manifests in the body as physical pain and other symptoms.” (Schimelpfening, N. [2020, March]. ‘An Overview of Psychosomatic Illness.’ Retrieved from Verywell Mind.)
If there’s fear, hatred, anger, sorrows, it will adversely affect your body. If you do not guard your heart, you stop the springs of life from flowing. Instead, you give a chance for the streams of death and sickness to flow into your life. Bible says, through the word of God, our mind should be renewed. Many of our sicknesses are healed by the renewal of the mind.
Victory over demonic and evil attacks: In Mark 5:1-20, we read about a man possessed. The demons had randomly chosen to attack this man. Similarly, many people in this world are afflicted and are in bondage through no fault of their own. The demons in this man kept him from sleeping, caused him to be violent, harm himself and cry out throughout the day and the night. In the family, we see similar manifestations in different ways- sleeplessness, unnecessary yelling and uproar, violent natures, and a tendency to harm oneself.
Jesus commanded this Legion to go to the pigs. This transfer of evil spirits from one object or body to another is seen in the works of black magicians and sorcerers. As believers, we can bind and cast out the spirits and send them to the feet of Jesus (Heb 10:13), using the Binding and Casting out prayer on page 103 of the infilling of the H.S book. For those who fear the Lord, no foe, evil, sickness or affliction can torment. There will be pure happiness in their lives and all shall go well with them.
3.Psalm 128:3a- Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house
The man who fears the Lord will have a wife who is like a fruitful vine. Even though Psalm 128 seems addressed to a man, women who fear the Lord will themselves be fruitful wives. Proverbs 31:30 says, "Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised." The blessings for everyone who fears the Lord is the same.
Fruitfulness is not only about childbearing and having a fruitful womb, but it is also about living the fruit of the Holy Spirit. Galatians 5:22-23 says, "But the fruit of the spirit is love joy peace patience kindness goodness faithfulness gentleness self-control; against such there is no law." Thus, women and wives who fear the Lord will not only bear the social and emotional brunt of being barren, but also be filled with the Holy Spirit.
4.Psalm 128:3b- Your children will be like olive shoots around your table.
The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that the Christian family should be called a domestic church. (2204) It states ahead in 2214 that ‘The respect of children, whether minors or adults, for their father and mother is nourished by the natural affection born of the bond uniting them.’ Thus, children have a duty to fulfill in the family. It is clear that this respect is not forced, but fostered through the natural bond between parents and children.
Children belong around the family table, where not just meals, but love is shared. Today, so many children sit at tables where gambling, substance abuse and all other sorts of evil take place. Those who fear the Lord inspire a fear of themselves in their children and will never have to force their presence at family meals or family gatherings and events. Only someone who fears the Lord is capable of creating an atmosphere in the family where the children feel loved and respected, and can consequently reciprocate that love and respect.
Olives hold a deep significance throughout scripture. The first time we see the mention of olives in the Bible is in Genesis 8:11, where the dove Noah sent out brought back a freshly plucked olive leaf. Here, it symbolized new life and the restoration of the earth after the flood. Jeremiah 11:6 says that the olive tree bears good fruit. Psalm 52:8 mentions the olive tree as being one that flourishes. Judges 9:8-9 describes the olive tree being one whose oil honors gods and men. Thus, throughout the Bible, the olive tree is used as a symbol of beauty, life and prosperity. In line with the symbolism of the olive, Psalm 128:3b promises beautiful, thriving, successful and prosperous children to those who fear the Lord.
5.Psalm 128:5- The Lord bless you from Zion! May you see the prosperity of Jerusalem all the days of your life.
The Lord blesses those who fear him from his holy mountain, mount Zion. Jerusalem is not just the holy city where God dwells, but in the context of the family, it is also the home, where the members of a family dwell. To see one’s family, prosper, all the days of one’s life, is also a blessing that the Lord gives those who fear him. Sometimes, there are moments of failure and dissatisfaction, but those who fear the Lord will prosper all the days of their life. Sometimes, the Lord sends good people into your life to bless you, like the prophet Elijah whom God sent to the widow at Zarephath.
Jesus calls us out on our human folly in worrying about the future, in Matthew 6:25-33. Psalm 34:9-10 reminds us that those who fear the Lord have no want, and even though lions suffer want and hunger, those who seek the Lord lack no good thing. The solution for prosperity is provided both, in Matthew 6 and Psalm 34, and that is to seek the Lord. Jesus tells us to seek first God’s kingdom, and the Psalmist also urges us to seek the Lord. Joshua also instructs the Israelites in Joshua 1:8, telling them to meditate on the book of the law, day and night, in order to be prosperous and have success.
Those who seek the Lord and obey and meditate on his word are those who fear him. And those who fear him are sure to prosper. However, obeying the Lord should not be with the ulterior motive of prospering, but a genuine love and desire to give first place to him.
You and I will receive the Anointing of the Holy Spirit through the love towards God and fear of the Lord. King Solomon is the best example. What is that essential virtue that is needed in order for one to be wise and prosper? The wisest man known to us in the Bible is King Solomon. He was famous not only for his wisdom, but for the wealth and prosperity in his kingdom. In fact, he was one of the most prosperous kings of Israel. How did he prosper? Did he even ask for it? When he ascended the throne, God appeared to him and told him to ask for anything and it would be given to him. Solomon being the son of the king, who was shown great favor by the Lord, could have asked the Lord to give him the wealth of the earth, and make him the ruler of the entire world. Instead, he asked for wisdom, and the Lord being so pleased with him, gave him not only wisdom but riches and prosperity too, making him one of the most successful kings in the history of the Bible (Wis &:7-12).
6.Psalm 128:6- May you see your children's children. Peace be upon Israel!
Psalm 127: 3-5 clearly mentions that children are a heritage from the Lord and they are like weapons in the hand of a warrior. The more the weapons, the stronger the warrior. The Lord instructs his people in Jeremiah 29:5-6 to build houses, eat the produce of their gardens, marry wives and see to it that their children are married too. God blesses his children in Genesis 1:28 and tells them to be fruitful and multiply. God didn’t just unite Adam and Eve, but also blessed them with the ability to procreate and have children. Those who fear the Lord wont just see their children, but also their grandchildren. Peace is also promised to God’s chosen people. The Israelites are God’s chosen people. It is not only the Israelites who are promised peace, but all of God’s people who fear him and honor him.
What does make your family as Hell? How to make it as heaven on earth.
A young man once told me, “Our forefathers Adam and Eve were cheated by God.” I was surprised and asked him why he thought so. He answered, “Because God planted a tree in the middle of the garden in Eden that proved to be a temptation.” I answered him, “God did not plant that tree which yielded bad fruit.” He asked me, “Then, how did it get there? I answered, “It was the work of the devil.” Indeed, God created the world, but nowhere does it explicitly state that God planted the tree of the knowledge of good and bad that tempted Eve. Genesis 1:31a says, “God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good.” Whatever God makes is good. However, the enemy sows evil in God’s field as Jesus said. The enemy planted it (Mt 13:28). If God indeed planted the tree, God would not have forbidden Adam to eat of it.
The Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCCc) 57 says “God is not in any way -directly or indirectly - the cause of evil.” However, God does permit evil as CCCc 58 explains, “Faith gives us the certainty that God would not permit evil if he did not cause a good to come from that very evil.” We see this in the person of Job who was harmed by Satan through the permission of God. God cannot create anything evil, but God permits it. God permitted the devil to plant the tree in the garden in Eden. Even though God has created the world, it is under the power and sway of the evil one (1 John 5:19) until the second coming of our Lord.
In Matthew 13:24-30, Jesus speaks of the parable of the weeds among the wheat. The weeds were sowed by the enemy. Just as the man in the parable allowed the wheat and weeds to grow together till the day of harvest, so also God allows both, the good and evil to flourish together until the Day of Judgment. And on that day, those who reject all the good that God has ordained will burn eternally in the fire of hell.
Our families will be heaven on earth if you and I do not eat from the weeds which are planted and promoted by devil and demons.
The fear of the Lord is a virtue that the Prophet Isaiah in 11:2 attributes to the shoot from the stump of Jesse- that is Jesus. The Spirit of the Lord brings wisdom, knowledge, counsel, might, understanding and fear of the Lord. When believers are filled with the Holy Spirit, they are filled with the fear of the Lord. Those who are filled with the fear of the Lord have strength to face all the problems and challenges of life. Many a times these problems and challenges may not be solved, but with the fear of the Lord, there is grace, and this grace can help to overcome these problems, if not solve them. This is why, anointing of the Holy Spirit is very important to those who want to live a life that is pleasing to the Lord. Those who are pleasing to the Lord, he makes prosperous and successful in all that they do.