The Lord Builds The House
1 Unless the Lord builds the house,
the builders labor in vain.
Unless the Lord watches over the city,
the guards stand watch in vain.
2 In vain you rise early
and stay up late,
toiling for food to eat—
for he grants sleep to those he loves.
In affluent areas of my city near the main street, I see smaller homes being bought and then being torn down to rebuild a luxury mammoth house that is over three thousand square feet. All of them are designed with high ceilings and the home-owner will usually want designer or custom kitchens. Sometimes, it is not a homeowner who is buying the older home, but a developer who specializes in tearing down old homes and rebuilding new ones. These developers need to know what they are doing when they bid for a house. They need to know zoning laws, restrictions on size and all of the necessary permits necessary to rebuild a new house. They need to get the right contractors and build to specifications according to current municipal building codes.
This passage is about the foundation of how we live our lives. We build our lives, our families, our communities and it is simply stating that all of this building is in vain if the Lord is not involved. This doesn’t mean that the house you build won’t have a nice appearance on the outside. We could all look good and have a great appearance from the outside, but we could have attitudes and a heart that is not so pleasing to God. It wouldn’t be good to be building and to be doing it all in vain. Is it worth living a life where you rise early in vain and everything you do is in vain. This is similar to the New Testament parable about the wise and foolish builders.