“Blessed is everyone who fears the LORD, who walks in his ways!”
~ Psalm 128:1
This particular Psalm of Ascent reads as a benediction. Starting with an acknowledgement of specific realities of God’s blessing on those who fear him and walk according to his ways (v.1-4) and ending with the bestowing of a blessing, a more traditional benediction (v.5-6).
The first half that recounts specifics of God’s blessing would have been very tangible when you consider that this would have been sung one to another while LITERALLY walking in the ways of the LORD (v.1), traveling to Jerusalem. God had commanded going to the temple in Jerusalem for his festivals, feasts and sacrifices. While there, they would be eating “the fruit of the labor of [their] hands” (v.2)…a lamb, unleavened bread/cakes, first-fruits, et c. Each man would be sharing this experience with his wife and children, realizing the blessing of each (v.3). The one who was right-heartedly fearing the LORD in this obedience, tangibly owned the blessing of God (v.4).
As the many roads converged and these Jewish pilgrims met up, they would have greeted and encouraged one another by reciting the words of v.5-6. May we too speak a “word of praise/blessing” to one another as believers in Jesus Christ who are eternally blessed by him.